Geographically, it is located at a relatively quiet and forgotten spot within the vicinity of Woodlands and Marsiling. In paranormal aspect, it was once rumoured to be one of Singapore’s most haunted places, although it was less well-known than the Old Changi Hospital. Meet the View Road Hospital, a former mental institution operated between 1975 and 2001.
Lying off Admiralty Road West, View Road is a small lane that leads to a small hilltop covered with greenery. Its name was derived from the excellent views one could enjoy at the summit, overlooking the nearby dockyard and Johor Straits. An interesting trivia of View Road is that its Chinese name was translated as 美景路 (literally means “beautiful scenery road“), according to the Singapore Street Directory of 1998. However, this coincides with the Chinese translation of Mei Chin Road in Queenstown. It could well be a case of human error that two different roads existed with the same name.
In the seventies and eighties, View Road was accompanied by other minor roads in the vicinity such as Hawkins Road, Rimau Road and Ratus Road, all of which had vanished today. Hawkins Road was then known for the refugee camp, set up in 1978 to house the Vietnamese boat people who had escaped from their country in turmoils. The camp was closed in mid-1996 after the last batch of boat people was repatriated to Vietnam, and the road itself became defunct after that.
Rimau Road, in which rimau refers to tiger in Malay, was probably named after Batu Rimau Gurkha, a barrack that sat on the hilltop in the sixties and seventies and served as the housing quarters for the naval base’s Gurkha police contingent.
The building of View Road Hospital, before it was used as a medical institution, was first constructed as a barrack in the early 1940s just before the outbreak of the Second World War. It later served as the accommodation premises for the Naval Base Police Force and their families from the end of the fifties till 1972.
In the late sixties, the Ministry of Health was seeking an alternate location to build a secondary mental institution due to the overcrowding issue at Woodbridge Hospital. The 2,029-capacity main hospital had exceeded its average daily occupancy, hitting a peak of 2,654 in 1969. During this period, the British Bases Conversion Unit handed the three-storey Batu Rimau Gurkha Barrack to the Ministry of Health, and the premises, with its lush surroundings, was deemed ideal for the rehabilitation of the less severely ill psychiatric patients.
In 1973, the project of converting the former barrack into a hospital was drawn. A $530,000 budget was approved for the new 250-capacity hospital with a targetted 48 employees. Tenders were soon carried out by the Public Works Department (PWD) to install laundry equipment, boiling points and pipelines.
View Road Hospital was officially opened in August 1975, and became one of the 13 government hospitals in Singapore in the seventies and eighties (The others were Alexandra Hospital, Changi Hospital, Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Middleton Hospital, Middle Road Hospital, Sembawang Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, St. Andrew’s Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Toa Payoh Hospital, Trafalgar Hospital and Woodbridge Hospital).
With the admission of the first batch of psychiatric patients after its official opening, an intensive rehabilitation program was introduced. The program, consisted of learning of new trades such as laundry, toy-making, farming, woodwork and tailoring, aimed to help the patients in seeking employment after their discharge.
In 1984, another rehabilitation program called the Day Release Scheme was launched to help the patients adapt to the outside life. By the nineties, almost a third of the 250 patients at View Road Hospital was placed under the scheme, which allowed them to leave the hospital during daytime and work in factories, nurseries and gardens. They would then return to the hospital in the evenings.
The all-male hospital received its first batch of female patients in 1990. The premises was given a thorough upgrading in the following year, and its bed capacity was increased to 290 by 1994.
While View Road Hospital stayed relatively undisturbed, its nearby surroundings had changed significantly in the late nineties. With Woodlands Avenue 4 extended to link directly to Admiralty Road West, the vicinity was segregated into different industrial zones. By the 2000s, the area was filled with industrial buildings, driving centre, bus depot and workers’ dormitories. A Park Connector Network (PCN) was also developed by the National Parks Board.
View Road Hospital was eventually shut down in 2001, and was left abandoned for many years until its conversion into a foreign workers’ dormitory named View Road Lodge in 2008. Its bluish outlook was replaced by a new orange appearance. The occupants, however, would last only four years before the premises became emptied once again. It is now under the charge of the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
Since its first closure in 2001, the View Road Hospital was plagued by many haunted stories and rumours. Years of abandonment and neglect had, time after time, attracted groups of youths in their spook hunting and thrill seeking activities. The former hospital, however, was gradually forgotten over time.
Below are some of the photos taken by other urban explorers in 2006 and 2007.
Published: 05 November 2013
Updated: 21 May 2018
Thank you…..Enjoy reading the post.
Wow! I stayed in Marsiling when i was young and moved to Woodlands during primary school until now.. i’ve never known that there was such hospital in woodlands! Too cool!
Cool! didn’t know we had a abandoned hospital hidden there 😀 thank you for sharing!
it’ll be interesting to have a list of abandoned structures in Singapore. i think increasingly there are people who seek out these things…
Really enjoyed reading this post. As I am in the courier business in medical devices, I make daily trips to all the hospitals in Singapore but I never knew of the View road hospital. Thanks so much for the post. Was wondering if anyone has details of the Sembawang Hospital and the Trafalgar that were mentioned. Is the Trafalgar hospital near Ponggol as I used to live in Lorong Buangkok, off Ponggol Road and the name Trafalgar does ring a bell.
Hi.. i am part of the admin for http://toqsekrit.livejournal.com/. Cool to see that our defunct blog is still receiving traffic from those who are interested in places like this. Thanks for the feature. Really informative article and keep up the good work. 🙂 Do feel free to contact me at my email if you guys are looking for more images of abandoned places in sg.
Thanks! Please share your photos and findings 🙂
Urban exploration is interesting
i look for more abandoned place in sg any place intro?
So is the place still abandoned now and accessible for exploration?
It is abandoned now (again), but is all fenced up with CCTVs
I still wonder why are these abandoned buildings fence up and having cctvs sap well as Aetos security patrolling it. ?
there is more than meets the eye here, maybe buried treasure underneath these buildings. . . I could offer my assistance to debunk any ghost sightings
am willing to participate in any encounters. . . .any takers
there are no ghosts in Singapore
It is shown in Secret Singapore on channel 5 today! An eye opener!
Going there tonight…
View road hospital is set shooting drama mata mata a new era as Police station around 2014.
Hai everyone . May i know how to get there because me and my friend wanted to explore there 🙂
You can take bus 856 from Yishun/Sembawang (Woodlands/Marsiling from the opp direction) and alight at the bus stop after View Road… I haven’t been there to explore yet,but hopefully soon =)
It is a Foreign workers dormitory again.
It’s near Republic Poly, i wanted to go there too but it’s all fenced up, plus all of my friends changed their minds not to go there. I don’t wanna go alone lol.
I used to live there 1963-1970 during my school years in pri 2 to sec 3 before the place was handed over to the Singapore government when the British Forces withdrew. My late father was a policeman in the Naval Police Force and during the time the building functioned as police barracks although the lower 2 floors of the lower arm of the E-shape of the building were out-of-bounds. Situated in the neighbourhood commonly known as Rimau, the barracks had its address as View Road Police Quarters, Naval Base, Singapore 27 and housed around 25 policemen and their families.
Hi Din, I grew up in Rimau and stayed there from 1960 to 1970. In 1959 I went to Marsiling School and 1962 transferred to Canberra School.
Hi Guru, could you have been one of my childhood Punjabi friends in the neighborhood?
Can I still enter this place?
I lived at 4 Rimau Road from 1947 to 1950. I tried to find it last week when I was in Singapore. With the help of a student at Nanyang University I learned that it is now part of View Road, and I managed to get there by taxi. However, I didn’t get beyond the gate, which is now adorned with a warning about CCTV and threats of arrest. Pity, as my house would be less than 5 minutes walk beyond the gate. Apparently all the houses are now gone, and the jungle that used to start a bit beyond the bottom of our garden now reaches the road.
Yes, the place has been developed into an industrial estate, especially in the past 10 years.
Only View Road, Keremat Road and Dahan Road, off Admiralty Road West, remain, while new roads leading to the nearby industries are built.
(Map Credit: Singapore Street Directory 1969)
(Map Credit: http://www.streetdirectory.com/)
“served as the housing quarters for the naval base’s Gurkha police contingent.” This is incorrect. It served as Naval Police Quarters and various communities made up the Police except Gurkhas- they had their own quarters in Mount Vernon.
Wow! I cycled pass at night and I didn’t realize.
Hi! There is now an FB Group dedicated to the Batu Rimau complex where it is hoped that former residents and others could share stories of the old days. Din, Baharuddin, Guru, do please join and share with us your stories! 🙂
Hi Din, Guru and Baharudin – I too lived at the Rimau Naval Base barracks from birth (1963) till the British withdrawal in 1971/72. Baharudin – sounds familiar name, did your family stayed next to the common kitchen on level 1? As per Victor‘S message, please go to group and provide your life experience living at this historical site. Cheers Bhvinder
I lived at 4 Rimau from 1947 to 1950. When I was in Singapore a couple of years ago someone helped me identify View Road as Rimau, and I took a taxi there with my wife. It turns out to be one of the few places in Singapore that still looks the same as in 1950. We didn’t try to go beyond the barrier, but I could see that our house (no longer there) was just past the corner that we could see from the barrier. I imagine that the barracks you refer to is the big concrete structure — not much more than a ruin in 1950 — at the other end of Rimau. We went to the entrance at that end, where there was a guard. I asked himif I could go further, but he said no.
I don’t do Facebook, but feel free to pass on this information if you like.