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  • 1882-1924 (Creation)

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6 boxes

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The Retreat rented properties on the Yorkshire coast for some years with the purpose of allowing patients annual holidays. It was decided in the 1880s to rent or purchase a property to have a year round convalescent home which could also be used for the 50 or so patients who were sent for seaside holidays each year. But the first attempt to purchase a property, Fulford Mount, on the South Cliff, Scarborough, in 1882, came to nothing.

In 1886 Gainsborough House, Sarony Square, South Cliff, Scarborough was offered to the Retreat on lease. The Retreat occupied Gainsborough House as a seaside/convalescent home from the end of 1886 to May 1902. It accommodated ten resident lady patients and had room for convalescents and relays of holidaying patients in the summer. In 1902, however, it was decided not to renew the lease because the property was very overlooked.

From 1901 the Retreat Committee considered the matter of its replacement; at first, a site for a new building at Scarborough was contemplated and a five acre plot of land offered by the Corporation of Scarborough on the Weaponness Estate was examined.
But in August 1902 Throxenby Hall, one and a half miles from Scarborough station, was offered for lease by the landlord, Lord Londesborough. This had a seven and a half acre estate attached. The Retreat took a 21 year lease at £170 per annum, beginning on 1 January 1903.

Throxenby Hall was furnished via an appeal, and was designed to look as little like a mental institution as possible. It could house 20 patients, and took males and females. It was designed for convalescents, voluntary boarders and holidaying patients. Between 1919 and 1922 it was used experimentally for female ‘borderland’ cases (male cases being accommodated at Millfield), as well as providing the usual summer holiday accommodation for Retreat patients; however, due to low demand it reverted to its original convalescent/holiday purposes in 1922.

The 21 year lease of Throxenby Hall expired at the end of 1923, but although the Retreat had an option of purchase, it was decided that the expense could not be justified, and the house was given up.


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Access to some material is restricted under data protection laws. Restricted items are at RET 7/3/2/8, and RET 7/3/5/1.

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See also RET 7/2/3/4 for items relating to Throxenby Hall. See RET 4/4/1/1 for dietary papers for Throxenby Hall. See RET 3/5/1 and RET 3/5/2, Salaries and Wages Books, for Throxenby Hall information, and RET 5/9/18 for Matron. The Case Books at RET 6/5/1 and RET 6/5/2/2 include some Throxenby patients (although others are in the Throxenby Case Notes at RET 7/3/5).

See RET 1/8/10/2 and RET 1/8/10/3 for photographs of Gainsborough House and Throxenby Hall.

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