|Description||After the closure of Wardens Close Lunatic Hospital in April 1856, Newcastle pauper lunatics were boarded out at other institutions, including Durham County Asylum. When, in 1865, the latter refused to renew the contract, Newcastle Corporation rented Bensham Asylum which had been unoccupied for two years. The first superintendent was James Crichton Browne and the patients initially numbered 55. However, serious overcrowding immediately resulted when a further 47 patients were transferred from Dunston Lodge Asylum, when the capacity was only 90. Still, though, the emphasis was on non-restraint and 'moral treatment', ie work and recreation.|
The Corporation promised a new asylum at Coxlodge, where they had purchased a 50 acre farmstead for the purpose. The Farm Ward opened in April 1866, when 30 'harmless' patients were transferred there from Bensham. The foundation stone for the new asylum was laid there on August 1866 and it opened, as Newcastle upon Tyne Borough Lunatic Asylum, in July 1869, with 159 patients. By 1882 when it changed its name to Newcastle upon Tyne City Lunatic Asylum, the average number of patients had risen to 265. In 1884, therefore, the Commissioners in Lunacy gave permission to extend the hospital and the East and West Pavilions were completed in 1887, providing accommodation for an additional 80 patients.
Contents: Medical superintendent's diary, 1865-1866