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Report - St Augustine Asylum January 2016

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by nashgashurbex, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. nashgashurbex

    nashgashurbex 28DL Full Member
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    History.....
    When it became clear in the early 1870's that the Kent County Asylum at Barming Heath, Maidstone, was no longer large enough to accommodate all the county's pauper lunatics, a search began for a site for a second county asylum as the 1845 Lunacy Act had made it obligatory to provide asylums. A 120-acre (49 ha) site on Chartham Downs three miles south-west of Canterbury chosen. It satisfied the requirements set down by the Commissioners in Lunacy: a site on elevated ground with cheerful prospects and enough space to provide employment and recreation for inmates while preventing them being overlooked or disturbed by strangers. It was also conveniently close to a railway station and situated centrally in its catchment area and not too far from the nearest large town.

    The competition for the design of the buildings was won by the London firm of architects J. Giles and Gough. John Giles was one of the most successful asylum architects, winning eight of the sixteen competitions he entered and coming second in four. The buildings were completed in 1876 at a total cost of £211,852. Originally built to house 870 patients, the hospital gradually expanded and by 1948 had 300 acres, including a farm, and 73 staff residences, as well as new blocks and facilities for patients. Eventually there would be 2,000 patients.

    Although the initial building programme was not completed until 1876, the first patients, all of them pauper lunatics from the Kent County Asylum at Barming Heath, had been able to move in the previous year. The first medical superintendent was Robert Spencer. The asylum was originally managed by a committee of quarter sessions, with responsibility passing to Kent county council in 1889. In 1920 Kent County Mental Hospitals Committee took over the management and the asylum was renamed Kent County Mental Hospital, Chartham. The hospital became a self-contained village, with its own farm, workshops, baker, butcher, fire-brigade, church, graveyard, gasworks, cricket team, band, etc. Male patients worked on the farm, while female patients worked in the laundry or as seamstresses.

    During the first world war, the asylum took in patients from other parts of the country, when their hospitals were being used for military casualties. After the end of the war they had a number of service patients (there were 37 in 1922), ex-servicemen who had special privileges. During the second world war, part of the hospital was taken over by the Emergency Medical Service for military use.
    St Augustine's Hospital was closed in 1993 as part of the community care programme. In 1997 development of the site for housing was begun. A few of the hospital buildings, including the administration block, the water tower, and the chapel, were retained but the rest were demolished. Although Canterbury city council suggested that "a change of name would help in creating a new sense of identity", the site is known as St Augustine's Estate.

    The Explore....

    This wasn't my first choice but as the first was a no go me and a couple of pals went to check this out only because they had not done it yet so it was a win win really. Only managed one building as we didn't have long as we had work in the morning. Hope you enjoy my photos...[​IMG]
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    #1 nashgashurbex, Jan 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016

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  2. Bolts

    Bolts 28DL Regular User
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    I see you finally managed to upload those pics...
     
    #2 Bolts, Jan 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  3. nashgashurbex

    nashgashurbex 28DL Full Member
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    Yh I used photobucket this time lol
     
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice one. Can you delete all the spammy Wikipedia links as well please.
     
  5. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    So all the problems were due to the Watermark then ;)
     
  6. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    And there are the pics..glad you worked it out
     
  7. nashgashurbex

    nashgashurbex 28DL Full Member
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    All done thanks for the comment peeps hope to bring more to the forum
     
    Oxygen Thief likes this.
  8. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Nice one, thanks for keeping with it.
     
  9. dawie

    dawie 28DL Full Member
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    Amazing, just suggested this one to my group. Thank you
     
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