“On a wet miserable day we decided to visit Sandhill Park Asylum .. this for me was a bit of a disappointment as it looked like the local chav’s have gotten in and destroyed everything. Anyway we still decided to take a look, most of the buildings looked the same, until we came to the old Blazes Museum hoping to find the old fire engine that was here but it looks like it was taken away all that remains is an older type wooden one”

”                              History of Sandhill Park Asylum

Sandhill Park in Bishops Lydeard, Somerset, England was built as a country house around 1720. It was later used as a prisoner of war camp, home for handicapped children and later as a military and civilian hospital. 

It was built in 1720 by John Periam, the Member of Parliament for Minehead, as Hill House and lived in by the Lethbridge family from 1767 to 1913. During World War one it was used as a prisoner of war camp for German and Austrian Officers. In 1919 it was converted by Somerset County Council into a home for handicapped children. It was requisitioned by the military in August 1940 and became the 41st General Military Hospital, providing accommodation in tents and huts. From 1941 the hospital was leased to the Americans as a neurological hospital for over 1,000 patients in 32 new wards which were completed in 1942 serving as the 185th General Hospital. The hospital remained in military use until 1944 

The psychiatric hospital reopened under the National Health Service in 1948 and further buildings were constructed. The hospital was sold in 1991 and housing built on part of the area. It is included in the Buildings at Risk Register produced by English Heritage. The derelict building was badly damaged by fire on November 22, 2011, with the east wing gutted along with more modern additions to the rear. The main house suffered extensive damage, the roof and top floor being lost and significant secondary damage caused by firewater. The west wing and orangery appear to have been untouched by the fire.

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