Asylums & Mental Health

Old Herts


Subject Index 

As you may have noticed this web site is in memory of my daughters Lucy and Belinda and it is not surprising that various aspects of mental health in Hertfordshire are covered on this web site.

Early Mad Houses in St Albans and Harpenden starts with the lunatic astlum founded by Nathaniel Cotton in the mid 18th century. It then describes history of the asylum started by John Rumball in St Stephens in 1812 which later mover to Oster Hills, St Albans, and then to The Hall, Harpenden. There are biographies of some of the Harpenden Hall patients

When the Unions were formed in 1837 it affected the arrangement for pauper lunatics and the position is described in the newspaper report that appeared in the Hertfordshire Mercury of 17th January, 1837. This describes the costs of keeping lunatics in private asylums of 10s a week and arrangement to send more Hertfordshire lunatics to the Bedford Asylum for 7s a week. The arrangement lead to the building of the Three Counties Asylum at Stotford, on the Hertfordshire Bedfordshire border in 1866.

In 1882 work started on a number of long stay psychiatric hospital in the St Albans areas - many were for patients from London although Hill End Hospital was for Hertfordshire patients. Napsbury Hospital became a military Hospital during the First World War, All these hospitals are now closed, although there are some more modern facilities on the site of Harperbury Hospital. 

There is a special page on the Hill End Garden of Rest.


See also

A Place in the Country - Three Counties Asylum 1860-1999

This website is dedicated to my daughters Lucy (1964-85) and Belinda (1966-2001) with donations going to Mind for the help and support they provided at the time.


Give for better Mental Health in Hertfordshire

[click on the picture]

August 2017   Page created