The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
This hospital, as observed before in the survey of Bishopsgate ward, was founded for lunatics, near the north-east corner of the Lower , in Bishopsgate parish. But that becoming ruinous, and unable to answer the ends of that laudable charity, the lord-mayor, aldermen, and common-council, granted the governors a piece of ground, on the south side of ; the foundation was laid in , and the building was completed at an expense of
This was a magnificent building, feet long, and feetbroad, besides the wings, which were added in . The middle and ends, which projected a little, were adorned with pilasters, entablatures, foliages, &c. and, rising above the rest of the building, had each a flat roof, with a handsome ballustrade of stone, and in the centre an elegant turret, adorned with a clock, a gilt ball, and a fane at the top. The wings were in no wise inferior to the rest of the building; and were peculiarly set apart for incurables. The whole was built of brick and stone; and inclosed by a handsome wall, feet long, built of the same materials. In the centre of this wall, which formed a grand semicircular sweep, was a large pair of fine iron gates, with a small entrance on each side, for passengers: and on the piers, upon which those gates hung, were images or statues in a reclining posture, representing raving, the other melancholy madness, finely expressed. They were executed by C. G. Cibber.
The inside of this extensive structure consisted of galleries, over the other, which crossed the wings, and were yards in length, feet broad, and feet high, without including the cells or the patients, which were feet deep. These galleries were divided in the middle by iron grates, in order to separate the men from the women; the women's ward being confined to the western part, and the men's ward to the eastern part of the hospital. At the entrance, between these grates in the lower gallery, and on the right hand, close to the porter's lodge, was a handsome apartment for the steward, who is the manager, under the direction of the committee: on the left hand was the committee room, where they received and discharged patients. At each end of this gallery, the warder of the division had a particular apartment. Above these were commodious apartments for the porter, matron, nurse, and servants. Below stairs there was a good kitchen, and all necessary offices for keeping and dressing provisions, washing, &c.
And at the south-east corner, was a bath for the patients, so contrived as to be hot or cold, as occasion required.
The number of cells, or rooms for patients, were about , and were generally full and furnished with a bed.
The increased value of the ground in the neighbourhood of and Finsbury, in consequence of the erection of many respectable buildings there, and the daily decaying state of the hospital just described, occasioned a plan to be suggested for removing this establishment to some other situation, in the early part of the present century. In furtherance of which design, the governors of Bethlehem and hospitals, (both these foundations having been directed by the same body, ever since the reign of Edward VI.) obtained from the city, in , under the authority of an act of parliament of the preceding session, nearly acres of ground in fields, in exchange for the site of the old hospital, which was soon after pulled down, and the present formed on part of its site.
 Vide ante, p. 145.