The Lincolnshire asylum which was designed by John R. Hamilton and James Medland of Hamilton and Medland opened in 1852, just seven years after the act that made it compulsory for each county to provide such institutions.
During its long history the institution was enlarged on several subsequent occasions to as ever provide further beds. When it opened for the reception of patients/inmates it was originally established jointly by Lindsey, Kesteven, Holland, Lincoln, Grimsby and Stamford, and managed by a Board of Visitors appointed by the contributing authorities. Kesteven and Grantham withdrew from the arrangement when the contract of Union expired in 1893 (eventually establishing the Kesteven County Asylum at South Rauceby, 1897).
The hospital was originally set in grounds of 120 acres which included gardens, farmland and a burial ground. The frontage is dominated by the original three-storey Medical Superintendents house in the main central block of the southern wing and the three storey administration block . Both are flanked by two-storey links with extensive H-plan wings to either side, and is of an Italianate design in local ‘blue’ stone, with dressings of Mansfield stone.
In 1940 female patients were transferred to other hospitals, mainly Storthes Hall Mental Hospital which was the former West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Huddersfield in order to make space for an Emergency War Hospital which functioned until 1943. Many of these female patients did not return until well after the end of the War. Administration of the hospital passed to the National Health Service in 1948 when the NHS was established.
By the early 1960s it was known by the name of St John’s Hospital. Closure finally came in December 1989 with the remaining patients transferred to other establishments. The former asylum was sold in the mid 1990’s to a property developer, who constructed nearly 1,000 new houses in the village. The original hospital buildings are classified as Grade II listed buildings and are protected from demolition although remain in a derelict condition