About County Asylums

Welcome to the second incarnation of the county asylums website. If you remember the first you’ll probably know what we’re all about. If not here are some words from the creator of the original website, Pete.

CountyAsylums originally started life back in 2003 as something of a different concept, albeit related. The urban exploration scene or UE had an internet presence for some years, with my own interest pre-dating this for a good ten years and my own site, UrbanDecay was born. The site aimed to chart my own visits to places some well known, others obscure but were largely hospital settings which were where my interests were based.

It was during this time I realised how scarce details were of such significant institutions on the web and resolved to do what I could to represent them all in some way shape or form. UrbanDecay became CountyAsylums, the content was modified and the work continued. My aim was to provide accurate historical details for each County or Borough Asylum within England and Wales, together with representative photos of what remains of them on site and sources of further information. The remit also extended to other types of lunatic asylum and also the former mental deficiency colonies to which the County and Borough Asylums were closely related, and were even less represented on the internet.

Sadly the task was too great. As much as I had gathered the photographs and information, proliferating the site in its entirety was beyond my abilities, as was keeping up with the reams of enquiries. The site grew old and unreliable. It was kept online for years, past its best in the hope I might be able to resurrect it but the prospect was too daunting and life too busy. CountyAsylums went into hibernation.

The original website went offline in 2013 but despite this many people still hoped it would return.

In 2014 a small group, including Pete, began the process of bringing the site back to life. Using the original asylum list created by Dr. Jeremy Taylor we sought to provide details, photos and history for all 137 asylums.

What you see here now is very much a work in progress, we hope the site will continue to evolve as we go along and we potentially have a secondary list of asylums and other institutions that may push the eventual list over 250.

If you feel you have anything you can contribute to the site be it history, photos or documentation then please contact us through the relevant contact links at the top of the website.

Thanks for visiting the website, we hope you appreciate what the website is about.

With Thanks to: Ali Costello, Andrew Pearson, Andrew Tierney, Chris Warren, Ed Combes, Harry Starling, Dr Ian Beech, Geoff Speight, Glyn Moxham, Jon Deacon, Lawrence Atwell, Lucy Sparrow, Nigel Roberts, Martin Thomas, Maggie Jones, Matt Hodgson, Mike Hood, Peter Aitkenhead, Ross Harverson, Rob McCrorie, Scott Rees, Simon Cornwell, Swansea Bay NHS Heritage Group, Rebecca Kelly, Rebecca Gleave, Rebecca Burrows, The Glenside Museum Bristol, The Stephen Beaumont Museum Wakefield, Whitchurch Historical Society