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Village asylum focus for history project

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18 days, 15 hours agoNo Comments.
6 JAN

Village asylum focus for history project

By timesecholife on in All News, Leek news

A former Moorlands asylum has been the focus for a recent historical project. The Staffordshire Archives and Heritage department at Staffordshire County Council has carried out the project which focuses on the former asylum which was based in Cheddleton, near Leek.

A former Moorlands asylum has been the focus for a recent historical project.

The Staffordshire Archives and Heritage department at Staffordshire County Council has carried out the project which focuses on the former asylum which was based in Cheddleton, near Leek.

A spokesman for the department said: “Lucy Smith, PhD Researcher on the Staffordshire Asylums project has been looking at the 120 year history of Cheddleton Asylum in a new article for the Learning Room blog.

Later called St Edward’s Hospital, Cheddleton was the third County Asylum to be built in Staffordshire. This vast institution, initially designed to accommodate 618 patients in 16 wards, was intended to relieve chronic overcrowding at the Stafford and Burntwood Asylums. Construction work started in 1895 and the asylum opened in 1899.

Within three years the asylum was full and had to be extended to provide accommodation for 1038 patients. The largely self-contained and self-sufficient establishment boasted modern facilities including flushing toilets and electric lighting.

Alongside the medical treatments given to the patients, sport and entertainment formed a big part of asylum life. The asylum had its own cricket pitch and the cricket and football teams competed in the local leagues. There were regular performances of plays and variety shows given by members of staff, together with dances, theatrical productions and a staff orchestra. A highlight of the year was the annual New Year’s Eve Fancy Dress Ball, for which patients made their gowns in the sewing room.”

The spokesman added: “St Edward’s was closed in 2002, following the move towards ‘Care in the Community,’ and the site was developed for housing. Today, visitors will find that much of the main building survives and has been converted for residential use.

The new exhibition ‘A Case for the Ordinary: Staffordshire’s Asylums and the Patient Experience’ will be at the Museum of Cannock Chase from January 10 until February 26, 2022. The taster exhibition is currently at Newcastle-under-Lyme Library.”

Meanwhile, people can read more about Lucy’s findings online at: https://staffordshireasylumrecords.wordpress.com/cheddleton.

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