Mapping the location, design and decline of London's psychiatric asylums (1831–2012)

2015-07-06T16:47:39Z (GMT) by R. Daniel Jacobson

This research analyses the location of psychiatric hospitals, previously known as ‘mental asylums’ built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in London, UK. Twenty of the largest facilities are geo-referenced using a mixed-methods approach including the use of archival documents, historical Ordnance Survey mapping, and a variety of recent digital datasets. The hospital locations are plotted on Ordnance Survey© [2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013, from] Meridian™2 vector data. Inset maps provide comparative mapping of historic and current hospital sites using historic Ordnance Survey©, and recent Google™ Satellite data. Two of the largest former asylums of the ‘Epsom Cluster’ are explored in detail, Long Grove Hospital and West Park Hospital. Architectural design details and on-site photographs from 2007 and 2011 are used to demonstrate changes to luxury housing and of hospital decay. Of the 20 hospital sites mapped, 14 were converted into luxury housing, while only 2 remain as mental health facilities.