West Park Hospital was erected by London County Council during the years 1913-1924 and officially opened on 20 June 1924. It provided for 2096 patients and was the last hospital in the programme to establish five large psychiatric and mental handicap hospitals on the Horton estate in Epsom.
West Park was managed by the West Park Hospital Sub-Committee of the LCC’s Mental Hospitals Committee and was transferred to the National Health Service in July 1948, when responsibility passed to its own Hospital Management Committee under the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.
The architectural construction of West Park was based on a ‘colony’ design, an idea imported form America where several wards were grouped together within the same building. Each building has its own communal integrity but is linked to the others by long, connecting corridors that stretch out across the site.
The Horton Light Railway, which was extended to convey materials to the site during development, remained in place for goods traffic and entered the grounds from the north terminating at a building close to the water tower. The railway was later closed and removed around 1960. A large detached residence, Hollywood Lodge, was also previously part of the Horton Estate was later used as part of the hospital.
Main building typical of later compact arrow plan with & female block and 5 male blocks, administration building and offices, recreation hall with male and female staff blocks flanking, kitchens, main stores placed centrally, boiler house, water tower and workshops on male side and laundry, sewing room and additional nurses block on female side.
A porter’s lodge, mortuary and large detached chapel occupied the area around the main gate.
To the rear of the main block the isolation hospital was flanked by male and female sanatoria.
Later additions to the site included a large nurses home between the isolation hospital and female sanatorium around 1950. Further additions have been limited to temporary structures such as the patients social club, and various small units in grounds. Staff residences were constructed close to the parole villas during the mid 1970’s with additional units close by in the mid- late 1980’s.
The hospital was slowly run down from the mid 1990s, and by 2003 most of the hospital was closed and derelict. A few outer ward buildings and villas remain open today and are still used for psychiatric treatment.