Central Hospital

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Central Hospital
Construction Began 1846
Opened 1852
Closed 1995
Current Status Preserved (Partially)
Building Style Corridor Plan
Architect(s) J. Harris & F.J. Francis
Location Hatton
Alternate Names
  • Warwick County Lunatic Asylum
  • Hatton Asylum
  • Warwick County Mental Hospital


Building of the asylum began in 1846 on a 42 acre site purchased from the Earl of Warwick and was completed in 1852. The first patients moved in on 30th June 1852, the building was a classic Victorian asylum built on a grand scale in the Gothic style. Eventually gaining over 377 acres of land, the hospital patients provided most of their own food from three farms in the grounds and a spring supplied it with water. Many of the staff lived there too and it became more like a village than a hospital. It had its own sports pitches one being a magnificent cricket ground on the south side of the main gates. There was a coffin maker, hence the number of unconsecrated plots dotted around the site and a chapel that was completed in 1862.

Mentally ill patients were subjected to amongst other things electric shock treatment. However compared to poor houses and other asylums such as Bedlam, the asylum, which between 1930 - 1948 was known as the Warwickshire County Mental Hospital treated their patients quite kindly, with parties and drama productions regularly held by and for the patients who were allowed a lot of freedom within the hospital grounds.

In the early 1970's the institution was severely overcrowded, there were many wartime patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. Others with minor mental illness had been left there and forgotten by families and the outside world. A government investigation eventually reduced numbers to a more reasonable level. However, the hospital was officially closed on 31st July 1995 after it was decided a more modern and less imposing building was needed. The development of Hatton Park was then started. The Central Hospital building along with the King Edward V11 Memorial Chest Hospital building situated further up Hertford Hill, were retained by the developers. These along with the original doctor's houses and the former hospital Lodge give the Park its mix of beautiful old and new buildings which today provide over 750 homes.