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Historic England Research Records

The Retreat

Hob Uid: 534980
Location :
York
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SE6158550961
Summary : The Retreat is a psychiatric hospital built in 1793-97 in York that was designed by the architect John Bevans. It was established by William Tuke, a Quaker, and it remains a Quaker organisation to this day. The hospital was extended in 1800-30 and further extensions and alterations were carried out in the later 19th century and the 20th century. It was modernised circa 1960.Constructed from orange-cream brick, the building has stone sills and flat arches of orange brick to all windows. There are moulded stone cornices to all parts and hipped slate roofs with brick stacks. The entrance façade has a three-storey, five-bay centre block between three-storey, six-bay ranges with two-storey projecting wings at each end. The left wing has been partly rebuilt, while the right wing is of six bays. The central block has a central, pedimented doorcase with Tuscan columns and entablature, a panel door and a radial, glazed fanlight in a round-headed architrave. The ground and first floor windows of the centre block and flanking ranges are twelve-pane sashes whereas on the second floor, they are unequal nine-pane sashes. In the end wings, some windows have been altered to fit doors, and as well as sash windows there are stone-mullioned tripartite windows. Some original windows survive, while others have been replaced, some with casements.Today (2011), the Retreat is described as a 'specialist mental health care provider'.
More information : The Retreat was opened in 1796 in Heslington Road, York and was designed by an architect unknown at the time of this record’s amendment. The Retreat was opened by William Tuke, a Quaker and retired tea merchant and was originally supposed to be an environment where The Society of Friends (Quakers) who were experienced mental distress could come to recuperate. Tuke decided to found the institution after Hannah Mills, a Leeds Quaker, died in the squalid and inhumane conditions in the York Asylum. The Retreat back then, and today, has had a central role in the history of psychiatry. The institution’s approach to psychiatric care differed greatly from the often inhumane treatment of patients in psychiatric hospitals throughout England. Care at The Retreat was based on the Quaker belief that there is ‘that of God’ is everyone regardless of mental or emotional disturbance and based their practice on ‘moral treatment’.
The present day Retreat aims to retain these original principles and still retains its strong Quaker ethos. (1)

The Retreat Hospital is a grade II listed building. For further details on the designation see the statutory data. (2)

The Retreat is constructed from orange-cream brick, the building has stone sills and flat arches of orange brick to all windows. There are moulded stone cornices to all parts and hipped slate roofs with brick stacks. The entrance façade has a three-storey, five-bay centre block between three-storey, six-bay ranges with two-storey projecting wings at each end. The left wing has been partly rebuilt, while the right wing is of six bays. The central block has a central, pedimented doorcase with Tuscan columns and entablature, a panel door and a radial, glazed fanlight in a round-headed architrave. The ground and first floor windows of the centre block and flanking ranges are twelve-pane sashes whereas on the second floor, they are unequal nine-pane sashes. In the end wings, some windows have been altered to fit doors, and as well as sash windows there are stone-mullioned tripartite windows. Some original windows survive, while others have been replaced, some with casements.
At the time of amending this record in 2012, access to information on the designation noted in source 2 above is available via the National Heritage List for England. (3)

The National Grid Reference for the building is: SE6158550961 (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : The Retreat, 2011, [Accessed 25-MAR-2012]
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Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : York, 14-Mar-1997
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Source Number : 3
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : The National Heritage List for England, The Retreat Hospital, [Accessed 25-MAR-2012]
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:1250, 2008
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 60269
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 463576
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1257679
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 65 SW 281
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 58203
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 535502
Relationship type :

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