In 1908 Henry Maudsley, one of Britain's foremost mental
scientists at the time, wrote to London County Council to offer
£30,000 (subsequently increased to £40,000) towards the costs of
establishing a "fitly equipped hospital for mental diseases". His
vision was for an urban centre for a hospital rather than an asylum
and for university psychiatric teaching and research.
In 1909, at Maudsley's suggestion, the LCC's Mental Hospital's
engineer, W.C. Clifford Smith, undertook a fact-finding visit to
Kraepelin's clinic in Munich to gather "hints as to the design,
staffing and administration" of the proposed psychiatric hospital.
Three years later, detailed plans were drafted.
Henry Maudsley's stipulation that the hospital should be within
three to four miles of Trafalgar Square caused a delay in finding a
site and was never quite met - the location settled on was Denmark