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Shenley Hospital

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Alternative name(s):
  • Shenley Mental Hospital (Formerly known as)
  • Middlesex Colony (Formerly known as)
  • Middlesex County Mental Hospital (Formerly known as)
Date: 1934-1998
History: In the face of an ever-growing population Middlesex County Council purchased land in Porters Park estate near Radlett in 1924 to supplement the accommodation already provided by the Council in its mental hospitals at Wandsworth and Napsbury. Building work started in 1931 to a villa design set in 150 acres of countryside to provide accommodation initially for 1046 patients. Shenley Mental Hospital was built at a cost of £900,000 and officially opened in May 1934 by King George V. It was used straightaway to provide accommodation for "chronic patients" transferred from Middlesex County Council's over-crowded instatutions at Napsbury and Springfield in Tooting. Further building work continued until it was completed in 1938, when it provided accommodation for 2080 patients. During World War II half of the hospital was used for the treatment of wounded service personnel and civilians for the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital.

On the creation of the National Health Service in 1948, the hospital was managed by the Cell Barnes and Middlesex County Hospital Management Committee (later the Shenley and Napsbury Group No. 12 HMC, then the Shenley Group No. 12 HMC) in the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. By the end of the 1950s it was one of the leading centres for training and practice for psychiatry. In 1974 control passed to Brent and Harrow District Health Authority in the North West Thames Regional Hospital Authority, when it had 1400 patients. In 1993 it became part of North West London Mental Health NHS Trust. By this time the government policy of care in the community meant that the number of patients had declined, and this process continued until 1998 when the hospital finally closed.
  • Radlett, Hertfordshire
  • Shenley, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: Lunacy Act 1890; Mental Treatment Act 1930; Mental Health Act 1959
Functions, occupations and activities: Health and social care > Hospitals
History Links: webpage on Shenley Hospital
References: Hosprec database; Hospital Yearbooks 1949-1998; Lost Hospitals of London website
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C14299 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/O77494 )
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1934-1998: administrative records, patient records, staff records, financial records and plans
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London
NRA 41607 Shenley

See Annual return 1998
1938-1998: service registers
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
See POD Database

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Related record creators
  Record creator Description of relationship Dates Category of relationship
Shenley Hospital was established and run by Middlesex County Council
Shenley Hospital was under the authority of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board
Shenley Hospital was under the authority of the North West Thames Regional Health Authority
The SHenley Hospital League of Friends served Shenley Hospital