Authors: Westling, C. and Wyld, J.

Place of Publication: Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton and online


Crucible brings the history and legacy of the Royal Sussex County Hospital to life based on stories and records of its buildings and communities since 1828. Working with artist Daniel Locke and Strike A Light Arts & Heritage, we have developed a mural and interactive kiosk in the new hospital building, supported by a website. It includes archival documents, photographs and oral histories, and images of the commissioned artwork by Daniel Locke that explores the hospital’s history, and on which the mural is based.

Artist Daniel Locke held workshops and talked with hospital staff and past patients, gathering their memories, which went on to be included in his new artwork. Crucible covers the history of Royal Sussex County Hospital from people’s perspectives, from its origins as a sea-bathing hospital to its life-saving research work in the 21st century.

Strike A Light Arts & Heritage captured people’s stories and recollections of how hospitals in Brighton & Hove have impacted their lives. From stories of the Great Storm in 1987 and the Brighton Bombing in 1984 to advances in medical techniques, such as improvements in treatment of HIV, cancer and eye surgery. People’s memories recall how Royal Sussex County Hospital has affected their lives, families and communities. A place of change, experience, healing and development.

Crucible has drawn on findings from a National Lottery Heritage Fund project, the Royal Sussex County Hospital A People’s History from the 19th Century to the 21st Century, which identified and interpreted the social heritage of the hospital leading up to the new development. A symposium and exhibition based on the research took place at Jubilee Library, Brighton in September 2019.

Crucible has been led by Nimbus, with project management support from Willis Newson. It has been commissioned by Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust with additional support from Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Crucible is part of Connect, the public art programme for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Source: Manual