|Cane Hill Asylum.|
This mental hospital was the last of three Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asyla, the others being Springfield (1842) and Brookwood (1862). Designed by Charles Henry Howell who was architectural advisor to the Commission of Lunacy, the asylum is sited on a hill overlooking Coulsdon and Farthing Downs. Completed in 1882, it is a classic example of a radiating ward asylum – the pavilion ward blocks wards radiate from an internal horseshoe shaped corridor. As is the case with many large mental asyla, it has a large, though rather plain, water tower and an ornate clock tower over the administrative block
The hospital was self-sufficient and its grounds were landscaped and parts devoted to agriculture and farming. By 1888 when several additions had been built, it could accommodate 2000 patients.
The Care in the Community legislation during the 1980s caused virtually all the large mental asylums in the UK to close. Cane Hill hospital finally closed in 1991. Although it is a Grade II listed building it is falling into a progressive state of dereliction.
The first "Village" hospital was founded here in 1859 by Albert Napper. Other places claim to have had such hospitals at an earlier date. (see Hemel Hempstead and Southam)