Established to complement the Springfield Asylum in Tooting, Brookwood Hospital opened in 1867 as Brookwood Asylum. It was the second County Asylum able to hold 650 pauper lunatics. Brookwood Asylum was the leading mental hospital for the West of Surrey.


Brookwood Asylum, Surrey History Centre collections

Brookwood was sited on 150 acres of land which lay between the Basingstoke canal and the village of Knaphill, four miles west of Woking.

During the 127 years of its operation, the hospital developed considerably. It was self-sufficient with, among other things, its own dairy, cobblers, sewage farm, fire-brigade and chapel. Later came a reception hospital, then library and conference centre.

Following the opening of the sick hospital in 1938, patient capacity peaked at 1,753.

The hospital closed in 1994.

Useful Links

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About Knaphill

About Brookwood Asylum

19th Century Surrey

Surrey History Centre

Contact details for museums in Surrey

4 Responses to Brookwood Asylum

  1. david spence says:

    i worked here in the early 1990s as kitchen superintendent

  2. Clara says:

    I’ve been indexing from Parish records and have found several people who have died in this asylum in May 1883. It was so fascinating to read about it! I hope people can find their ancestors who were interred here.

  3. Susan says:

    I was here in 1956 as a polio patient. There must have been an isolation wing for epidemics. I don’t know how long it was used for this. Visitors could only look in and wave through the large glass windows. Quarantine was 4 weeks and then we were transferred to the Rowley Bristowe Orthopaedic Hospital at Pyrford. First time today I realised it had been an asylum.

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