Collection CAN - Cane Hill Hospital

Identity area

Reference code

CAN

Title

Cane Hill Hospital

Date(s)

  • 1883 - 1992 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

101 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Cane Hill Asylum (1883 - 1992)

Administrative history

Cane Hill Asylum, later Cane Hill Mental Hospital, was opened in December 1883 by the Justices of the County of Surrey. Surrey already possessed two asylums, at Wandsworth and Brookwood, and Cane Hill was intended to alleviate the shortage of spaces which was particularly being felt in several of the inner London Boroughs and by Richmond Guardians. It was built on 148 acres of land purchased from the Portnalls Estate by the Justices of the County of Surrey in order to alleviate the overcrowding of the existing Surrey asylums. (The remaining Portnalls Estate land would be purchased for the hospital in 1914). At the time of opening, Cane Hill could accomodate around 1200 patients and another 800 places were added in the next decade. It stood on high ground and had commanding views of the surrounding countryside.

In 1889 the hospital was taken over by the newly created London County Council, along with Hanwell, Colney Hatch, Banstead and Claybury Asylums which had previously been administered by Middlesex. (Wandsworth passed from Surrey to Middlesex County Council; Surrey would get another asylum with the opening of Netherne in 1909.) Cane Hill by this time was expected to serve mainly South London and also, for the time being, Croydon. However as a County Borough, Croydon would be expected to provide its own asylum in due course.

The newly formed National Health Service took over its administration in 1948 and it served the area of South London stretching from London Bridge to Crystal Palace as well as Beckenham and Penge. At the time of its 70th anniversary in 1953 it was reported to be overcrowded, despite modernisation to the interiors.

The last patients left on 15th March 1992. The hospital buildings are currently unused although a purpose built medium secure unit for the assessment of persons awaiting trial was set up in the hospital grounds in the 1980s. This remains open.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Accession Number: A771

Chaplaincy records of Cane Hill Hospital

Service register for Cane Hill Hospital, 1969 - 1992. (Signed by officials at last service to mark closure of hospital 29 Feb 1992).(CAN/4/5/1)

Service register of District Chaplain Bromley Health Authority/Ravensbourne NHS Trust 1990-1995. (CAN/4/5/2)

Register of confirmations at Cane Hill, 1952-1960 (CAN/4/4/1)

Item date: 1952-1995

Accession date: 05/08/2004

Custodial history: Transferred when Chaplain (Rev. N.Bunker) leaving for another parish.

Many of the patients in Cane Hill at this time were subsequently transferred to the Portnalls Unit.

Content and structure area

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Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some of the records in our collections contain sensitive and personal data that we have a legal responsibility to control access to. In these circumstances, staff may search the collection on your behalf, having received consent or proof of death of the individual concerned.

Please contact us at archives@croydon.gov.uk for further information regarding the particular collection you wish to access.

You can make a request for information which may be in a closed record under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations, 2004. For more information about making a request, see the Croydon Council website (www.croydon.gov.uk). Making a request does not guarantee access to the information you ask for, as there may be a valid exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

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Description control area

Description identifier

GB-352-can

Institution identifier

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Status

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Dates of creation revision deletion

24/06/2015

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