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Monument record MDR12307 - County Lunatic Asylum (site of), Burnaston

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

White's Directory of 1857 records the following: 'The Derbyshire County Lunatic Asylum, situated in the parish of Mickleover, three miles west-south-west of Derby, is a handsome Elizabethan brick building with stone quoins, and the windows have stone dressings and mullions, erected in 1850-51. The total cost of the land (79 acres), building, furniture, etc. was £98,396 16s. 3d. It is approached from the Uttoxeter road by a pleasant lane in which at the north-east angle of the estate are the entrance gates with a lodge attached; a carriage drive, with turfed slopes, leads from these gates past the eastern front and along the south terrace, which stretches across the property from east to west, to the chief entrance in the centre of the southern or principal front, the drive being continued forward to the farm, which is also approached by a back road from the entrance lodge which, skirting a plantation (about four acres) to the north, also affords access to the offices and back premises of the establishment; a kitchen-garden (containing about five acres) surrounds the building on the north, east and west sides. The site of the building and exercise gardens covers a space of five and a half acres. The internal arrangements of the building are such as cannot be found in any other similar establishment; it is the first in which a recreation-hall has been included, in which there have been provided private corridors of communication to all the wards, in which the cheerfulness, comfort and warmth of the patients' galleries and airing grounds have been made an entirely primary consideration, and in which a complete system of ventilation by means of shafts has been attempted and carried out with success. It is calculated to accommodate 300 patients, and is divided into twelve wards, replete with every convenience, including a reception room, visitors' room, dining rooms, committee room, dispensary, two kitchens, above which are the chapel and recreation-hall, work rooms, laundry, general wash house, foul-linen wash house, bed picking and upholstery room, tailors' shop, and shoemakers' shop, beyond which is the engine house, containing a steam-engine of fifteen horse power, which is used for the pumping of water and the driving of the washing and brewing machinery. Below the engine house is the well, 103ft deep, having, when at rest, 53ft of water. Adjoining the well is a soft water feeder, communicating with two tanks capable of containing 122,000 gallons of water. To the east of the engine house is the plumbers' shop, next which is the brewhouse, and beyond the brewhouse is the bakehouse, with large oven and flour store attached. At the top of the four towers at the angles of the principal front are four water tanks, capable of holding 10,000 gallons of water, and the roof of that portion of the building which contains the chapel is surmounted by a clock-turret, having a clock which strikes the hours and quarters, and has four dials. Outside the gates, a little to the north, are the gas-works, consisting of a gas holder 31 ft in diameter, and six retorts, from which the whole of the establishment is lighted. The farm establishment, lying west of the building, consists of the steward's house, with a bailiff's house adjoining, beyond the bailiff's house is the farm yard surrounded by the required buildings; a stack yard is at the back of the farm buildings, beyond which, in the extreme north-west angle, is the burial ground, surrounded by a dwarf wall. In the burial ground is a small chapel; also a mortuary, fitted with a table and other necessary appointments. Since the opening of the Asylum, on the 21st August 1851, 158 patients have been admitted, and 35 discharged. There are now 123 patients in the house, viz 66 men and 57 women. (1) The asylum is shown on the 1st ed. 25" OS map of c. 1880 standing in landscaped grounds surrounded by trees. The chapel [see SMR 17617] was on the east side of the grounds, the burial ground and 'Dead House' were at the westernmost end of the complex. There was an entrance lodge on the north side. (2) A number of additional buildings had been constructed by the end of the 19th century. (3) The extent to which the Asylum had expanded is indicated by a description in 1895, which noted that 'The internal arrangements have been made with a full consideration for the comfort and health of the inmates in every respect, and this asylum is regarded as a model of what such institutions should be. There is accommodation for 464 patients, and there are 460 at present in the house'. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: White, F & Co.. 1857. History, Gazetteer & Directory of the County of Derby. pp 80-81.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p 780.



Grid reference Centred SK 2970 3310 (508m by 513m)

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Record last edited

Jan 26 2024 9:59PM

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