Source: John Naisbitt / Cranage Hall
Cranage Hall was built in 1828–29 for Lawrence Armitstead. It was designed by Lewis Wyatt (who also designed Eaton Hall, Eaton-by-Congleton) and is an early example of the Elizabethan revival style of architecture.
In 1929 the Hall and grounds were acquired by the local health board for use as a mental hospital.
The Hall and estate were acquired by Cheshire County Council in 1932. The Hall housed the offices. In 1932 a parallel wing was added, and over the next six years seven patients villas (mostly of two storeys) were constructed, a school and two workshops (one for males and one for females) were added. This “village” was known as Cranage Colony. There was also a social hall, swimming pool, shop, café and maintenance buildings.
This advert for staff, from the 08 August 1936, in the Crewe Chronicle refers to it as a “Certified Institution for Mental Defectives” – which most of us today would regard as a disturbing attitude towards people with mental health issues.
The vast majority of the residents did have learning difficulties, and some spent their whole lives there.
In the 1970s, Carla Randle was a nurse in Cranage Hall Hospital, dealing with people with mental illness. She rescued some of the old forms that they were using, which you can see here (external site).
Since the hospital closed (in 1995), it has been used as a hotel and conference centre.