Holloway Sanatorium was founded in 1885 by a wealthy entrepreneur, called Thomas Holloway, who had made an immense fortune through the sale of pills. He wished to bequeath his wealth to a suitable philanthropic cause and devised the idea of opening an asylum for the middle classes whose needs had hitherto been largely overlooked by county asylums which received large numbers of paupers and private establishments which took those rich enough to pay.
His aim was to build an asylum for ‘Persons of the reduced middle class who [would] pay a moderate income for their support’. It was to hold two hundred patients, of whom none were to be epileptic, paralysed or dirty. No patient was to remain there for more than a year, no hopeless cases were to be admitted, there was to be no readmission (although this rule seems to have been broken within a few years), and all patients were to come from the middle class. Unlike the bleak austerity of county asylums, which were often constructed and furnished more like prisons than hospitals, Holloway’s sanatorium was carefully planned to provide comfortable surroundings, exuberantly coloured and decorated in order to distract the attention of the patients from their mental afflictions.
The Sanatorium closed in 1981.