Hampshire Genealogical Society

Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum

In the 1840s there was a legal requirement for every county to have its own asylum, the result being that Hampshire purchased the land at Knowle Farm near Fareham in order to construct the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum. Work started in the late 1840s with the buildings completed in 1852 ready to receive the first patients who were removed from the Grove Place Asylum and admitted to Knowle.  Before Knowle the original asylum was in the 16th Century Grove Place in Upton Lane, Nursling which Dr. Edward MIDDLETON acquired in 1813 and converted into a private asylum.

The reception orders for the first patients to be transferred (see below) were made on 13 December 1852 with more following on the 15th, then followed by a further 17 before the end of the year.  There were more transfers from Grove Place in 1853 as well as a number from Fisherton House Asylum in Salisbury, Carisbrooke Lunatic Asylum and a number of other asylums around the country.  Presumably if these places had patients whose legal place of settlement was in Hampshire then they moved them as early as possible so that Hampshire would pick up the cost.

WrapsonWilliam13 Dec 1852
ChildsCharles13 Dec 1852
KingswellJames13 Dec 1852
ThornWilliam13 Dec 1852
GamblinWilliam13 Dec 1852
EverettJames13 Dec 1852
EdwardsElizabeth15 Dec 1852
EdmundsJane15 Dec 1852
SnellerEliza15 Dec 1852
CarterSarah15 Dec 1852
TruddleSarah15 Dec 1852
MathewsEliza15 Dec 1852
HarrisGeorge15 Dec 1852
NorrisThomas William15 Dec 1852
MillerHenry15 Dec 1852
CookCharles15 Dec 1852
DukeWilliam15 Dec 1852
PalmerAndrew15 Dec 1852
MarshMary15 Dec 1852
HallAnn15 Dec 1852
BradleyMary A.15 Dec 1852
MundyMary Ann15 Dec 1852
SmithersElizabeth15 Dec 1852
PelhamHannah15 Dec 1852
PowellAmelia15 Dec 1852
SawyerRose15 Dec 1852
WarehamJoseph15 Dec 1852
BaileyJohn15 Dec 1852

All the records for the asylum are held in the Hampshire Records Office under acquisition 48M94 with 48M94/B6 containing the reception and removal orders, including those shown above. The actual orders can contain such details as age, parish and the address of next of kin.  An example is for Thomas William (or William Thomas) NORRIS which contains a letter dated 1966 from his sister Eliza NORRIS at 1 South View, Winchester, requesting that should her brother die she should be informed so that he could be buried in the family plot in Winchester Cemetery.  It is possible that the gravestone in West Hill Cemetery in Winchester naming William and Eliza NORRIS are those two people.  William died on 13 June 1874 aged 53 and Eliza died 22 April 1895 aged 86.  There are also two other family names recorded on the stone.

Grove Place Asylum c. 1850

The picture of Grove Place is from “The Picture of Southampton, and Stranger’s Hand-Book to every object of interest in the town and neighbourhood; with numerous highly-finished steel engravings — Second and complete edition” by Philip BRANNON, published 1850, and now in the public domain.


Roy Montgomery

Member 3759

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