Belmont Hospital

1 Homeland Drive,  Sutton, Surrey SM2 5LY

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1940 - 1975

Mental (neurosis)

The buildings of Belmont Hospital were originally an orphanage, established in 1853 on Brighton Road, Sutton.  Then known as the South Metropolitan District Schools, they provided industrial training for 1500 poor children from Greenwich, Camberwell and Woolwich.

In 1882 the Schools acquired a site on Banstead Road (later renamed Cotswold Road) from the Sutton Lodge estate and a separate girls' school was established there.  It comprised six blocks, each with accommodation for 100 girls (these later became the Downs Hospital and some still survive today as part of the Sutton Hospital).

In 1902 the Schools closed and, in 1908, the buildings became the Belmont Workhouse.  Conditions were so harsh in the workhouse that, in 1910, 300 inmates rioted.

During WW1 the workhouse was used as a hospital for German prisoners of war, with 92 beds for officers, 1,175 for other ranks. It was also an internment camp with 90 beds for civilian enemy aliens awaiting repatriation.

After the war, in 1922, the buildings reverted to being a workhouse for unemployed men and was renamed the London Industrial Colony.  Conditions remained very poor - the buildings were said to be filthy and rat-infested.

In 1930 the Industrial Colony was taken over by the LCC and became a training centre for the unemployed.

During WW2 it became the Sutton Emergency Hospital.  It had been feared that there would be mass hysteria at the beginning of the war, so it was designated a neurosis unit - the Sutton Neurosis Centre.  However, the fears proved unfounded and the Hospital was used to treat trauma patients and war casualties. Over the war years the distinctive buildings, being quite noticeable from the air, sustained bomb damage.

In 1946 it was renamed the Belmont Hospital, specialising in psychiatric medicine.  

It remained an Emergency Hospital until July 1948, when it joined the NHS under the control of the St Helier Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board, as a treatment centre for general psychiatric conditions.

By the 1960s the Hospital, with 313 beds, had become the leading centre for the study and treatment of neuroses.

In 1965 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £29 16s 8d (£29.83), which decreased to £27 11s 8d (£27.58) in 1966.  The Hospital had 412 beds, of which 325 were staffed.

In 1969 the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board decided to replace the Hospital buildings as part of their long-term plans for psychiatric services.  

In 1970 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £41.16, increasing to £50.22 the following year.

Services were transferred to the Sutton Hospital nearby in 1975.  Its name lives on as the Belmont Postgraduate Psychiatric Centre in the Chiltern Wing of the Sutton Hospital.

Present status (August 2008)

The main blocks were demolished in 1980s.  The Henderson Hospital occupies a corner of the site but the area has been redeveloped for housing, especially on the south side.

  Belmont Pastures, a conservation area of 1.18 hectares of grassland, was once part of the site.

Belmont House, a residential care home belonging to Sutton and Merton PCT, is the current occupier of 1 Homeland Drive.   Henderson Hospital is just north of this, at 2 Homeland Drive.

Belmont House

Belmont House

Homeland Drive

The original entry to Homeland Drive

Dorset Road

Apartment blocks  in Dorset Road

Signage on house

Signage on Belmont House







Dorset Road

Sutton Ambulance Station in Dorset Road

new housing new housing

New housing on the south part of the fomer Hospital site

railway bridgebridge signage

In 1864-5 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company had built the Sutton to Epsom Downs line.  The bridge, which carried Homeland Drive over the railway tracks, was rebuilt in 1984.  The plaque on the bridge mentions the Belmont Hospital.  

Day CentreDay Centre

Sutton Lodge Day Centre

Nothing to do with the Belmont Hospital, this 18th century listed building in Brighton Road, once also part of the Sutton Lodge estate, was bought by Sutton Council in 1965 and opened as a Day Centre for the elderly in 1966.


(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospital treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.




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