Life in some of Surrey’s Victorian and Edwardian residential institutions
These pages look at three kinds of residential institutions in the county: a mental hospital; a boys public school; and several common lodging houses for the poor. They focus on Holloway Sanatorium, a mental hospital for the middle classes at Virginia Water; Charterhouse, a public school for boys near Godalming; and common lodging houses in Redhill, Chertsey and Staines.
Many people live outside the family home in special residential institutions. These pages look at what it was like to live in some of these establishments in Surrey, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Find out how these places were organised and decorated and glimpse how some of the people who lived there reacted to their surroundings.
In the Victorian period there was a dramatic increase in institutional places where large numbers of inmates could reside for short or longer periods of time. The expansion of the military, the relief of the poor, the punishment of criminals, the treatment of the mentally and physically ill, and the education of children were all subject to increasing intervention from charities and the government. This led to a more systematic approach to residential provision outside of the home. Hospitals, workhouses, prisons and schools were now often purpose built. The buildings were designed to control access and prevent fire and the spread of disease but the environments, decoration and rules were also intended to modify the behaviour of their inhabitants. The combination of open space and proximity to London encouraged the building of such establishments in Surrey.
Use the links to the left to explore this on-line exhibition.
- Royal Holloway University of London website
- Surrey History Centre website
- Charterhouse School in the display
- Common Lodging Houses and Surrey Towns in the display
- Visit Royal Holloway University of London’s on-line gallery: Snapshots of Institutional Life.
- Mental Hospital records at the Surrey History Centre
- Holloway Sanatorium records at Surrey History Centre