This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 12 February 2021 to correct the inscription and to reformat the text to current standards
HORTON ROAD (West side)
Horton Road Hospital including area railings
Hospital for the insane. Begun 1814, opened for admissions 1823. The original design by William Stark of Edinburgh between 1811 and his death in 1813; subsequently modified by John Wheeler of Gloucester. Many later C19 alterations and additions, principally wings and blocks: 1842-46, west wing extension; 1857-60, additions to central block and its wings 1871, south wing and detached north block; 1885 range linking north wing to north block.
MATERIALS: mostly stuccoed brick with stone details or brick painted white; the additions of 1857 and 1885 of faced brick. Mostly shallow pitched roofs; the roof of the original
notable example of fireproof construction); later roofs Welsh slate or composition.
PLAN: the original building is a symmetrical, large scale composition with restrained use of classical details; later additions generally in a similar and even plainer style. Large, three storey crescent with the central main entrance on the axis of a forecourt entered from Horton Road, a central, axial wing at rear; flanking north and south wings, originally of two storeys and linked to the outer ends of the crescent range by single-storey loggias; both the wings and the loggias subsequently heightened to three storeys; the crescent range widened on the back to provide access corridors on all floors; within the arc of the crescent the basement storey opens into a deep railed area with a facing circuit of casemate cells below courtyard level designed to contain difficult patients; later additional accommodation provided by the south-facing range which extends east from the south end of the south wing, and by a large north block, originally detached but later linked to the north wing with the insertion of a single-storey range.
EXTERIOR: mostly three storeys and basements; the front of the crescent range with eighteen bays divided centrally by the entrance doorway, and a slightly extruded bay at either end (1:9:1:9:1). Shallow, full height, segmental-arched recess on each end bay; two-storey bows on both the front facing ends of the crescent; the walls on both sides of the basement area faced in rusticated ashlar; entrance doorways to the casemate cells; on the front of the crescent range a raised stone band at first and at second-floor level, bracketed eaves, and at each end of the crescent a projecting pedimental gable; in the centre the entrance doorway and a window on each side are framed within three bays by an applied Roman Doric order of half columns on pedestals and entablature; on both sides in each bay on all floors sashes with glazing bars (five x five panes on ground and first floor, five x four panes on second floor).
The south and north flanking wings are each of seven bays with a projecting bay at each end; on the fronts between the projecting bays an arcade with a continuous band at impost level, a recessed panel with a sash in each bay, and the arches infilled; a raised band at first floor and at second-floor levels; on the first and the second floors sashes with glazing bars (five x five panes on first floor, five x four panes on second floor).
The former loggias linking the ends of the crescent with the flanking wings are each of three bays with applied pilasters and entablature on the ground floor, each bay infilled later with a sash, and sashes in the added first and second floors. South-facing range with symmetrical front of two storeys and a third recessed storey, all of eleven bays, and flanked at the ends by projecting, three storey wings each of three bays; a raised band at each-floor level and a brick dentil eaves cornice; on the roof in the centre of the range a massive octagonal flue stack on a stone base with diagonal volutes at the angles and a bracketted crowning cornice.
At the rear of the crescent range the brick wall built when the range was widened has an applied, shallow, giant arcade on the ground and first floors with stone impost bands to the piers and key stones in the arches, a raised band at second-floor level and panelled eaves cornice; on all floors in each bay, except where blocked by later additions, a sash with glazing bars. Central rear wing of three-storeys and basement with projecting service or stair turrets on each side at the ends and in the centre of its original length, and at the end of the later extension of the wing to the west; a raised band at each-floor level and on all floors in each bay a sash with glazing bars. North block with symmetrical front facing north of three storeys and fifteen bays flanked at the ends by projecting three-storey wings, each of three bays; raised band at each-floor level and brick dentil eaves cornice to hipped roof.
INTERIOR: some of the casemate cells entered from the area in the crescent retain stone slab beds; to left of entrance hall an open well stair with stone treads, cast-iron stick balusters and swept timber balustrade; many rooms in the crescent range and flanking range retain original joinery including architraves, doors and window shutters; in the original portion of the rear axial wing on the first floor a large auditorium called the ballroom with C20 false ceiling concealing the original moulded cornice. In the added west end of the axial wing on the first and second floors are secure cells for holding hospital inmates, each cell with a cast-iron framed sash with glazing bars in conjunction with a timber sliding sash; some original cell doors with hatches and peepholes.
HISTORY: the proposal to provide a hospital for the insane in Gloucester was initiated by Sir Onesiphorous Paul, former High Sheriff of Gloucester and social reformer in 1792; in July 1794 a general meeting of the subscribers was held which included Dr Edward Jenner and Robert Raikes. The construction supervised by John Collingwood for a committee representing subscribers, the County of Gloucestershire and the City of Gloucester to provide accommodation for three categories of patients: the wealthy, the poor on parochial relief, and the poor not on relief, with segregation of the sexes.
EXTRA INFORMATION: the cast-iron tiles covering the roof of the crescent range and the original portion of the axial wing are important as an early example of the very rare use of cast-iron tiles for roofing; on each tile the moulded inscription "CARTERS PATENT 1827 TOLL END". Evidence of mid C19 installation of a circulating hot air central heating system represented by cast-iron grilles and flues is also of special interest.
An outstanding early C19 hospital complex, particularly notable for its advanced plan form, constructional techniques and fine neo-classical facade.
(RCHME: Hospital Survey Report: 1994-).
Listing NGR: SO8438318548