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Repository Cheshire Record Office
Level Collection (Fonds)
Reference NHM 8
Title Parkside Lunatic Asylum, later Mental Hospital
Date 1867-1992
Description Records relating to the administration of the asylum, including plans; extensive patient records.
Administrative History Parkside Hospital was built in 1868-1871 as a County Lunatic Asylum for the accommodation of pauper lunatics, because the County asylum at Upton, Chester, had insufficient accommodation. The Court of Quarter Sessions appointed a Committee in 1865 to advise on the need for a new asylum, then to select a site and then to erect an asylum in the north of the County. The Asylum was erected under the supervision and to the plans of Robert Griffiths, architect.

The building was originally designed to accommodate 700 patients, but, as a result of extensive new building works, including an isolation hospital (1896), admission hospital (1905), 'Uplands' for private patients (1913) and a major new group of villas in 1938, the total accommodation rose to over 1500.

The name was changed from County Asylum to County Mental Hospital c1920.

The asylum was supervised by a Visiting Committee of Justices, appointed by the Court of Quarter Sessions from 1871 until 1889 when the County Council took over responsibility for appointing the Committee of Visitors. The Committee also included representatives of the County Boroughs of Stockport and Wallasey. The minutes of this Committee before 1894 are lost, but some annual reports survive both in the series of printed reports (CCC 2/11/1 15) and in the relevant minute books of the County Council.

Some members of the Committee of Visitors were appointed to the House Committee which exercised more day to day supervision of the work of the asylum. The records of this committee are missing before 1917.

With the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948, management was transferred to a Hospital Management Committee, under the overall control of the Manchester Regional Hospital Board. In 1970 the Parkside HMC was merged with the Macclesfield and District Group HMC to form the East Cheshire Hospital Management Committee (see NHM 10).

After the further NHS reforms in 1982, Parkside became a part of Macclesfield Health Authority.

The senior officer in charge of the asylum was the Medical Superintendent, assisted by a clerk and a finance officer as well as the medical and nursing staff.
Related Material D 3841 Deeds; Draft contract for asylum 1868; plan of cultivation on Cheshire County Asylum estate 1916
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Parkside Lunatic Asylum, later Mental Hospital

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