Rooksdown Community Association - www.rooksdownonline.com

The history of Rooksdown

Rooksdown is a civil parish in the Basingstoke and Deane district of Hampshire, England. The parish was formed on April 1, 2004. It covers a small estate in the north-west of Basingstoke on land within and adjacent to the former Park Prewett Hospital.

The local housing development took the name Park Village, still used by some local estate agents. Rooksdown was originally part of the Parish of Sherborne St John, itself originally part of the Vyne estate.

The land on which Park Prewett Hospital stands was originally part of the Park Prewett Farm. The farm was acquired in 1899 although work on the hospital did not start until 1912. This was well advanced by 1914 when war broke out. The building was then used by the Canadians as a military hospital.

The mental hospital finally opened in 1921 and by 1936 catered for 1400 patients. It returned to military use again in World War II.

The hospital was also used by Sir Harold Gillies, the pioneering plastic surgeon, to further research. The institution reverted to a mental hospital in 1946 and remained in use until 1997.