Part One:
The Entrance

To begin with - having first parked the car somewhere fairly inconspicuous (perhaps in the car park of The Feathers Inn opposite the entrance to Cliveden) - we carefully hop over the rather dodgy glass-topped wall next to the boarded-up original entrance (it has shards set in concrete on the very top which on one occasion caused me to lose a fair amount of blood) and you find yourself fully immersed inside the Narnia that is the CRCMH. The first thing that greets you is a vast and eerie dead city, sprawled out across the horizon - with the imposing pillared facade in the distance. This looks quite spectacular (and all the more frightening) when silhouetted around sunset - as you can see here.

Your attention then turns to a little outpost nearby - like a sentry box. This very small white building has a couple of steps leading up to it, so you can stand inside and imagine what it must have been like keeping tabs on the comings and goings of a working hospital from here.

Clambering back down from the sentry post, you find yourself standing on a cracking concrete road which has the same feel as a windswept overgrown WWII airfield - possibly because it is quite contemporary with such a construction. You can even make out some old parking bays.

Your attention now returns to the most imposing feature of the surrounding landscape - the main facade itself. You can't fail to notice how impressive this looks. Here you are, surrounded by forest, effectively in the middle of nowhere, and here is this enormous grand white building. To say that it beckons you is an understatement.

As illustrated below, the entrance looms as you wander into the vast shadow cast by its tall triangular parapet - easily visible to whatever happens to be lurking around the windows on the top floor.

We arrive at the main entrance doors - a somewhat minor affair when compared to the lavish foyers of modern public buildings. It is hard to imagine a stretcher being rushed in through here whilst someone holds the doors open (although I suspect that emergency patients would have actually been brought in through one of the entry points either side of the main building). As you can see, the doors are a grim turquoise and would be more at home in a factory than a hospital. Throughout our earlier visits these doors were chained shut, however, somewhere along the line they had been forced open once again by persons unknown.

Before the doors were opened, the only way in around here was to their right. If you look just past the commemorative stone plaque (the text of which appears a couple of times elsewhere on this site) you will notice a window that is always slightly ajar. Climb in through here to enter the wonderful world of the CRCMH.

The first object you'll notice once inside is a bizarre contraption bolted to the floor (indeed, you'll probably graze your arm on it whilst hopping through the window if you're not careful). It looks like it should belong in a dental surgery, and has a strange glass vial full of putrid liquid attached to it. From here, it's only a few steps through the door and out into the main foyer itself.

Here, little of interest remains but trash (and a disused safe) inside what was once the reception. Perhaps because it has always been the most obvious place to "loot" - for many, their first point of contact with the disused building. Exploring the foyer, you will instantly notice that it leads right out into a central open courtyard.

If you poke your head out of the western end of the room, you'll notice an interesting and somewhat enticing little corridor that leads off to the X-Ray Department - in the direction that any would-be Flincher hunter would need to explore. The stretcher has been there for as long as we've known the place. But we'll leave that path for now.

If you head back into the foyer again, you will also discover a flight of stairs off to the south. These are a very rare occurence within the CRCMH - indeed, there's only one other place in the entire complex with an upstairs, which we'll get to later. But for now, let's make our way upstairs to the top floor of the main building...

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