TQ1479 : E Block, St. Bernard's Wing - Ealing hospital
taken 15 years ago, near to Norwood Green, Ealing, England
E Block, St. Bernard's Wing - Ealing hospital.
St. Bernard's also known as Hanwell Insane Asylum, was built for the pauper insane and has evolved to become the West London Mental Health (NHS) Trust.
Work on the asylum at Hanwell started in 1829 on land most of which (44 acres) was purchased from the Earl of Jersey. The building contractor was William Cubitt. The architect was William Alderson, a Quaker. His neo-classical design consisted of central octagonal 'panopticon' tower of a basement and two floors. The windows have a tall aspect with semicircular bonded gauge brick arches at the top.
In November of the same year building work started again on the first extension (there was more expansion again in 1837, 1857 and 1879).
The newer extensions which were added in 1857-59 are readily identifiable, as they have flat bonded arches to the tops of the windows.
Today the building also serves as the head offices of the West London Mental Health NHS Trust (WLMHT). Although the on-site facilities have been reduced and scaled down from what was once the world's largest asylum, it is still very much involved with the treatment and research into serious mental distress.
The WLMHT currently act as guardians of the Corsellis Collection, containing some nine thousand specimens of brains dating back to the 1950s.
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