I don't pretend to be an expert or a great historian, the best source to read in my opinion is A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY - By Judith Pettigrew, Rory W. Reynolds and Sandra Rouse.

This book is out of print but with a little searching a copy can usually be found.


In 1837 Hertfordshire and Huntingdonshire started sending their lunatics to the Bedford Asylum. This was built in 1812 with a capacity for forty patients but it was running out of room for the living and the dead. In 1852 a survey was commissioned with recommendations for improvements to the old Asylum, a report was prepared which stressed the importance of moral treatment which called for a therapeutic environment, good food, fresh air and exercise. It was a fact that the Bedford Asylum was no longer capable of providing this sort of treatment and care. The improvements and alterations were proved to be too costly for the old building and a committee was formed to draw up plans to build a new Asylum.
Originally Cambridgeshire wanted to join with Herts, Beds, Hunts, It was agreed in 1853 that an Asylum would be built for the four counties but by the summer of that year Cambridge had got impatient with the other three counties and would not give in to the Bedfordshire committee's demands of not wanting to move the Asylum out of town, they also wanted compensation if that happened for the loss of income. An agreement could not be found and Cambridge dropped out.
This left Herts, Beds, Hunts to go ahead with plans for the new Asylum which would be called "Three Counties Asylum."In 1856 George Fowler Jones was appointed architect for the new Three Counties Asylum, He had built the new Cambridgeshire Asylum on the outskirts of town at Fulbourn. {see pics below taken 2007}

 

history2 Wards