This is the first asylum of the London County Council and the fifth for London, and it stands on a hill 230 feet above ordnance datum in a freehold estate of 269 acres, one-and-a-half miles from Woodford Station, on the Great Eastern Railway. It is about nine miles from the Royal Exchange. The ground was bought by the Middlesex Justices for £39,415. They first visited the spot on 27th February, 1886, almost seven years before patients were received. About 70 acres of the ground is woodland, and the soil is clay with beds of gravel interspersed. The Justices proceeded to fence in the estate, build two lodges, lay down a granite tramway from these to the building site, and level the top of the hill, a plateau of about a dozen acres in extent, for all the central and some of the outside blocks, and also to complete the foundations, when the Local Government Act of 1888 transferred the care of lunatics and the management of County Asylums to the County Councils.
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