When East Sussex determined a year or two back to build an asylum for its sole use, a Visiting Committee, appointed for the purpose, was fortunate enough to find in the centre of the county a suitable estate which the County Council purchased. It is situated at Hellingly, a village about nine miles north of Eastbourne. The area is four hundred acres, compact, as you will see on the plan, having within 400 yards of its western boundary a railway station which we propose to connect with the main asylum by a full gauge tramway. It slopes gently upwards from the south towards the north, where it attains its highest level of about 130 feet above the sea. The subsoil is most favourable, being, with the exception of two patches of clay, of a sandy or gravelly nature. The water supply is adequate, and the general contour lends itself readily to an efficient system of drainage, which will be bacterial. The views are excellent, extending to the sea and the south downs. It would be difficult to find a more suitable site for an asylum. A sub-committee was authorised to travel about the country to inspect other asylums, I being appointed its chairman. We visited the Hartwood, Lenzie, Gartloch, Hawkhead, Cheddleton, Burntwood, Glamorgan, Dorchester, Isle of Wight, and Chichester Asylums. I extract from the full report which we drew up on our return the following passage:
“We cannot refrain from expressing, also, the intense interest and admiration that we felt in seeing the progressive steps which have been taken, and are being taken, in the recognition of the just claims of the insane poor to be treated in a reasonable and liberal manner. It has been especially interesting to us to note the success with which each medical superintendent has impressed his individual aims on the establishment under his control, and how, even in the older asylums, by skilful and kindly attention to the personal surroundings of patients, comfort, often of a homely nature, has been attained to an extent not to be exceeded in the newer. On some points of structure and management we found wide divergence of opinion; however, where we have found it impossible to harmonise such differences, we have been content to follow positive experiences rather than fears of failure.”
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