All Saints Hospital

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All Saints Hospital
Established 1845
Construction Began 1847
Opened 1850
Closed 2001
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Corridor Plan
Architect(s) D. R. Hill
Location Winson Green
Alternate Names
  • Birmingham Borough Asylum
  • Winson Green Asylum



History

Prior to the opening of All Saints Mental Asylum (sometimes known as Winson Green Asylum) there was no provision for the treatment or upkeep of people with mental illnesses. Most would have been kept in the local workhouse infirmary. However, the rapid increase in the population of Birmingham in the first half of the 19th Century brought with it is associated social problems, and the population of Birmingham soon outgrew the workhouse Infirmary. This began to change with the 1845 Act to amend the laws for the regulation and provision of Lunatic Asylums. This required boroughs to provide asylums and receive patients at a weekly charge not exceeding 14 shillings.

Birmingham Borough Council appointed a Lunatic Asylum Committee on 10 November 1845. In 1847 land adjacent to Winson Green Gaol was purchased to provide the site for an institution to house 300 pauper lunatics. In June 1850 the first patients were received from the surrounding parishes. The building underwent continual expansion in the following years and additional land was purchased increasing the site from the original 20 acres to approximately 48 acres in 1866. In 1893 the Commissioners in Lunacy said Winson Green should be given up and a new asylum built elsewhere, as it is impossible to build any further extensions on the already overcrowded site. However All Saints Hospital stayed open, and by 1953 was housing 1,200 patients. To ease the overcrowding, annexes were added. The hospital closed in 2001 and is now used by the prison.