Powick Hospital

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Powick Hospital
Established 1847
Construction Began 1849
Opened 1852
Closed 1989
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Corridor Plan
Architect(s) John R. Hamilton & James Medland
Location Malvern Hills
Alternate Names
  • Powick Lunatic Asylum
  • Powick Mental Hospital


Formerly known as the Worcester County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum, Powick Hospital was founded in 1847 under the supervision of architects John R. Hamilton & James Medland of Gloucester and opened in the August of 1852. Situated between Worcester and Malvern in an estate of approximately 46 acres just outside the village of Powick, the asylum was originally erected for the accommodation of 200 patients but was later extended and by 1858 had 365 patients.

The asylum also had a variety of workshops for various trades, a gas works, a farm, brewhouse, bakehouse and a chapel. The management of the asylum was carried on by a committee of visiting visitors. The treatment of the patients was carried out by a resident physician and qualified assistants. The hospital became notorious for its use of LSD as a treatment for illnesses such as severe depression and schizophrenia.

It was closed in 1989, bulldozed and redeveloped as a housing estate. The main building, however, was converted into flats and the Superintendent's Residence was converted to company offices.


The following is a film that was created back in 1968 by a leading British television documentary series "World in Action." This version was controversial due to its graphic exposure of elderly patients and conditions within Powick's F-13 ward, which was one of the hospital's back wards. (Warning: this video contains images some might find disturbing.)

  • Part 1:
  • Part 2: