Exevale Hospital (also known as Devon County Asylum, Devington Park)4339

Exeter, England, Devon, Teignbridge

Brief Description

The buildings are set in vast grounds, and approached past formal lodges by a ceremonial avenue. This was the Victorian institution at its most imposing. The site was designed and laid out between 1842 and 1845 by Charles Fowler, originally called the Devon County Pauper Lunatic Asylum. The site is now a residential development.

History

The site was laid out by Charles Fowler.

Features
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: Entrance lodges.
  • Chapel
  • Description: There is a Cruciform Gothic chapel by Joseph Neale, dating from 1877. It is of red stone with Bath dressings, lancet windows, and a bellcote over the crossing.
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  • Asylum (featured building)
  • Now Residential Development
  • Description: Plainly detailed, the main buildings are of red brick with granite dressings, with windows within round-headed arches.
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  • Latest Date:
  • Gate
  • Description: Lytch gate in the asylum cemetery.
Shrubbery, Tree Avenue
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Exminster
History

Detailed History

Set in vast grounds, and approached past formal lodges by a ceremonial avenue, Exevale Hospital was the Victorian institution at its most imposing. It was built between 1842 and 1845 by Charles Fowler (designer of the conservatory at Syon House, as well as parts of Powderham and the Upper Market in Exeter), and opened as the Devon County Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

A separate sanatorium was added in 1877, and further extensions in 1906. The original buildings, remarkably complete, are an interesting example of Fowler's practical approach to the asylum design of the time, combining a compact plan and ease of supervision with reasonably spaced living quarters.

There is a tall central block with semi-circular service range behind, from which six lower wings radiate. Between them were exercise yards and gardens, enclosed by perimeter walls with lodges (one north-west lodge remains). Plainly detailed, the main buildings are of red brick with granite dressings, with windows within round-headed arches. The floors and roof are of fireproof construction (laminated tiles on cast-iron bearers).

There is also a Cruciform Gothic chapel by Joseph Neale, dating from 1877. It is of red stone with Bath dressings, lancet windows, and a bellcote over the crossing.

Although now converted into apartments the central airing court survives, along with the spaces forming the airing courts between the radial wings. One shelter also survives. The Asylum cemetery, with a very attractive lytch gate, is notable. Entrances lodges, avenue, chapel and associated areas of shrubbery appear intact, as well as a sports field which formed part of the asylum facilities

Period

  • Victorian (1837-1901)
Associated People

Just one person associated to Exevale Hospital

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

References

References