Brockhall Hospital

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Brockhall Hospital
Opened 1904
Closed 1992
Demolished 1998
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Pavilion Plan
Alternate Names
  • Lancashire Inebriates Reformatory
  • Brockhall Hospital for Mental Defectives
  • Brockhall Hospital for the Mentally Subnormal
  • Brockhall Hospital for People with Learning Disabilities


When Sir John Hibbert, Chairman of the Lancashire Inebriates Acts Board, opened the Lancashire Inebriates Reformatory at Langho in Lancashire on 14th April 1904, he expressed his 'heart-felt wish that all inmates who might come within its walls would, by its means, be restored to happier and brighter lives'.

Brockhall was built on the land of 2 farms, an estate of 326 acres purchased from Mr. Worsley Taylor for £17000. The initial building, which was of a high quality of construction, cost £67000. A statement from the opening ceremony describes the estate as an extremely attractive one, a large proportion of it comprising an elevated plateau of grassland, surrounded on three sides by a belt of well-grown timber, while from the plateau there is a slope to some meadow and pastureland, which run alongside the southerly bank of the River Ribble. Several further developments followed and Brockhall's number of patients reached about 2500 at its peak. Wards were named after trees and woodland for men (e.g. Beechwood House) and flowers for women and children (e.g. Aster House).

Following its closure in 1992, the hospital was demolished and the site redeveloped for housing (Blackburn Rovers' training ground is also there) as Brockhall Village. Apart from the retention of the name Brockhall, and the conversion of one of the hospital buildings into homes (now called Watling Gate), probably the most tangible reminder of the hospital is its cemetery in which over 600 people are buried.


Originally, patients who died at the hospital and who were not 'taken home' by their families were buried in the churchyard. In the 1930s, with the churchyard filling up, it was decided that the hospital should have its own cemetery and a field was allocated for this purpose. Later, the churchyard was extended and so the two graveyards became adjacent. There are few individual memorials in the hospital cemetery to mark the graves of the 600+ people buried here, and it is difficult to distinguish individual graves. The hospital authorities decided to stop using the cemetery for new burials in the late 1980s.