NHS 70th – Hellingly Hospital

Hellingly Hospital, formerly the East Sussex County Asylum was a large psychiatric hospital close to the village of Hellingly east of Hailsham.

The hospital was built at the turn of the twentieth century because of problems of overcrowding at the Haywards Health Asylum, formerly the Sussex County Asylum. The hospital had its own electric tramway, the Hellingly Hospital Railway. The line led from the Hellingly Station to the boiler house and was used principally for transporting coal for the heating boilers and electricity plant. The line closed to passenger traffic in 1930 and the track was lifted in 1959, at which time the hospital boilers were converted from coal to oil fuel.

Hellingly was chosen as one of five mental hospital sites in the south east of England to accommodate a medium secure unit, known as Ashen Hill and located to the east of the main buildings and villas. Due to declining patient numbers the main buildings was vacated and closed in 1994.

Hellingly Hospital photos