“There used to be a big cupboard and it was always full of suitcases of belongings to people who had come to Graylingwell but never went out again.” Kate Irwin Wulff
Intrigue, poignant stories and art are all brought together in Beneath the Water Tower, a fascinating book about Graylingwell Hospital which is now on sale. To get your own copy see instructions below.
The book is especially interesting given how it was put together…
- West Sussex Record Office digitised the early patient casebooks that had become increasingly fragile. It also captured oral history interviews with people with a Graylingwell connection. Beneath the Water Tower contains fascinating extracts of these stories.
- Pallant House Gallery worked with the local community and patients still on the Graylingwell site to deliver a series of arts workshops that offered a voice to many people and created some wonderful art which speaks volumes about opinions, feelings and memories of both the hospital and mental health.
- University of Chichester led a large group of research volunteers who examined archival evidence and much of the book’s text relates to their findings.
- Chichester Community Development Trust led the project and created many opportunities for the local community to participate in the project and engage with such an important part of the history of Chichester.
What was Graylingwell Hospital?
Graylingwell Hospital was built in 1896 as a mental health facility. The hospital was formerly known as the West Sussex County Asylum or The Asylum and has had a significant impact upon Chichester’s local community as a place of employment throughout the last century. As a medical institution, Graylingwell Hospital played an important role in the history of mental health treatment in the UK and the development of psychiatry in the 20th century. It is also noted for the important role it played in national history as a war hospital during the First World War, providing care for injured servicemen from 1915 to 1919. Graylingwell Hospital closed in 2001.
Learn more about the Graylingwell Heritage Project
You can read more about the project on the Graylingwell Heritage Project page.