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Description: Administrative, Ward and Service Ranges to Stone House Hospital, Built As the City of London Asylum
Date Listed: 17 March 1982
English Heritage Building ID: 172697
OS Grid Reference: TQ5613274158
OS Grid Coordinates: 556132, 174158
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4449, 0.2453
Explore more of the area around Stone, Kent at Explore Britain.
989/4/63 COTTON LANE
17-MAR-1982 (West side)
Administrative, ward and service range
s to Stone House Hospital, built as th
e City of London asylum
(Formerly listed as:
MAIN FRONT BLOCK TO STONE HOUSE HOSPIT
Main T-shaped block with quadrant corridors linking to former laundry and workshop blocks of 1866 with some extensions of 1887-9 including enlarged female infirmary of c.1902 to the south east, these all ranges of the former City of London pauper lunatic asylum, later Stone House Hospital. Architects of each phase was the serving City of London Surveyor at that time: J B Bunning was responsible for the original design and layout; Andrew Murray FRIBA for the c.1900 additions. Mainly of 2 storeys, with a 3-storey central block.
MATERIALS: Yellow brick with white brick dressings, and red brick later-C19 extensions. Tudorbethan style. Mainly timber sash windows. Slate roofs, mostly hipped and with gables. Stock brick chimneys, corbelled and with paired shafts.
PLAN: Central administration block running north-south flanked by long wings punctuated with slightly projecting central sections and terminating in infirmary blocks. Female infirmary extends to south east; quadrant corridors to north side link with former workshops and superintendent's house to east and laundry and other service ranges to west. Airing shed is set within landscaped grounds to south. Separately listed chapel is due north of site.
EXTERIOR: Facing north, the advanced administration block has a pair of 2-storey canted bays with sash windows and stone dressings and under pediments flanking the central entrance with hood moulded transom over shallow pointed arch door. Above this is a first floor sash then a pediment holding clock set in stone above the Corporation arms, these added c.1900. Set back from this is a tall belfry.
Facing south is the long garden front with taller central section of prominent hall with flanking 3-storey wings of 2 bays then lower 2-storey wings. Main block has slightly advanced central gable and first floor wide perpendicular traceried window under stone quatrefoil; at ground floor a square window with hood mould and 2-tiered mullioned and transomed casements. Single bays to each side and to the return have similar windows. The 3-storey wings have mullioned windows with drip mouldings. The lower wings have central and end advanced sections with canted bay windows as at north front; that to far east end has a tall flèche with copper spire. Mid-C20 single storey extension to this end. Beyond this a single storey range with sash windows set in stone quoined surrounds. Prominent chimneys, some with paired and corbelled stacks define the hipped and gabled roof line.
Extending to west end is the c.1900 female infirmary. This is single storey with hipped tiled roofs, 6-pane over single pane sashes with stone chamfered lintels and cills, and similar chimneys, some with stone shoulders to the chimney breast. There is a wide octagonal belfry with acute spire and upper stage lancets. Some C20 window replacement and low later-C20 extensions which are not of special interest as well as some 1923 extensions to the west.
Visible from both sides is the landmark ventilation shaft, containing a smoke shaft as well as extraction shafts. This feature is brick with stone dressings to arrow-slits and has a corbelled and battlemented head.
Attached by quadrant link, which is partly glazed, to the north-west are a series of laundry ranges with stone coped gables that have a ball finial and stone dressed oculus. Behind this run the raised glazed ridge lanterns. Doors and windows have stone quoined surrounds as on the main block. Again there are a number of small multi-pane sash windows on the 2-storey elevation and similar corbelled paired chimneys and stone dressings to gables. 1920s laundry range.
Attached by quadrant link to the north-east of the site is a 2-storey range with typical chimneys, windows and canted bays all with stone dressings, and the former bakery with tall plain brick chimney and stone pointed archway flanked by brick piers leading to the yard. There have been a number of later-C20 alterations to windows here and to the adjoining building. Through here is access to the north side of the ward range where there are still decorative details in the stone window cills and flat yellow brick arches, the paired and corbelled chimneys, and the stone coped gables with stone dressings. There are a number of sash windows, some very tall and narrow and with multiple small panes with thick mullions. The quadrant links have pitched tile roofs and slender cast iron columns supporting the open-air walkways with brick wall rear. Superintendent's house was extended c.1912 and later in the C20 although it retains the original similar detailing and stone framed bay windows.
INTERIOR: Main block facing south contains the most impressive interiors. At ground floor is the dining room with minstrel gallery on deep brackets. The ceiling has moulded beams and there are full height stacked windows with shallow pointed arches to south and both returns. Similar blind openings within room, over doors and housing the two commemorative panels. To east, marble with red surround records that the City of London Mental Hospital was restored and enlarged 1897-1900 and lists the names of the committee. That to west is from the first period of build, including the names of those on the committee 1862-66, set within a moulded surround. Gallery balustrade has pointed arch openings. Behind this is a kitchen, much modernised, but with corbels at base of roof structure exposed.
The first floor contains the former chapel, later entertainment room. This has a medieval hall atmosphere with a grand hammer beam room structure springing from moulded corbels and with similar timber pendants. Room includes a deep raised stage that abuts the ventilation shaft, and a smaller stage with shallow Tudor arch opening. This held the screen for film projection, and the mid-C20 film projection equipment survives in a small upper room. There are a number of blind and real windows set within pointed arched frames.
Administration block facing north contains first floor rooms with C19 simple marble fireplaces, some with Corporation crests, linen closet, stick baluster stair leads from ground floor corridor, which has been much modernised. Interior of wards have been much modernised, but some south facing day rooms are readable, as well as a few private rooms. Quadrant corridors still readable internally. There are some partitions and doors with shallow pointed arch motifs, some with margin lights, and elliptical arches into the south-facing canted bay windows. Room at base of ventilation shaft has king post timber roof structure; the interior of the brick lined shaft has a metal ladder stair. No apparent survival of the Turkish baths in basement.
SUBSIDIARY ITEMS: Airing shed within grounds to south, mid-way along the west wing of the main block. This is aligned north-south and, along with mature trees, is the key surviving element of the original designed landscape. It somewhat resembles a cartshed, but closer inspection reveals that both sides are open, providing separate bench accommodation on either side of a boarded partition. It has a hipped tiled roof, with low overhanging eaves on the two long sides, these covering the seating areas and supported by timber posts with raking struts; the short ends have waney edge weather-boarding below the hip.
HISTORY: The passing of the Lunatic Asylums Act in 1853 led the Corporation of London to consider the location and design of further accommodation to take care of the unstable and mentally ill elements of its populace. James Bunning, Surveyor to the City of London and designer of Holloway Prison, was responsible for the design and the earliest drawings date from 1859. The asylum was formally opened on 16th April 1866. It acommodated 250 patients and The Builder commented on the site's commanding view of the surrounding country and the spacious grounds of the site. The institution adopted the favoured Tudorbethan style of the period and was laid out on the 'corridor' principle rather than the competing 'pavilion' principle. Since asylums were always separated by sex in this period, the male wing was to the east and the female wing to the west. Behind there were the laundry and workshop blocks, and a 107-acre Stone House Farm was acquired in 1887.
Significant alterations took place in the period of modernisation and extension in 1897-1903. Andrews Murray FRIBA, the City's surveyor in this period, designed the new chapel and converted the former chapel on the upper floor of the main block into a theatre, expanded the male infirmary, considerably enlarged the female infirmary, rebuilt the laundry and boiler house as well as the mortuary. The mortuary has a cross plan and timber sash windows, some with cusped heads. An E-plan 2-storey Nurses Home added to the south west of the site in 1909, this similarly detailed to the rest of the hospital but more domestic in character. A new female hospital was built in 1923 to the designs of Sydney Perks, Surveyor to the City at that time.
The site was renamed the City of London Mental Hospital in 1924 and passed to the National Health Service in 1946.
Stone House Hospital, Cotton Lane, Stone, Kent: Former City of London Pauper Lunatic Asylum. Roger Bowdler, 25 June 1997.
Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, English Hospitals 1660-1948, 1998.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The attached administrative, ward and service ranges of the former City of London pauper lunatic asylum, now Stone House Hospital. The complex is impressive for its survival, of both the 1866 range by J B Bunning and the 1897-1901 extensions, each phase designed by the City of London Surveyor of the time. The overall style is an imposing Tudorbethan that was favoured for Victorian institutional buildings and it is executed here with attractive brickwork, corbelled chimneys, stone dressings, and with particularly grand north and south fronts offset by the battlemented ventilation tower. The wards and service ranges are, not surprisingly, less decorated, but they are still well constructed and form an important part of this historically significant complex, built for the City of London in well landscaped grounds and on high land outside the capital. The flint and stone chapel is listed separately at Grade II and the whole complex forms a good group.
Listing NGR: TQ5613574146
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.