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Friern Hospital, Friern Barnet Road, Barnet, Greater London

Friern Hospital, Friern Barnet Road, Barnet, Greater London
Photograph taken 26 April 2003 © Mr Adam Watson. Source Historic England Archive ref: 198883

This Asylum was built in 1849-1851. It was designed by S W Daukes. It was built as the Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum but known better as Colney Hatch. The complex reputedly contains Europe's longest corridor. The hospital was built as a successor of the Bethlehem Hospital in Lambeth (Bedlam). It aimed to provide more humane treatment for the inmates (patients). The site was self sufficient and included a farm, brewery, laundry, bakery, chapel and cemetery. The asylum was built for 1000 patients. As the population of Middlesex grew the asylum became overcrowded. In 1857-9 the hospital was extended. This meant that 2000 patients could be housed. By 1898 there were 2500 patients. Outlying villas were also added in the early 20th century. Three of the villas were destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. The name of the hospital changed on a number of occasions becoming Friern Hospital in 1959. It closed as a hospital in 1993.