Chichester Community Development Trust commissioned the evaluation of the Graylingwell Heritage Project on behalf of the project partners Pallant House Gallery, University of Chichester and West Sussex Record Office for the Heritage Lottery Fund final report.
The partnership project drew together the skills and expertise not only to preserve the material history of the site but also to bring to the fore the personal stories and memories of those associated with the Graylingwell. Alongside the aims of exploring, interpreting and preserving the history of Graylingwell the project’s application expressed a wider aim to provide a platform to discuss mental health and to engage in a dialogue to challenge stigmitisation.
Graylingwell Hospital was originally built as the West Sussex County Asylum in 1896, on what was then the northern edge of Chichester. The hospital functioned as a mental health facility until it was closed in 2001. As a medical institution, Graylingwell Hospital has also played a significant part in the history of mental health treatment in Britain and the developing role of psychiatry in the 20th-century.
The evaluation was embedded into the project, an evaluation framework was drawn up in consultation with project partners at the start of the project, and culminated in a series of 1-2-1 interviews with all partners and key members of the team. During the course of the evaluation feedback was gathered from participants and data gathered via questionnaires at all events.