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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Repton Park's Past
This plush estate and gym complex was formerly an asylum.
Location: Repton Park, Woodford Bridge
Description: This luxury housing complex today was originally Claybury Hospital, a mental asylum for the clinically insane.
Commissioned by the London County Council in the late nineteenth century, work began on Londons fifth mental hospital on October 1st 1887. Designed by landscape architect Sir Humphrey Repton, the hospital estate consisted of around 27 million bricks, 2,600 doors, 4,600 windows and 33 miles of water pipes.
After six years, the hospital finally opened its doors to patients on May 1883, where they were charged 30 shillings a week. Once full, it catered for 2,500 patients, and became one of the countrys pioneering mental health establishments.
It was the first asylum in the country to be home to a research building, specifically dedicated to finding new ways of improving ill mental health.
People who used to work at the hospital before it closed in 1997 are convinced they saw the ghosts of disturbed patients still roaming around the buildings. Even new residents have been wary of spooky goings on, with a mother and daughter moving out of the old juvenile hospital where a girl committed suicide because they were too 'freaked out'.