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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): CLA/001
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1857-2000
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 16.6 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Under the provisions of the Asylums Act 1853, the Corporation of London was empowered by statute to provide an Asylum to house the insane of the City of London. Land was acquired at Stone, near Dartford, Kent, in 1859 and in July of the same year James Bunstone Bunning, the City's Clerk of the Works (later City Architect and Surveyor), was instructed to prepare plans and estimates. These were laid before the special Lunatic Asylum Committee at the end of September 1859. Initially provision was made for more than 300 patients but this was reduced to 250 by the Commissioners in Lunacy in 1860. The Asylum was officially opened on 16th April 1866 and was managed by a Committee of Visitors composed of Aldermen and JP's.

By 1872 the asylum was full and extensions were necessary. Development soon began on a new wing, opened in 1875. The passing of the 1890 Lunacy Act meant the Hospital could take advantage of the authority contained therein and admit private patients. From 1st January 1892 it was in a position to do so; and by 1897 such was the demand for accommodation of private patients - who wore their own clothes, had improved dietary provision and had separate wards from the pauper patients - that some admissions were declined. By 1910 305 of the 610 patients in the hospital were private. By 1921 the number of private patients had risen to 357.

By November 1905, the Visiting Committee wanted to adopt the description 'City of London Mental Hospital' instead of asylum. The 1923 Mental Treatment Bill confirmed the term 'Mental Hospital' replaced 'Asylum'; and from 1924 the name of the hospital was changed to the City of London Mental Hospital. After the Local Government Act 1929 conferred upon the London County Council the mental and isolation hospitals formerly run by the Metropolitan Asylums Board (MAB) and local Boards of Guardians, there was discussion over whether the City of London Mental Hospital should be similarly transferred. The Visiting Committee strongly opposed this and it was agreed the hospital could remain under the auspices of the City of London. In July 1948 the Hospital passed out of the Corporation's administrative control into that of the NHS.

During April 1948, the Darenth and Stone Hospital's Management Committee (DSHMC) was set up as part of the transferral programme of hospitals into the NHS. The other hospitals in the group were Darenth Park and Mabledon Park, Maidstone. All apart from Stone House had been previously run by the LCC. Re-organisation of the Heath Service in June 1971 meant that Stone House and Mabledon and Darenth Park amalgamated with the Dartford Hospital Management Committee, forming the Dartford and Darenth Hospital Management Committee.

In April 1973, when Health Boards were re-organised again, this time as Area Health Authorities, the hospital group came under the Dartford and Gravesham Heath District. In 1998 the Trust in charge of Stone House, Thameslink Healthcare NHS, agreed the hospital was no longer suitable for provision of modern healthcare and would be closed in line with Department of Health policies. This decision was carried forward by the next healthcare providers Thames Gateway NHS Trust. The West Kent NHS and Social Care Trust started the work of closing the hospital in 2003, and after 139 years of service, Stone House finally closed in 2005. The main hospital, chapel, service blocks, and staff accommodation presently survive largely unaltered - they are Grade II listed - but are becoming run down and await suitable redevelopment.

See also website managed by Francine Payne: (correct as of August 2010).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the City of London Mental Hospital (previously the City of London Asylum and commonly referred to as Stone House Hospital) including:
Visiting Committee Minutes (1857-1949);
Medical Superintendents' Records (1897-1959);
Annual Reports (1866-1947);
Statistics and Returns (1871-1946);
Rules and Regulations (1907-1973);
Correspondence related to Patient Admissions (1938-1947);
Visiting Committee Visitors Books (1930-1960);
Ward Meetings (1972-1978);
Female Case Books (1866-1959);
Male Case Books (1866-1929);
Medical Registers (1907-1950);
Discharge, Transfer and Death Records and Registers (1866-1958);
Indexes to Patients (1866-1963);
Registers of Private Patients (1892-1952);
Mechanical Restraint and Seclusion (1890-1950);
Burials and Post-Mortems (1921-1968);
Patient Files (1919-1979);
Rate Aided Patients: Civil Registers (1907-1952);
Admissions (1885-1997);
Records of Monthly Visits (1930-1962);
Records of Continuation Certificates (1936-1965);
Board of Control: Patient Book (1947-1960);
Ward Reports (1970-1986);
Staff Service Registers (1887-1947);
Wages, Salaries and Pensions (1866-1949);
Artizans' Workbooks (1889-1939);
Matrons' and Head Nurses' Report Books (1937-1949);
Compensation Claims (1929-1942);
Staff Files (1925-1949);
Staff War Service (1920);
Patients' Accounts Books (1932-1979);
Patient Maintenance Files (1910-1947);
Guidance and Procedures (1932-1949);
Chaplain Diaries (1866-1977);
Plans, Designs and Details (1860-1958);
Photographs (c 1860-c 2000);
Printing Blocks (c 1900-c 1929);
Publicity Material (c 1940-c 1959);
Chaplaincy Papers (1884-1971); and
Entertainment (1914-1931).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For later records of management from 1949 see Darenth and Dartford Hospital Management Committee (H66) and South East Thames Regional Health Authority (HA/SE).

Publication note:

For further information see: See Stone House: The City of London Asylum by Francine Payne, 2007 [LMA Library ref: 26.21/(STO)].

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Description compiled by Claire Batley.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

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