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Historic England Research Records

Royal Western Counties Hospital

Hob Uid: 1050792
Location :
Devon
Teignbridge
Starcross
Grid Ref : SX9760081600
Summary : The Royal Western Counties Hospital Starcross was built in 1874-1877 in Starcross in Kenton, Devon, and was designed by the architect J. W. Rowell. The building was originally constructed and known as the Western Counties Idiot Asylum. This institution was founded in 1864 at first in a house with two acres of land at Starcross which was rented from W. R. Courtenay, the 11th Earl of Devon. The institution housed 40 patients by 1870 and a larger building was needed which opened in 1877 and was able to house 60 boys and 40 girls. Additions to the building were added in 1886 and 1909 and a total of 1,451 patients were admitted by 1913. In 1914 the asylum was incorporated under the Companies Act and became known as the Western Counties Institution, Starcross. Patients became trained in skills such as carving, weaving and carpentry as part of their rehabilitative care. In 1948 with the advent of the National Health Service, the institution became absorbed into the NHS and merged into the Royal Western Counties Institution Hospital Group which coordinated all of the residential mental deficiency services. The institution came under the control of the Devon Area Health Authority in 1974 and the Exeter Health Authority from 1982. A national policy of transferring people with psychiatric problems and learning difficulties back into the community in 1986 marked the Royal Western Counties Hospital for closure. The building was demolished c.1990.
More information : The Royal Western Counties Hospital Starcross was built in 1874-1877 in Starcross in Kenton, Devon, and was designed by the architect J. W. Rowell. The building was originally constructed and known as the Western Counties Idiot Asylum. This institution was founded in 1864 at first in a house with two acres of land at Starcross which was rented from W. R. Courtenay, the 11th Earl of Devon. The institution housed 40 patients by 1870 and a larger building was needed which opened in 1877 and was able to house 60 boys and 40 girls. Additions to the building were added in 1886 and 1909 and a total of 1,451 patients were admitted by 1913.
In 1914 the asylum was incorporated under the Companies Act and became known as the Western Counties Institution, Starcross. Patients became trained in skills such as carving, weaving and carpentry as part of their rehabilitative care.
In 1948 with the advent of the National Health Service, the institution became absorbed into the NHS and merged into the Royal Western Counties Institution Hospital Group which coordinated all of the residential mental deficiency services. The institution came under the control of the Devon Area Health Authority in 1974 and the Exeter Health Authority from 1982.
A national policy of transferring people with psychiatric problems and learning difficulties back into the community in 1986 marked the Royal Western Counties Hospital for closure. The building was demolished c.1990. (1)

The National Grid Reference for the area in which the hospital was situated is: SX976816 (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : The National Archives, [Accessed 18-MAY-2012]
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:1250, 2008
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Monument Types:
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Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 100334
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 98 SE 46
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: HOSPITALS PROJECT
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: DISABILITY IN TIME AND PLACE
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31