IN 1904, THE CORPORATION FOR COLCHESTER BOROUGH SOLD ABOUT 300 ACRES OF LAND NORTH OF COLCHESTER, WITHIN THE PARISH OF MILE END (MYLAND). IT WAS BOUGHT BY ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL, WHO WANTED TO BUILD A SECOND COUNTY ASYLUM FOR ESSEX (THE FIRST BEING WARLEY HOSPITAL, NEAR BRENTWOOD). BUILDING WORKS OFFICIALLY BEGAN IN 1910, WITH THE LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE AT THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, AND BY 1913, THE SECOND ESSEX COUNTY ASYLUM WAS OPEN TO RECIEVE IT's FIRST PATIENTS. THE S.E.C.A., WAS KNOWN SOON AFTER AS SEVERALLS ASYLUM, LATER RE-NAMED SEVERALLS MENTAL HOSPITAL, BEFORE FINALLY SIMPLY CALLED SEVERALLS HOSPITAL. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE HOSPITAL WAS NAMED AFTER THE AREA KNOWN AS "THE SEVERALLS", OR IT GOT IT's NAME FROM THE NEARBY "SEVERALLS HALL". DESIGNED BY F. WHITMORE & W.H. TOWN IN THE LATE EDWARDIAN "ARTS & CRAFTS" STYLE OF FACING RED BRICKWORK, LARGE WINDOWS, BIG ROOF OVERHANGS, IT's APPEARANCE WAS SIMPLE YET AT THE SAME TIME, ELEGANT. THE HOSPITAL WAS BUILT BY W. KING & SON, WESTMINSTER, LONDON, WITH A PATIENT CAPACITY OF 1,800. THE MAIN HOSPITAL COMPLEX IS LAID-OUT BASED ON THE "ECHELON" ASYLUM FLOOR PLAN, BASICALLY MEANING A ROUGHLY SYMMETRICAL LAYOUT OF BUILDINGS, CONNECTED BY "LINK CORRIDORS", SO THAT PATIENTS, STAFF & VISITORS COULD MOVE BETWEEN DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE HOSPITAL, WITHOUT STEPPING OUTSIDE. AT THE CENTRE LAYED THE BEATING HEART OF THE HOSPITAL, CONSISTING OF THE MAIN HALL, KITCHENS, LAUNDRY, WORKSHOPS -BASICALLY EVERYTHING NEEDED TO KEEP THE HOSPITAL RUNNING. THE "WINGS" WHICH EXTEND OUTWARDS FROM THE CENTRE IN A STAGGERED FASHION EAST & WESTWARDS, CONTAINED THE WARDS ON TWO FLOORS. DOTTED AROUND THE HOSPITAL's GROUNDS, "SATELITE" VILLAS WERE ALSO BUILT AROUND THE SAME TIME, NAMELY MYLAND COURT, CHESTNUT & IVY VILLAS TO THE NORTH, AND WILLOW & FERNHOLME VILLAS TO THE SOUTH. ALSO BUILT WITHIN THE GROUNDS IS THE IMPRESSIVE CHAPEL. LATER BUILDING WORKS TOOK PLACE WITHIN THE GROUNDS, SUCH AS ALPHA, BETA, FIRS, GAMMA & ORCHARD VILLA BUILDINGS TO THE NORTH, AND BIRCHWOOD, TAMARISK & EDEN VILLAS TO THE SOUTH. SEVERALLS HOSPITAL FAITHULLY SERVED COLCHESTER AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY FOR ALMOST 90 YEARS & SURVIVED TWO WORLD WARS, FINALLY SUCCOMING TO THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT & "CARE IN THE COMMUNITY", AND CLOSING IT's DOORS FOREVER IN MARCH OF 1997. THIS WEBSITE AIMS TO RECORD & DOCUMENT THE HISTORY OF THE HOSPITAL FOR THE FUTURE.

Severalls in the News

Old Photographs

Hospital TIMELINE

The People

The Buildings

The Air Raid, 1942

"Now & Then"

WORK IN PROGRESS -Thanks for your patience!

Severalls at 100

Golden Jubilee - 1963

The Official Tour

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.


Get Flash Player