Rainhill Hospital

Rainhill Hospital was a very large psychiatric hospital complex that was located in Rainhill, formerly Lancashire but now Merseyside, England.

Rainhill Hospital
Bus stop on Elton Head Road - geograph.org.uk - 4164433.jpg
The site (on the left) where the hospital used to be
Rainhill Hospital is located in Merseyside
Rainhill Hospital
Shown in Merseyside
LocationRainhill, Merseyside, England
Coordinates53°25′32″N 2°45′53″W / 53.4256°N 2.7647°W / 53.4256; -2.7647Coordinates: 53°25′32″N 2°45′53″W / 53.4256°N 2.7647°W / 53.4256; -2.7647
Care systemNHS
Emergency departmentNo
ListsHospitals in England


The facility was designed by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes and opened as the Third Lancashire County Lunatic Asylum on 1 January 1851.[1] Additional wings designed by Henry Horner were completed in 1860.[1] It became the County Lunatic Asylum, Rainhill in 1861.[2]

In 1877 a new annexe was designed by George Enoch Grayson and Edward Ould and constructed to the north-west of Rainhill Road.[1] The annexe would later become known as the Avon Division.[1] The Avon Division was designed to facilitate the accommodation of long-term, chronically mentally ill patients who were breaching capacity on what became known as the Sherdley Division which was subsequently mainly used for acute cases.[1] The Avon Division was noted for its distinctive water towers and linear design.[1] Some new buildings designed in a Tudor Revival style were added to the Avon Division in around 1900.[1]

The hospital was the location of the Great Porridge Strike on 6 April 1913 when the staff, members of the National Asylum Workers' Union, went on strike in protest when meat was replaced by oatmeal porridge.[3] The facility became the County Mental Hospital, Rainhill in 1923[2] and at the peak of its activity, in the 1930s, there were approximately 3,000 inpatients resident at the hospital.[1]

The hospital joined the National Health Service as Rainhill Mental Hospital in 1948.[2] Following the introduction of Care in the Community in the early 1980s, services transferred to Aintree Hospital and Whiston Hospital; the Avon Division closed in 1987 and the Sherdley Division closed in June 1992.[1] The Scott Clinic, a medium secure facility, moved to new facilities on the Sherdley Division site.[1]

The site was initially acquired by Pilkington Glass for development of a new headquarters but instead Pilkington decided to sell of the site for residential use.[4] The site has been developed and is now known as Reeve Court.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Rainham". County Hospitals. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Details: Rainhill Hospital, Prescot". National Archives. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  3. ^ "The South London Women's Hospital Occupation 1984-85". Past tense. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Pilks to sell off Rainhill site". Lancashire Telegraph. 20 June 1996. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Concerns over retirement village sinking funds highlighted in new report". St Helens Star. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2018.

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