Epsom Cluster, the

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"The Epsom Cluster" was a group of five psychiatric hospitals...

The creation of the county of London in 1889 and the passing of the Lunacy Act in 1890 profoundly affected the provision of care for the mentally ill within both the new county of London and the counties surrounding it. The new London County Council took over responsibility for the mentally ill in its area: Hanwell in Ealing, Colney Hatch in north London and Banstead in Surrey. These asylums were, however, woefully inadequate for the tasks they faced.

These pressures led the LCC to purchase the Horton Manor estate in Epsom where they established the Epsom Cluster of mental hospitals, the largest cluster of such institutions in the world covering a square mile in area. The Manor opened in 1899, Horton in 1902, Ewell Epileptic Colony, later St Ebba’s, in 1904, Long Grove in 1907 and West Park in 1924. Between them they catered for people with mental illness, mental handicap and epilepsy which was still classed as a psychiatric condition.