Clerks Croft Hospital
off Workhouse Lane, Bletchingly, Surrey RH1 4LH
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1930 - 1981

Mental deficiency. Later, mental, then psychogeriatric.
In 1930, following implementation of the Local Government Act, 1929, control of the Godstone Union workhouse passed to Surrey County Council.

The U-shaped workhouse had been built in 1839 with a separate school block at the east of the site, to the north of the entrance.  By 1910 the workhouse had been extended and an infirmary and separate infectious diseases block added to the west.

The buildings became Clerks Croft Mental Deficiency Institution, with 200 beds for male patients.

In February 1939 the inmates - 159 low-grade men and boys - were transferred to Botleys Park Colony and the Institution became an annexe to Netherne Mental Hospital.

Structural alterations were made, and ward kitchens were built, as well as extra bathrooms and clinic rooms.  The three main buildings were redecorated internally and new furniture provided, making the annexe much more comfortable.

The eastern block accommodated 40 male mental patients from Netherne, who arrived in May 1940, while the western block and Villa A housed 100 female patients who arrived the following month.

The nursing staff consisted of an Officer-in-Charge and 12 female and 8 male nurses.  In September 1940 a further 20 male and 20 female patients arrived.

The gardens were large enough to provide plenty of opportunity for the patients to take exercise or to work.

The annexe joined the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Netherne Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  It was renamed Clerks Croft Hospital.

In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital remained an annexe of Netherne Hospital, under the administration of the East Surrey District Health Authority, part of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority.  It cared mainly for elderly severely mentally infirm patients, some with dementia.  It had 90 beds.  Its Day Centre had 60 places for the elderly severely mentally ill.

Despite the shortage of beds for psychogeriatric patients, the Hospital closed in 1981.

Present status (May 2012)

The site was sold for £1,000,000 to Whelan Homes Ltd of Purley for redevelopment in December 1983.  The buildings were demolished and the site redeveloped in 1985.  It is now occupied by the Clerks Croft housing estate, which contains some 30 houses.  Workhouse Lane has been renamed Church Lane.

Clerks Croft
The entrance drive to Clerks Croft off Church Lane.

Clerks Croft

The site has been completely redeveloped (above and below).

Clerks Croft

Clerks Croft

Clerks Croft
Clerks Croft borders on farmland and  Bletchingly Golf Club.

References (Accessed 2nd August 2017)

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com (2)
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com (3)
www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk (1)
www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk (2)
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