05 May 2019

5th May 1933 - Borocourt Opened


On 5th May 1933 the first residents moved into Borocourt Certified Institution for Mental Defectives - a converted Victorian mansion. A certified institution was an alternative to larger Mental Hospitals as detailed in The Mental Deficiency Act 1913 which made provisions for the institutional treatment of people with learning difficulties or those who were deemed as needing moral protection.

The institution started fairly small but over the years additional villas were added, and by 1939 it had 400 beds, and became Borocourt Hospital. It was near Reading in Berkshire and took people from Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

By the time those in power realised that such a large institution, with not enough staff, was not the way to care for such vulnerable people a lot of damage had been done. It was part of the ITV series Silent Minority which shone a light on the care or lack of it in such institutions.

Anyway it was closed as were most such institutions in the 1990s. The name Borocourt was dropped and it reverted to the name of the original Victorian Mansion, Wyfold Court luxury housing.

Thankyou again to The Mental Health Timeline for the date and details of the 1913 act.

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