Mental health in the city: the Wonford Mental Hospital

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Mental health in the city: the Wonford Mental Hospital

This building illustrates the grand scale on which mental health was tackled in the Victorian period. The hospital, the successor to the Asylum for the Insane of 1801 at Bowhill House in St Thomas, served both the city and a wide area beyond. Designed by W.F. Cross and opened in Dryden Road in 1869, it could accommodate 120 patients, paid for by private subscription. This restricted its intake to the upper and middle classes only.

The building, nowadays used in psychiatric nursing and counselling, still stands beside the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Wonford.

Acknowledgments: Westcountry Studies Library