Object Lesson VI
The end of Park Farm
In 1954 the Ministry of Health issued a national circular on the cessation of hospital farming activities and Ministry officers visited Bethlem Royal in October 1955. The Farm bailiff resigned that same month.
In December 1955 the decision was made to discontinue farming operations in favour of market gardening with pig keeping. The possibility of the market garden providing occupational therapy was considered but it is not clear if this was ever happened. The dairy herd was sold in January 1956.
Market gardening with pig keeping continued until September 1958 when there was an outbreak of swine fever. After that time the Governors agreed that there would be no attempt to re-introduce pig keeping.
Image: Ayrshire Cows - the type of dairy cattle at Park Farm in the 1950s
Bethlem House Committee Minutes 10 July 1929 – 30 June 1948
Bethlem & Maudsley Hospital Committee Minutes 14 July 1948 –
9 December 1959
Bethlem Royal Hospital, Finance Ledger April 1937 – April 1942
Bethlem Royal Hospital, Statements of Accounts 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943
Ministry of Health Circular HM (54) 23, Farming Activities of Hospitals, 15 March 1954
G W Tookey QC (1957), History of Monks Orchard Estate, Bethlem & Maudsley Hospital Gazette, March & July