Thursday, 3 March 2011


It seems ages since I blogged about Faithfull Close and Jefferies Road in the village being named after two WW2 casualties whose names are on the War Memorial. So here are the names of a couple more roads plus a bit about the Asylum.

You have to know that Stone was once home to the Bucks County Pauper Lunatic Asylum. About 1844 Parliament decreed that every county should build a lunatic asylum and after a great deal of haggling and NIMBYism it was this village which was chosen. The site was out in the country, that is, about 4 miles from Aylesbury, it was on the turnpike road, now the A418, from Aylesbury to Thame and Oxford and had a 'southerly aspect'. Despite all these qualifications it did not have an adequate supply of water which was to cause problems for years to come.
The photo at the head of this blog shows the asylum, which opened in January 1853, from a postcard which probably dates from the late 19th or early 20th century. I'm guessing that the man in uniform on the right hand side of the photo is the gatekeeper, Jeremiah Warren.
The name was changed several times - from County Pauper Lunatic Asylum until after WW1, when it was changed to Bucks Mental Hospital.
The photo of the crest was taken about 5 years ago. In the top photo it can be seen over the main door and was obviously thought worth saving. It's now in the grounds (though unnoticed) of Tindal Hospital in Aylesbury which was once Aylesbury it has a role in providing Mental health facilities. And it's opposite Aylesbury prison, one Victorian building facing another. (I had fun trying to find this, asking people in various establishments round about whether they could direct me to it. It produced frowns and puzzlement and comments of, 'I've seen it but I can't remember where.' Obviously not big enough!!
When the NHS began in 1948 the name changed again to its final designation - St. John's Hospital. Then it was decided by Bucks CC to demolish this vast building for development, ie, housing. The roads on the site are named for the original wards but this Street was named after a doctor who died in WW2, though his name isn't on the war memorial - he's a 'foreigner' from Scotland.
Aged 25, Norman James Haggar married in Stone Church on 10th September 1939. He served on HMS Kashmir as a Surgeon Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He died on 9th April 1940, the day the Germans invaded Norway and has no known grave.

This oddly-named road is a name from the 1776 Enclosure Map. [Common land was enclosed taking away the long held rights of the common people to keep a cow, thus losing access to dairy products, and to take fallen wood.] The area it covered then is now a housing estate, part of which is called The Spiert. It has been suggested the name could mean 'a spring' or alternatively a willow plantation. Perhaps it's a bit of both as there are underground springs all over the high ground where the A418 runs now and willow grows near water.

1 comment:

The Party Shop Weymouth said...

Hi Sylvia just found your blog after seaching for my grandmother who i never knew,I are doing a family tree and have found out she died in 1971 in St Johns hospital stone,we now know she was there for several years and was admitted in the late 20s /30s when it was a asylum i was delighted to find your picture of the hospital as it it would have been then when, we do not know the reason she was committed although we do know it was for most of her adult life any further information about the asylum would be of great help to our resurch of our family tree thank you so much Jan x