Orchard House, Rauceby Hospital (Kesteven County Asylum)

In 1953 Orchard House, which opened in 1939 as an admissions Unit, was in fact a separate hospital. In contrast to the custodial approach of the main hospital it was run as an open hospital. The patients were primarily referred from out patient clinics and were classified as voluntary patients. They wore their own cloths, went home at weekends and were encouraged to organize their own entertainment. Doors were not locked except at night. Male and female patients mixed freely as far as the old fashioned layout of the wards would allow.

Physical treatments such as ECT, modified insulin therapy and deep insulin coma therapy were practiced. The main emphasis, however, was on the treatment of depressions, neurosis, sexual problems, alcoholism and drug independence. To this end techniques such as abreacttive therapy using intravenous and general anesthetics, individual and group psychotherapy, psycho-drama and hypno-analysis were used. With the introduction of new drug treatment the distinction between the clientele of the main hospital and Orchard House became less noticeable. Patients suffering from acute schizophrenic and manic-depressive illnesses rapidly responded to the new drugs available (e.g. phenothiazenes and lithium carbonate)

The policy of closure of the mental hospitals and the emphasis on Community Care meant that as Rauceby Hospital followed the schedule laid down for its own closure Orchard House became surplus to requirements. Subsequently in 1987 it was handed over to the Area Health Authority to provide a centre for clerical and community use thus ending fifty years of service to the mentally sick. Until its finally closure in 2011.

The above was taken from raucebyhospital.8m.com/custom.html which gives an excellent history of Rauceby Hospital.

I have visited Orchard House on two occasions, the first was in the pitch black late at night and no photos were taken as torches were at a minimum to avoid being seen from the houses overlooking the site. On the return visit it was at a better time of day and sunlight was flooding in the windows, creating a whole different atmosphere.

Having seen the sign on the wall on both occasions which reads:

“Per Ardua ad Astra”

For the ghosts “Bert and The Maid – Top Floor”
“Merry Christmas” + God Bless
+ To the old Orchard House residents

From the NHS
Dec 2011

Per Ardua ad Astra (“Through adversity to the stars” or “Through struggle to the stars”) is the motto of the RAF and other commonwealth air forces, I didn’t really get the connection here, but what I did get was the fact that once I had explored the left hand wing (as your facing the building from the front) and was backtracking to go along the other end, some of the doors I had closed behind me on the way were somehow now open, giving me two options. Either Bert and The Maid had come down from the top floor to say hello, or someone else was in the building. I made the decision to leave and head up to the main asylum as it was a lone explore, unfortunately thereby missing half of the building. But, you never know I might be down that way again sometime so there’s a possibility of a revisit later in the future.

Enjoy the show!


The sign next to the door reads “Lincolnshire Teaching Primary Care Trust, Orchard House, Trust Headquarters”






View to the main entrance

I don’t know what will happen to Bert and The Maid once this place goes, ideas anyone?


I knew I shouldn’t have had that curry the night before


Room of Death! or so the writing on the wall claims….


What to do in case of a fire, interestingly it shows at the top a plan of the west wing of the building







Thanks again for viewing!