Wonford House Hospital

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Wonford House Hospital

Opened 1801/1869 (Second location)
Current Status Active
Building Style Corridor Plan
Architect(s) WF Cross
Location Exeter
Alternate Names
  • Bowhill House
  • St Thomas’ Hospital


The foundation of this mental hospital originated from a bequest of £200 in 1795 to build a lunatic ward at the Devon and Exeter Hospital. It was agreed to add this sum to further funds made available through Bishop Buller of Exeter in order to build a separate lunatic asylum and, following further subscriptions from other philanthropic sources, this was opened as the St Thomas Hospital for Lunatics in 1801. Lack of space resulted in a move to new premises at Wonford House, Heavitree, in 1869. The building, nowadays used in psychiatric nursing and counseling, still stands beside the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Wonford.