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Morbid history of lunatic asylum mortuaries fails to deter Exeter buyers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 23, 2013

  • The interior of the West Mortuary and, right, the East Mortuary which sold for £26,000

  • The West Mortuary at the former Digby mental hospital in Exeter has been sold for £30,000

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Bidders have splashed out £56,000 for what could be the country's creepiest properties – a pair of derelict 19th century lunatic asylum mortuaries.

The grade II listed buildings were each expected to make no more than £10,000 but their morbid history failed to deter buyers.

One bidder forked out £26,000 and another paid £30,000.

The mortuaries lie in the grounds of the former Digby Hospital – a Victorian asylum and mental health facility in Exeter.

It closed in 1986 and most of the other buildings have been converted into homes. But the two mortuaries, measuring 19 and 28 square metres, have remained untouched for 27 years – complete with rusting implements and mortuary slabs.

Neither has planning consent for a change of use but developers say they could be converted into a gym or office.

Andrew Jarrold, auctioneer at Westcountry Property Auctions, said: "These buildings are both extraordinary and unusual.

''I am not too shocked at the price they went for because they generated huge interest.

"They were appealing to buyers looking for quirky premises to perhaps convert into a gym, library, study, office or even an art studio."

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  • ziggyblue  |  April 12 2013, 12:32PM

    My Grandfather died in Digby in the early sixties - horrible to think that is more than likely where he was. Sad place.

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