Wood End House
Grange (now Wood End) Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2RJ
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1848 - ? 1905

Mental (Licensed House)
In 1848 Wood End House was purchased by Dr George James Stilwell, and the 12 female patients at his private asylum in Moorcroft House were transferred there.   (N.B.  The name Stilwell is occasionally spelled Stillwell in some published documents.)

The new asylum was licensed to Dr Stilwell, Dr John Conolly (of the Hanwell Asylum) and Mrs Benbow.  The patients were of the middle and higher classes.  Miss C. Dence, the Lady Superintendent, was in residence, assisted by a ladies' companion.

Wood End House - listed variously also as Woodend House, Wood End Grove and Woodend Grove - was a 3-storey mansion with an office, a stable yard and pleasure gardens.  On the west side was a walled garden for fruit and vegetables.  (The house was eventually extended, with an extra storey added on the western side and, later, a north wing.)

In 1859 the asylum had 16 patients.  It was licensed to Dr John Conolly, who had become consulting physician to Moorcroft House in 1853, and Mrs Fenton, the Lady Superintendent.

By the 1860s the asylum was licensed for 19 female patients to Dr George James Stilwell.  Following his death in 1867, Dr James Stilwell took over the medical care of the patients, while Mrs Fenton undertook the superintendence and management of the asylum.

After Dr James Stilwell's death in 1870, the license was taken over by Dr Henry Stilwell and Mrs Spence.  In 1874 there were 18 patients.

In 1882 the Lunacy Commissioners found the establishment to be comfortably furnished and in good order.  Dr Henry Stilwell lived nearby and visited almost daily.  There were 17 patients, of whom 9 were Chancery cases.  The weekly charge for each patient varied from 3 to 5 guineas (£3.15 to £5.25).  An efficient Lady Superintendent was in residence, and was assisted by a ladies' companion.  Many amusements were organised for the patients; they could enjoy the well-kept garden, some drove out on carriage rides and some even visited places of public entertainment in London.

In 1884 the asylum was licensed to Dr Henry Stilwell and Mrs M.E. Rowes.

It closed around 1905.

Present status (April 2011)

The property became a psychiatric nursing home until the early 1950s.  From 1954 until 1960 it was used to accommodate the Parks and Public Health Departments of the Hayes and Harlington Urban District Council.

Wood End House was declared unsafe and was demolished in 1961.  Its site is now occupied by the Hayes Botanic Gardens, renamed the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens in 1993.

In 1975 the old walled garden of the House was destroyed in the course of road improvements.

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens
The Wood End entrance to the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens.

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens
In 1993 the park was named after Norman Leddy, the Assistant Director of Parks, who died shortly after he left the Council.

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens

The southern part of the garden (above and below).

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens
The eastern side.

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens
The northeastern part.

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens
The garden in the north.

Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens
Night Time Scene - a yew tree sculpture by Tom 'Carver' Harvey.

References (Accessed 7th October 2016)

(Author unstated) 1854 The British Medical Directory for England, Scotland, and Wales.  London, British Medical Directory Office.

(Author unstated) 1873 The Local Government Officers' Almanac and Guide.  London, Knights.

(Author unstated) 1882  Thirty-sixth Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy to the Lord Chancellor, Vol. 32.  London, House of Commons.

Cole RH 1908 A short account of Moorcroft, past and present.  Journal of Mental Science 54, 181-186.

Parry Jones WLl 2007 The Trade in Lunacy: a Study of Private Madhouses in England in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Abingdon, Routledge.

Scull AT 1989 Social Order/Mental Disorder: Anglo-American Psychiatry in Historical Perspective.  Berkeley, University of California Press.

Sub-Committee of the Medico-Psychological Association 1884  Appendix. In: Handbook for the Instruction of Attendants on the Insane.  London, Bailliere, Tindall & Cox.

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