A NEW project exploring the history of Graylingwell Hospital has been given a boost.
More than £90,000 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help the University of Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, West Sussex Records Office and the Chichester Community Development Trust preserve old archives and allow others to explore aspects of the institution.
The hospital, formerly known as the West Sussex County Asylum, was built in 1896 as a mental health facility before closing in 2001.
As well as its role as a medical institution, Graylingwell also played an important role during the first world war when it was occupied by the government to treat injured servicemen.
Stuart McLeod, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund south east, said the hospital had a ‘fascinating and varied history’.
“This is an important project that has strong community support, and we are delighted to play our part in ensuring the fragile archive will be appropriately preserved,” he said.
The project is set to finish in early 2015 with a number of heritage and art exhibitions.
The university will be leading the research and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester is set to organise a series of workshops to explore the building’s heritage.
The West Sussex Record Office will also digitise the archive, recording oral history testimonies from former patients and staff.
The Chichester Community Development Trust is also set to host a number of community events.