London - Ealing - The Royal Indian Asylum

Elm Grove Road : SW13 0BS
The Elm Grove estate in Ealing had been purchased by the Secretary of State for India from the Perceval family for £24,500 in March 1870. Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt supervised the conversion of the house into a lunatic asylum for patients who had been sent home from India. The Royal Indian Asylum opened in August 1870, with Dr Thomas Christie as its Superintendent. The asylum closed in 1892.

The Ealing Harriers athletic sports were held at the asylum on September 5th 1885 and included a 2 miles bicycle handicap race, run in four heats. There was a dead-heat in the final between RY Ashbury and F Goodman (time 8 min 5.6 sec). For some reason Goodman refused a re-run or the spin of a coin and Ashbury graciously took second prize. The grass course was staked out at 4 laps to the mile but was described as ‘very rough and uneven, especially for the bicycle races. The prizes for the meeting were on display ‘in the window of Mr Walter, jeweller, The Mall'.

There seems to be no record of bicycle racing after this at the asylum.


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