Ticehurst House Hospital

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Ticehurst House Hospital
WMS 6783, Ticehurst Private Asylum for Insan Wellcome L0032450.jpg
An engraved image of the South-East View of the Asylum at Ticehurst, Sussex, c.1828-29.
Ticehurst House Hospital is located in East Sussex
Ticehurst House Hospital
Location within East Sussex
LocationEast Sussex, England
Coordinates51°02′58″N 0°23′46″E / 51.0495°N 0.396°E / 51.0495; 0.396Coordinates: 51°02′58″N 0°23′46″E / 51.0495°N 0.396°E / 51.0495; 0.396
Hospital typePsychiatric hospital
Emergency departmentNo
ListsHospitals in England

Ticehurst House Hospital was a mental health facility. It opened in 1792 and was owned and run by five generations of members of the Newington family until 1970. In 2000, the hospital name changed from Ticehurst House Hospital to The Priory Ticehurst House when it became part of the Priory Group.

Early years[edit]

Samuel Newington opened a small hospital in Ticehurst, Sussex, in 1792.[1] At first, it housed around twenty patients and admitted both poor and wealthy patients.[2]

In 1812, Charles Newington built himself a house in the grounds. Two of his sons, Charles and Jesse, were surgeons and worked in and later ran the asylum when their father died. They employed demobilised Battle of Waterloo veterans to landscape the area surrounding the buildings.[1]

A prospectus for the asylum was produced to show off its facilities in 1830.[1] From 1838, only private patients were admitted and patients came from increasingly privileged backgrounds over time; by the 1850s they were 'exceptionally wealthy'.[2]

By the 1870s, Ticehurst was considered one of the most successful and well-regarded private asylums, and by 1900 the site covered over 125 hectares.[3]

During the 1870s, Herman Charles Merivale was a resident of Ticehurst House Hospital. He wrote of his experiences there in a book called My Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum by a Sane Person.[4][5]

Priory Hospital Ticehurst[edit]

Today, the hospital offers day care, outpatient, and residential treatment.[6]

Legacy of the former private hospital[edit]

The Ticehurst records are unusually well-preserved; many private asylum archives have been lost, but the archive of Ticehurst covers the dates 1787-1975.[2][7]

An analysis of records of more than 600 Ticehurst patients found that more than 80% of patients appeared to have symptoms that would be indicative of modern psychiatric illnesses, particularly schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder .[8] Another analysis argued that these conditions therefore have robust validity over time.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England (28 March 2002). "Ticehurst House Hospital (1001600)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  2. ^ a b c "Ticehurst House Hospital". wellcomelibrary.org. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  3. ^ "Ticehurst House Hospital". Parks and Gardens. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  4. ^ Merivale, Herman Charles (2012). My Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum By a Sane Patient.
  5. ^ Campbell, Morag Allan (8 November 2017). "Being an asylum patient 3b: Herman Charles Merivale at Ticehurst, 1875". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  6. ^ "Priory Hospital Ticehurst". NHS. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  7. ^ "Ticehurst House Hospital, Wadhurst". The National Archives. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  8. ^ Turner, T. (February 1989). "Rich and mad in Victorian England". Psychological Medicine. 19 (1): 29–44. doi:10.1017/S0033291700011004. ISSN 0033-2917. PMID 2657831.
  9. ^ Turner, T. H. (1992). "A diagnostic analysis of the Casebooks of Ticehurst House Asylum, 1845-1890". Psychological Medicine. Monograph Supplement. 21: 1–70. doi:10.1017/S0264180100001016. ISSN 0264-1801. PMID 1620751.