A former wool merchant, Mr George Banks of Hunslet, Leeds, built St Catherines House with its extensive Walled Garden in 1827. The house was occupied as a family home until 1930, when the South Yorkshire Joint Hospital Board acquired it. In 1931 the house was restructured so that it could function as an Institution and accommodate resident patients. Residents worked in the garden, and provided St. Catherine’s, with all the vegetables that they needed. It has been part of the mental health care service in Doncaster since that time, and it is now the headquarters for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust (RDaSH).
Over the years the Walled Garden, as a Doncaster Garden Centre, has provided valuable therapeutic support and learning opportunities for service users experiencing and recovering from mental health difficulties. People are able to learn about horticulture and volunteer in the garden, growing plants and vegetables from seed whilst they build skills and confidence to aid them on their way to recovery.
The Walled Garden is now part of Flourish Enterprises; a Trust initiative providing a range of vocational opportunities and therapeutic support to people who have mental health needs or learning disabilities.