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We’re proud of our rich heritage in the provision of mental healthcare.
Our history as a charity begins in 1838 with the opening of our hospital at Northampton offering 'humane' care to the mentally ill.
St Andrew's was one of four Registered Psychiatric Hospitals that chose not to join the National Health Service in 1948, maintaining our charitable status.
The Northampton General Asylum, founded by public subscription, opened on 1 August 1838. The hospital was built on land once owned by the Cluniac Priory of St Andrew's.
St Andrew's opens
Our history as a charity begins in 1838 with the opening of a hospital at Northampton offering 'humane' care to the mentally ill.
450 patients now being cared for by 40 nurses
St Andrew's grew rapidly, having originally been built to look after just 70 people
St Andrew's School of Occupational Therapy
The St Andrew's School of Occupational Therapy was established in Northampton
NHS is formed
The National Health Service is formed. St Andrew's seeks exemption and is allowed to function outside the NHS, maintaining its charitable status.
Launch of St Andrew's school of nursing
St Andrew's launched its own school of nursing, specialising in mental healthcare
Princess Diana opens Spencer House
Diana opens Spencer House, a new unit in Northampton, near her family home. The wing is named after her father, Earl Spencer.
William Wake House
We open William Wake House, a brand new facility in Northampton with 132 beds
The hospital building in Northampton was purpose designed by Mr George Wallet of the Bethlem Hospital.
It was funded in large part from the reserves of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, through the offices of Sir William Wake.
The original architecture is still appreciated by patients, some of whom reside in our Main Building, and many spend time in the parkland which surrounds it.
The 106 acre estate at Northampton includes the Hospital Chapel of 1863, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, famous for The Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial.
St Andrew’s best-known past resident was Northamptonshire-born John Clare, England’s greatest rural poet. He died in 1864 after more than 22 years of care, having written many poems in the hospital.
Joseph Hassid, a pre-war Polish violinist compared with Heifetz and Menuhin, stayed briefly. Other artistic residents include Sir Malcolm Arnold, perhaps the greatest English composer of the twentieth century, who agreed to one of our newer buildings being named after him.
Our archive in Northampton houses:
We handle requests for information from enquirers all over the world – often from those researching family history.
We also support St Andrew’s staff and post-graduate students undertaking research on a wide range of mental healthcare information.