2. The Holloway Sanatorium

The patients walk and drive; arrangements are made for occupation, instruction and amusements, and every method is used for the amelioration of their condition.

Treatment involved getting away from the stresses of the outside world. It was considered very important that the patients should occupy themselves to take their mind off their problems. There were leisure activities such as tennis, croquet and billiards and a recreation hall for concerts and parties. There were trips to Ascot and Henley and cricket matches. There was a seaside branch where patients went for short stays. The men lived in one part of the building and the women in another, but they came together for entertainments and outings.

Meals were served formally in the dining hall. The surroundings were rather like a grand hotel and the atmosphere was intended to encourage suitable conduct. Patients who could manage this got privileges such as being allowed to join in the trips or to go out of the Sanatorium on their own.

The attempt to modify peoples behaviour in this way was called moral treatment but there were also physical interventions such as sleeping draughts, laxatives, sedatives, extended warm baths (intended to calm excited patients) and shower baths.


The Sanatorium bought its own specially equippedseaside house in Bournemouth in about 1910,as shown in an illustrated brochure.
Holloway Sanatorium Virginia Water Surrey, after 1910.
Surrey History Centre, 2620/6/26.

From Rules for the admission and visiting of patients and boarders in Third Annual Report of Holloway Sanatorium Registered Hospital for the Insane
For the Year 1888, pp. 49-52,
Surrey History Centre, 4761/1/1.



The recreation hall, restored in the mid 1990s to its original condition by Octagon Developments Ltd. with the support of English Heritage. Photograph, about 1996, courtesy of Octagon Developments.


Illustration in a promotional brochure showing male and female patients, together with nurses and male attendants, enjoying music
on the terrace.
Some Views of Holloway Sanatorium,
St Anne’s Heath, Virginia Water, Surrey, about 1905.

Surrey History Centre, Ref 725.5 S1x.


Billiards were provided to occupy and entertain male patients.
Some Views of Holloway Sanatorium, St Anne’s Heath, Virginia Water, Surrey, about 1905. Surrey History Centre, Ref 725.5 S1x.


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