The hospital was founded in 1869 and grew to be the largest mental hospital in Britain, and pioneered the use of electroencephalograms. During its time it had its own church, farms, railway, telephone exchange, post office, reservoirs, gas works, brewery, orchestra, brass band, ballroom and butchers. It closed in 1995 with a history of serious complaints of cruelty, ill-treatment and fraud in the hospital.
Crookham Court stands on the former site of Crookham manor house, built around the start of 14th century and destroyed in 1543, and subsequently Crookham House which was demolished around 1850.
The construction of the current building started around this time and continued in two more phases over the next fifty years.
It’s served several purposes such as a manor house, a junior school and a school for children of people serving at Greenham Common.
It was abandoned for some time after the US Air Force left the area and purchased in 1961 when it was used as a boarding school until 1990, after which point it was apparently used as apartments (although this isn’t too obvious from looking at the place) and has been abandoned since 2007.
In 1988 there was a well-publicised case of child abuse by several members of staff which was covered on Esther Rantzen’s show That’s Life.
This had apparently been going on for thirty years but it was only when the headmaster Mr. Gold joined the school in 1987 that it was discovered and reported.
Three were convicted, including the principal who was the owner of the building. Over twenty years later the teacher who had been set free was also convicted when another victim came forward; he has tried appealing but been denied.
The Louise Margaret Hospital was annexed to the CMH and cared for pre and post natal women and their babies. There was also a special care baby unit (SCBU).
The Louise Margaret Hospital opened in 1898 and its function was initially to care for the wives and children of servicemen.
It was named after Princess Louise Margaret, the Duchess of Connaught whose husband was the Duke of Connaught who was at the time the GOC of Aldershot Command.
Those who have visited the Louise Margaret Maternity Hospital may recall the narrow and shallow staircases. They were designed to allow nurses to run quickly up and down the stairs in their long nursing dresses.
The Louise Margaret Hospital continued to care for the spouses and children of the army until 1958 when its function and name changed to a maternity hospital.
The Louise Margaret Hospital closed on the 18 January 1995.
Construction of this building started in 1889 and was officially opened on the 27th October 1890. The initial build cost £2000 and provided a total of 5 beds.
In 1987 an extension was added to provide a further 10 beds, this wing was named the Newstead Ward. By 1928 the number of beds available had grown to 108.
In 1950 another extension was built to help deal with demand, this increased the bed number by a further 60. Over a number of years Kings Mill took over the majority of the services and eventually in 1992 the hospital closed.
In recent years it has been claimed by the owners that the site would become luxury apartments, but nothing has come of this. Due to the site being in disrepair they are have been warned of legal action by the local council.
I made two visits to GT Manor a beautiful old house set in the English countryside. Although most of the house has been abandoned for some time a small part of the house had been sealed off and was being used as a home. Making an interesting explore as you can hear them moving around and listening to their television through the wall. On my first visit the owner was washing his car outside, so I had to sneak in around the back.
In 1780 and 1793 GT estate was bought by George Stratton, who had made a fortune in the East India Company. He died in March 1800 and was succeeded by his son George Frederick Stratton. The manor house had evidently fallen into disrepair, as the Strattons lived in a smaller Georgian dower house slightly to the south of it and had the manor house demolished in about 1803. In 1808 George Frederick Stratton engaged the Scots botanist and garden designer John Loudon, who laid out north and south drives in G T Park and planted ornamental trees in and around the village, which today enhance its picturesque appearance.
In 1815-1816 Matthew Robinson Boulton, the son of the manufacturer Matthew Boulton of Soho, Birmingham, bought GT Estate. In 1825 Boulton added a Gothic Revival library to the east end of the house, and in the middle of the 19th century the Boulton family added a large Tudor style section to the west end.GT Manor remained with the Boulton family until M.E. Boulton died without heirs in 1914.