rauceby virtual asylum | facts and trivia
Last update: 08|08|04
rauceby virtual asylum

Administration Block

  • Kesteven County Council and the Borough of Grantham applied to the Secretary of State to be united for the purposes of the Lunacy Act (1890) on the 31st January 1894. This was so they could set up their own asylum.

  • A Visiting Committee was established in May 1894.

  • Ownership of the existing Bracebridge Heath was settled by arbitration in 1896 (later to become St. John's Hospital).

  • The old workhouse at Grantham was leased for conversion to a temporary Kesteven and Grantham District Asylum.

  • Grantham withdrew from the deal in 1896.

  • The temporary Kesteven County Asylum opened in January 1897 (presumably in Grantham).

  • GT Hine was employeed as architect and started drawing up plans in 1897. The hospital was based on his first primitive echelon pattern (as used at Claybury Asylum and Hill End Asylum).

  • The new hospital was opened in June 1902 for 490 patients.

  • The total building cost was 72,000.

  • The wards are named after trees (male side) and flowers (female side).

  • In 1924, the institution was renamed Kesteven Mental Hospital.

  • By April 1933, the Visiting Committe was merged with the Visiting Committees of the Borough of Grantham and the Soke of Peterborough County Council to form a Joint Visiting Committee. This administered the newly renamed Rauceby Mental Hospital.

  • Peterborough withdrew in 1937.

  • The hospital was taken over by the RAF in June 1940 as No.4 RAF Hospital Rauceby - a Crash and Burns Unit for the pilots in Lincolnshire. Exising patients were transfered to neighbouring institutions. RAF Cranwell's medical unit ran the hospital.

  • Pioneering plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe worked there and many of his patients became members of the famous Guinea Pig Club.

  • The subway tunnels were so clean that they were used as temporary wards.

  • The RAF left in July 1947 after burning down the main hall. It was rebuilt and the hospital refurbished.

  • In 1948, the hospital passed to the National Health Service.

  • It was renamed Rauceby Hospital.

  • By 1956, all the transferred patients had finally returned.

  • The hot summer of 1976 caused subsidence of the Administration Block, Water Tower and Chapel. The later was particularly badly affected with the floor by the alter cracking into two. Therefore the alter was propped up on a wooden platform to keep it level.

  • In the mid-1980s, a small Chapel was built in the hospital, and the original Chapel was used for storage.

  • There are two grave yards, separated by a farm track, opposite the old staff houses to the rear of the hopsital. Most of the stones were moved to the side of the yard in the 1960s to allow a power mower free access, but some markers bearing numbered brass crosses still exist. The League Of Friends Of Rauceby Hospital set up a project for RAF Cranwell cadets to restore the cemeteries - but it's on hold at the moment.

  • Child murderer Beverly Allitt once visited the ballroom - she was based at Lincolnshire.

  • The hospital closed in 1997 and stood unused for several years.

  • It was featured on Restoration Nation (BBC4, 2004) as a showcase of these types of building and what happens to them when they fall into disuse.

  • David Wilson Home purchased the site from Inventures in 2003. Re-development started in 2004 after the newts and bats were collected and relocated.

  • The main hospital building is being redeveloped in 2004/5 as a new housing. The Chapel is going to be converted into a resturant.

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