Former St Francis Hospital :: Shared Description
Opened in 1859 as the Sussex County Lunatic Asylum on a high ridge with views to the South Downs in what was then the parish of Wivelsfield
. Although positioned next to the then common of Haywards Heath nearly all the land acquired for building was purchased from nearby Hurst Farm which was later to become the asylum's farm. Designed by institutional architect Henry Kendall Jnr the building consisted of a central administrative area, now Cavendish House, with male and female wards branching off either side. A number of workshops and ancillary buildings were also included and added to over the years. With the building of Graylingwell Hospital in Chichester it became East Sussex County Lunatic Asylum in 1894 and when Hellingly was constructed in 1903 it became Brighton Borough Asylum then Mental Hospital. In 1948 its name was changed once more to St Francis Hospital. By then Hurstwood Hospital had opened on the grounds to the east which later evolved into the Princess Royal Hospital in 1991 which took over the running of St Francis until its final closure in 1995. Since then the buildings have been largely kept intact and converted into a series of luxury homes, apartments and flats which opened in 1999 as Southdowns Park.
Pete Cracknell - County Asylums (Link
Andrew Roberts - Index of English and Welsh Lunatic Asylums and Mental Hospitals (Link
Friends of St Francis Hospital (Link
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Created: Sun, 1 May 2011, Updated: Sun, 1 May 2011
The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2011 Simon Carey, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.