Barnwood House Hospital

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Barnwood House Hospital
Opened 1860
Closed 1968
Demolished 2000
Current Status Demolished
Alternate Names
  • Barnwood House Institution


When the union was dissolved in 1856 the subscribers to the Gloucester asylum were paid £13,000 and they removed the wealthy and charity patients. They supported nine of the latter in a private asylum in Fairford. In 1858 the subscribers, among whom W.H. Hyett was prominent, bought Barnwood House in Barnwood village for an asylum. The house, a small early 19th-century villa of stuccoed brick with a symmetrical garden front with segmental bays rising the full three storeys and later east and west wings, was converted to a plan by the firm of Fulljames and Waller. Service buildings to the west were pulled down, the wings, from which the stucco was removed, were raised by the addition of a third storey and extended symmetrically by ranges which ended in towers, and a glass corridor was erected along the north side of the ground floor. The asylum, which opened in 1860 and was known later as Barnwood House Hospital, was supported by voluntary contributions and patients' payments. The patients were from the upper and middle classes, and the less wealthy paid according to their means, some receiving free treatment. A bequest of £10,000 stock to the Gloucester asylum by Martha Davies (d. 1871) was awarded by Chancery in 1872 to Barnwood House and was used to buy land in Barnwood.

By 1864 the hospital, with 60 patients, was full. To increase accommodation many alterations were made and new buildings added in the later 19th and early 20th century. The central block, the original house which was used for offices and the medical superintendent's residence, was rebuilt in brick in 1896 and 1897. In 1869 a chapel designed by F. S. Waller was built in the grounds south of the Wotton brook; after a rebuilding in 1887, when a south aisle and vestry were added, the body had an apsidal and gabled east end, an east flèche, and a north porch. From 1884 a few patients were housed in a villa on the other side of the main road, and the hospital ran a sanatorium near Mitcheldean until 1919. Other houses in Barnwood were used for patients in the early 20th century and in 1938 a branch house opened in Badgeworth.

After the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948 the hospital, which was left under the control of the governors, had financial problems and from the mid 1950s the number of patients fell. In 1968 the hospital was closed and its work continued on a much smaller scale at the Manor House to the east, which became a nursing home for geriatric and psychiatric cases and in 1977 a day home for the elderly disabled, for whom 18 bungalows were built in its grounds in 1981. In 1989 the hospital was sold and demolished, save for the central block which was converted for domestic use, and the grounds south of the brook were given to the corporation as a public park