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Graylingwell Mental Hospital (Graylingwell Hospital)

January 2011 - Febuary 2012


Administration building 1919,


In 1845 the county asylums act was passed making the county authorites in england responsible for the care of pauper lunatics. However it took nine years of political wrangling between East and West Sussex to decide the location of a joint asylum. Eventually it was decided that the first Sussex county asylum would be built on farm land near to the village of Haywards Heath. However shortly adter opening in 1859 it was soon clear that the 400 bed hospital was much too small, resulting in chronic overcrowding. In the 1880's the local goverment act changed and East and West sussex were made into seperate administrative divisions. With the overcrowding problem at haywards heath now severe both counties decided to begin work on new asylum building projects.

The west sussex authority purchased Graylingwell farm on the outskirts of Chichester, the farm was the former home of Black beauty author Anna Sewell. The buildings were designed by renound architect Sir Arthur Bloomfield and the new hospital opened its doors to patients in 1897.  During the First world war the phsychiatric patients were transferred to other hospitals and Graylingwell became a war hospital. Treating wounded soldiers returning from the trenches, when the war ended the the site was returned to phsychiatric use.

At various stages in its life Graylingwell was enlarged a number of additional wards were constructed shortly after it opened. During the 1930's a sperate admission hospital was built alongside a new nurses accomotation block. After the war more outbuildings were constructed and wards were extended, including new crittal sun rooms.

The majority of the buildings wound down between 2002 and 2003 when patients began to be transfered to other hospitals or moved into the community. A number of wards on the male side of the hospital were converted for use as offices but these had also closed by 2005. Though the admission hospital and a number of smaller buildings around the site are still in NHS use.

I first took a look around the grounds in 2004 when the hospital was newly closed and made regular return visits but never took many photos until 2011.


Around the Grounds in 2004:





Sun Rooms,






| More From 2004 |


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