Mapperley Hospital

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Mapperley Hospital
Construction Began 1875
Opened 1880
Closed 1994
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Corridor Plan
Architect(s) G.T. Hine
Location Nottingham
Alternate Names
  • Nottingham Borough Asylum


An 1875 report on the chosen site and Mapperley doubted (and rightly as the future showed) that accommodation for 200 patients would be enough as 133 patients were already boarded out elsewhere. The Commissioners in Lunacy would not approve the sites of less than 50 acres but agreed to one of 32 ½ acres when they were assured that the Counsel would not use the adjacent 20 acres without the consent of the Asylum Trustees or the Secretary of State. The Borough of Nottingham Lunatic Asylum opened (unfinished) on August 3rd, 1880, occupying 125 acres. It had its own farm, bakery and butchery, along with a church and recreation hall. It was designed by local architect George Thomas Hine, son of TC Hine, the designer of the Coppice Hospital. Previously, both Town and County patients were accommodated in Sneinton.

Initially, the hospital was built for 300 patients, but was constantly extended. The population of Nottingham increased from 40,415 in 1821 to 259,942 in 1911. In 1889 a new wing was added, but only 12 months later was found to be already overcrowded, with only 44 patients. In 1896, drawings were produced for further extensions to the wings and a further two storeys were added to the Male Epileptic Dormitory. The female wing was really being updated it was to have electricity installed.

In order to persuade the Asylum Committee to consider electric lighting throughout the hospital, Hine encouraged them to visit the Dorsetshire County Asylum in 1900, part of which he had designed. Here, they were surprised that none of the doors were locked, noting that this would hardly be safe at Mapperley. In fact, the locked door practice remained until the arrival of Dr. Duncan Macmillan, the medical supervisor from 1942 - 1966. He was famed for his policy of unlocking the wards to create an open hospital.

The hospital finally closed its doors to mentally ill patients in December 1994. The main buildings are now named Duncan Macmillan House.