The Downshire Hospital (Irish: Ospidéal Downshire) is a 16-bed psychiatric hospital at Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland, for both psychiatric intensive-care patients and low secure rehabilitation.

Downshire Hospital
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
Downshire Hospital
Downshire Hospital is located in Northern Ireland
Downshire Hospital
Shown in Northern Ireland
LocationDownpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland
Coordinates54°19′22″N 5°41′41″W / 54.32267°N 5.69459°W / 54.32267; -5.69459
SpecialityPsychiatric hospital



The hospital, which was designed by Henry Smyth, was opened as the Down Lunatic Asylum in 1869.[1][2] It was extended in 1883, 1895 and 1904.[2] It became the Down Mental Hospital in the 1920s and joined the National Health Service as Downshire Hospital in 1948.[2] Following the introduction of Care in the Community in the early 1980s, the hospital went into a period of decline and provision for patients reduced from over 300 beds to just 16.[3] Part of the building was subsequently converted for use as offices for Down District Council who began operating there in October 2012.[4]


  1. ^ "Downshire Hospital". National Archives. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Downshire Hospital". Historic Hospitals. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Unannounced Follow Up Inspection Report 19 – 21 July 2017" (PDF). RQIA. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Down District Council moves to new £11m home". BBC. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2019.

Further reading

  • Kelly, Sean (2012). A Grand Old Lady. The Life And Times Of Downshire Hospital 1869-2011. South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.