Highcroft Hall is situated in Erdington and has now been converted into luxury apartments, however its history is far from glamorous. Built between 1869-1871, the hall was originally called Aston Union Workhouse and was sanctioned by the Poor Law Board for housing ‘paupers, idiots, tramps, seniles, imbeciles and lunatics’ such was the terminology used in the Victorian era. Eventually the hall became a psychiatric hospital known as Highcroft Hall Hospital and then just Highcroft Hospital. There was always a huge local stigma associated with being treated there, it was seen as a ‘lunatic asylum’. The hospital eventually closed in 1996. The mental health facility was moved to more modern buildings and the hospital was no longer fit for purpose. It lay derelict for eight years and was then bought by property developers. I’m glad that they saved it, it’s such a beautiful and imposing piece of architecture that always makes you shudder just a little at its unfortunate history.