Fulbourn Hospital

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Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Fulbourn Mental Hospital, Victoria House - geograph.org.uk - 64761.jpg
Location Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
Care system Public NHS
Hospital type Specialist
Affiliated university University of Cambridge
Emergency department No A&E(accident & emergency)
Speciality Psychiatric Hospital
Founded 1858
Website http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/
Lists Hospitals in England

Fulbourn Hospital, known as the County Pauper Lunatic Asylum for Cambridgeshire, the Isle of Ely and the Borough of Cambridge at the time of its opening in 1858, is a mental health facility located between the Cambridgeshire village of Fulbourn and the Cambridge city boundary at Cherry Hinton, about 5 miles (8 km) south-east of the city centre.

Until recently the main Victorian building was used as a psychiatric hospital, while the 1960s Kent House to the west was built for acute mental health patients and the Ida Darwin Hospital to the east was developed for the mentally handicapped. The main buildings have now been transformed into a Business Park although some acute facilities remain. From 540 patients at the hospitals in 1981 the number has been considerably reduced, with many ex-patients being moved into the community.

Wards at Fulbourn Hospital[edit]

Acute wards[edit]

  • Mulberry 1- 14-bed in-patient unit supporting adults aged 17–65.[1]
  • Mulberry 2 - 18 bed assessment, treatment, care and recovery unit for adults aged 17–66.[2]
  • Mulberry 3- 16-bed recovery unit for adults aged 17–65.[3]

Specialist wards[edit]

Forensic services[edit]

  • George McKenzie House - Low security ward for people whose condition makes it difficult for them to be nursed on open wards.[5]

Older peoples' services[edit]

  • Willow Ward - 20 beds for patients over 65 with long-term problems and those with acute functionality issues.[6]
  • Denbigh Ward - 18 beds for residents of Cambridgeshire over 65, who suffer from dementia.[7]

Other services[edit]

  • Department of Clinical Psychology
  • Social Work Department
  • Mental Health Chaplain
  • Patients Leisure Centre
  • Art Therapies Service
  • Physiotherapy Department and Gym



The Lunacy Act 1845 and County Asylums Act 1845 mandated that all rate-levying authorities must provide a public asylum. In 1848 there was an agreement to set up a pauper lunatic asylum between Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton. The Justices met in Quarter Session of the County and Borough of Cambridge and the Liberty of the Isle of Ely (later known as The Three Bodies) who would have to raise the money to pay for the Asylum. They set up a committee with representatives from the three authorities to be known as The Committee of Visitors. On 30 September 1856 Admiral The Earl of Hardwicke, the Lord Lieutenant of the county and a member of the Visitors committee, laid the foundation stone and the Asylum opened on 6 November 1858.

Dr Edward Langdon Bryan was the first Medical Superintendent, and his sister Miss Bryan was matron.[8]

One of the earliest performances of the Footlights Revue was an entertainment given by a group of Cambridge University undergraduates, with a cricket match included, at Fulbourn's "pauper lunatic asylum" in 1883.[9]

After 1939 the hospital also served Huntingdonshire.[10]

A county asylum for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Huntingdonshire was originally erected near Arlesey in 1858. It opened in 1860 and was known as the Three Counties Asylum. This became Fairfield Hospital in 1960 and finally closed in 1999.[11]

Patients from the then Soke of Peterborough, including the "Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" John Clare, were committed to Northampton General Lunatic Asylum. In 1876, Northampton County Lunatic Asylum (later Northampton Mental Hospital, then St Crispin Hospital which closed in 1995) opened for pauper patients and the original general asylum changed its name to Northampton General Lunatic Asylum for the Middle and Upper Classes. This became St Andrew's Hospital for mental diseases in 1887.[12]

International prominence[edit]

During the 1960s, Fulbourn Hospital became internationally prominent for its pioneering therapeutic community, under Dr David Clark, who was the last holder of the title of Medical Superintendent, and later Consultant for the Cambridge Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service.[8]

Recent developments[edit]

After a major refurbishment programme in early 2013, the new Mulberry wards have replaced Adrian House, Friends Ward and Cedars Recovery Unit, as part of the new 3-3-3 model introduced at Fulbourn. The model is made up of three stages – three days’ assessment (at Mulberry 1), three weeks of treatment (at Mulberry 2) and three months of recovery (at Mulberry 3). This new system sets out for patients what care they will receive at each stage of their treatment and for how long they can expect to stay on each ward. From day one, patients work with staff to look at their treatment and recovery so they can get themselves back into the community as soon as they are able.[13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°11′04″N 0°11′34″E / 52.18455°N 0.19266°E / 52.18455; 0.19266