Hellingly (IT’S RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME DO YOU NEED TO KEEP READING) Hospital (formerly East Sussex County Asylum) was a large psychiatric hospital close to the village of Hellingly that was built at the turn of the twentieth century after overcrowding problems became apparent at Haywards Health Asylum (formerly Sussex County Asylum).
The main complex comprised an administrative block, central stores, kitchens, a recreation hall and the assistant medical officer’s residence. Sexes were placed in separate accommodation and work areas. West of the central block stood the male wards, workshops, boiler house, water tower and maintenance department. East of the central block were the female wards, along with the laundry, sewing room and a nurses’ home. North of the main buildings were a chapel and four further villas including one for male working patients, two for female working patients, and another for mentally defective children.
Despite several post-war developments, patient numbers were steadily declining and the entire main building was vacated and closed in 1994. After closure, most of the buildings fell into rapid decline, aided by arson, vandalism and theft. Only a few of the original buildings still stand, and two medium secure units, Ashen Hill and Southview, continue to operate on site.