Victorian Asylum Aerial Photographs

Oct 11, 2017

It is very hard to convey the size of the old Victorian Asylums in a single image; these were vast and complex buildings covering hundreds of acres and numerous structures and buildings. The other aspect that is hard to convey is the splendid isolation the Asylums originally held, as the buildings are now surrounded by the urban sprawl of the last 100 years. Consequently, the easiest was to understand their size is to either look through the original architectural plans, or to look at historical aerial photographs. Luckily, aerial photographs are now easy to come by.

As a result of the UK company Aerofilms donating their entire back catalogue, that dates from 1906 until 2006, to Historic England, it is now possible to view most of the country from the air.  Over a four year period, the Britain from Above project digitised the most important images of the UK, dating from 1919 until 1953, and made the images available online through their website, Britain from Above. As part of this project they have allowed personal websites & blogs to use these images for free. Good news for County Asylums as it allows use to provide further information to each Asylum covered on this website. We have used this blog post to compile them into a single list for your viewing pleasure.

Finally, if you happen to have images of any of the Asylums missing an aerial view identified below please do get in touch, we would love to be able to use them on the site.

All Saints Hospital, Birmingham, Warwickshire –  First Birmingham Borough Asylum
All Saints Hospital, Birmingham

All Saints Hospital, Birmingham (right hand side of photo) (Britain from above)

Banstead Hospital, Belmont, Middlesex – Third  Middlesex County Asylum

Banstead Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Barnsley Hall Hospital, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire –  Worcester County Asylum

Aerial view of Barnsley Hall Hospital

Barrow Mental Hospital, Barrow Gurney, Gloucestershire –  Bristol City Mental Hospital

Barrow Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Bedford Asylum, Bedfordshire

No photography available

Bexley Hospital, Dartford – London Seventh London County Asylum

No photography available

Broadgate Hospital, Beverley, Yorkshire –  East Riding County Asylum

Broadgate Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Brookwood Hospital, Woking, Surrey –  Second Surrey County Asylum

No photography available

Calderstones Hospital, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Sixth Lancashire Asylum/ Calderstones Institution
Calderstones Hospital, Whalley

Calderstones Hospital, Whalley (County Asylums Collecition)

Cane Hill Hospital, Coulsdon, Surrey – Third (old) Surrey County Asylum

Cane Hill Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Carlton Hayes Hospital, Narborough, Leicestershire – Leicestershire and Rutland Asylum
Carlton Hayes Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Carlton Hayes Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Caterham Hospital, Caterham, Surrey –  London Metropolitan Asylums Board – Caterham Imbecile Asylum
St. Lawrence's Hospital, Caterham

St. Lawrence’s Hospital, Caterham (County Asylums Collection)

Cefn Coed Hospital, Swansea, Glamorgan – Swansea Borough Asylum

No photograph available

Central Hospital, Hatton, Warwickshire –  Warwickshire County Lunatic Asylum

Warwick County Asylum, (County Asylums Collectin)

Cherry Knowle Hospital, Ryhope, County Durham – Sunderland Borough Asylum

No photograph available

Claybury Hospital, Redbridge –  London Fifth LCC Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Claybury Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Clifton Hospital, York, Yorkshire – City of York and North and East Ridings Joint Asylum

No photograph available

Coney Hill Hospital, Gloucester, Gloucestershire – Second Gloucestershire County Asylum

Coney Hill Hospital, Gloucester (Britain from above)

Darenth Park Hospital, Dartford, Kent – Metropolitan Asylums Board – Darenth Asylum and Schools

No photograph available

De La Pole, Hull, Yorkshire – Kingston upon Hull Borough Asylum

De La Pole Hospital (Britain from above)

Deva Hospital, Chester, Cheshire – First Cheshire County Lunatic Asylum

Deva, Chester Country Hospital (Britain from above)

Digby, Exeter, Devon – Exeter City Lunatic Asylum

Digby Hospital, Exeter

Exminster Hospital, Exeter, Devon – Devon County Pauper Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

Three Counties Hospitals, Stotfold, Bedfordshire – Three Counties Asylum
Fairfield Hospital - Three Counties Asylum, Bedfordshire

Fairfield Hospital – Three Counties Asylum, Bedfordshire

Fair Mile Hospital, Cholsey, Berkshire – Berkshire Newbury and Reading Joint (Moulsford) Asylum

No photograph available

Forston Hospital, Charminster, Dorset – First Dorsetshire County Asylum

No photograph available

Friern Hospital, Barnet, Middlesex – Middlesex County Pauper Asylum, Colney Hatch

Friern Barnet Hospital (Britain from above)

Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge ,Cambridgeshire – Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely Joint Counties Asylum
Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge

Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge (Couty Asylums Collection)

GarlandsHospital, Carleton, Cumberland – Cumberland and Westmorland Joint Counties Asylum

No photograph available

Glanrhyd Hospital, Bridgend, Glamorgan – First Glamorgan County Asylum, Angleton

No photograph available

Glenside, Bristol, Gloucestershire – Bristol City Asylum

Glenside Hospital, Bristol (Britain from above)

Goodmayes Hospital, Chadwell, Essex – West Ham Borough Lunatic Asylum

Goodmayes Hospital, West Ham (Britain from above)

Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester, Sussex – West Sussex County Asylum

Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester –

Haverfordwest Hospital, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire – Havefordwest Borough Asylum

No photograph available

Hellingly Hellingly Sussex East Sussex Asylum

Hellingly Hospital, Sussex (Britain from above)

Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk – Norfolk Second Norwich Borough Asylum

Hellesdon Hopsital, Norfolk (Britain from above)

Herrison Hospital, Dorchester ,Dorset – Second Dorset County Lunatic Asylum

Herrison Hospital, Dorset (County Asylum Collection)

High Royds Menston Yorkshire West Riding Asylum

High Royds Hospital, Menston (Britain from above)

Hill End Hosptial, St Albans, Hertfordshire – Hertfordshire County Asylum

Hill End Hospital, St Albans (Britain from above)


Hollymoor Hospital, Birmingham, Warwickshire – Third Birmingham City Asylum

Hollymoor Hospital, Birmingham (Britain from above)

Horton Epsom London Seventh London County Council Asylum

Horton Hospital, Epsom (County Asylums Collection)

Horton Road Hospital, Gloucester, Gloucestershire – First Gloucestershire County Asylum

Horton Road Hospital, Gloucester (Britain from above)

Hull, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire – Hull and East Riding Refuge

No photography available

Kingsway Hospital, Derby, Derbyshire – Derby Borough Lunatic Asylum

Kingsway Hospital, Derbyshire (County Asylums Collection)

Knowle Hospital, Fareham, Hampshire – First Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

Lancaster Moor Hospital, Lancaster – Lancashire First Lancashire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Lancaster Moor Hospital (Britain from Above)

Leavesden Hospital, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire – Metropolitan Asylums Board – Leavesden Imbecile Asylum

Leavesden Hospital (Britain from Above)

Leicestershire Asylum, Leicester – Leicestershire First Leicestershire Asylum

First Leicestershire Asylum (Britain from Above)

Littlemore Hospital, Oxford, Oxfordshire – Oxfordshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Littlemore Hospital, Oxford (Britain from Above)

Long Grove Hospital, Epsom – London Tenth London County Asylum

Long Grove Hospital, Epsom (County Asylum Collection)

Manor Hospital, Epsom – London Sixth London County Asylum

Manor Hospital, Epsom (County Asylum Collection)

Mapperley Hospital, Nottingham – Nottinghamshire Nottingham Borough Asylum

No photography available

Maudsley Hospital, Camberwell, London – The Maudsley Neurological Clearing Hospital

No photography available

Mendip Hospital, Wells, Somerset – Somerset And Bath County Asylum

Mendip Hospital, Wells, (Britain fro Above)

Mid Wales Hospital, Talgarth, Breconshire – Mid Wales Counties Mental Hospital

No photograph available.

Middlewood Hospital, Wadsley, Yorkshire – Second West Riding of Yorkshire County Asylum

Middlewood Hospital, Mapperly (County Asylum Collection)

Moorhaven Hospital, Plymouth – Devon Plymouth Borough Asylum

No photograph available

Naburn Hospital, Fulford – Yorkshire York City Asylum

From the air, before WWII. – Image kindly donated by the family of Arthur William Stannard (worked at Naburn 1918-1938)

Napsbury Hospital, St Albans – Middlesex Second Middlesex County Asylum

Napsbury Hospital (County Asylums Collection)

Netherne Hooley Surrey Surrey County Asylum

Netherne Hospital, Hooley (County Asylums Collection)


North Wales Hospital, Denbigh, Denbighshire – North Wales Counties Lunatic Asylum

No Photograph available

Norwich Asylum, Norwich – First Norwich Borough Asylum

No Photograph available

Oakwood Hospital, Maidstone, Kent – First Kent County Asylum

Oakwood Hospital, Maidstone (Britain from Above)

Parc Hospital, Bridgend, Glamorgan – Second Glamorganshire Asylum, Parc Gwyllt
Parc Hospital, Bridgend

Parc Hospital, Bridgend

Park Prewett Hospital, Sherborne St.John, Hampshire – Second Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum

Park Prewitt Hospital (Flickr)

Parkside Hospital, Macclesfield, Cheshire – Second Cheshire County Asylum

No photograph available

Pastures Hospital, Derby, Derbyshire, Derbyshire County Asylum

Pastures Hospital, Derbyshire (Britain from Above)

Pen-Y-Fal Abergavenny Monmouthshire Joint Counties Lunatic Asylum

No photography available

Powick Hospital, Powic,k Worcestershire – First Worcestershire County Lunatic Asylum

Powick Hospital (Britain from Above)

Prestwich Hospital, Manchester – Lancashire Second Lancashire County Asylum

Prestwich Hospital, Manchester (Britain from Above)

Rainhill Hospital, Prescot, Lancashire – Third Lancashire County Asylum

Rainhill Hospital Annexe (Britain from Above)

Rauceby Sleaford Lincolnshire Kesteven County Asylum

No photograph available

Roundway Hospital, Devizes, Wiltshire – Wiltshire County Asylum

No photographs available

Rubery Hill Hospital, Birmingham, Warwickshire – Second Birmingham Borough Asylum

No photograph available

Runwell Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex – Runwell Mental Hospital
Runwell Hospital, Wickford

Runwell Hospital, Wickford

Saxondale Hospital, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire – Second Nottinghamshire County Asylum
Saxondale Hospital, Radcliffe on Trent

Saxondale Hospital, Radcliffe on Trent

Scalebor Park Hospital Burley In Wharfedale, Yorkshire – West Riding Private Asylum

No photograph available

Severalls Hospital, Colchester, Essex – Second Essex County Asylum

Severalls Hospital, Colchester

Shelton Hospital, Shrewsbury,  Shropshire – Shropshire and Wenlock Borough Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

Shenley Hospital, Radlett – Middlesex Third Middlesex County Mental Hospital

Shenley Hospital, Radlett (Britain from Above)

Sneinton Hospital, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire – Nottingham Asylum

No photograph available

Springfield Hospital, Wandsworth, Surrey – Surrey County Asylum

Springfield Hospital

St Andrew’s Hospital, Norwich, Norfolk – Norfolk County Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

St Audry’s Hospital, Melton, Suffolk – Suffolk County Asylum for Pauper Lunatics
St. Audry's Hospital, Woodbridge

St. Audry’s Hospital, Woodbridge

St Augustine’s Hospital, Canterbury, Kent – Second Kent County Asylum

No photograph available

St Bernard’s Hospital, Ealing, Middlesex – Middlesex County Asylum/Hanwell Asylum
St Bernard’s Hospital

St Bernard’s Hospital

St Cadoc’s Hoapital, Newport, Monmouthshire – Newport Borough Mental Hospital

St Cadoc’s Hospital (Britain from Above)

St Clement’s Hospital, Ipswich, Suffolk –  Ipswich Borough Mental Hospital

No photograph available

St Crispin Duston Northamptonshire Northampton County Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

St David’s Hospital, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire – The United Lunatic Asylum for Cardigan, Carmarthen, Glamorgan and Pembroke
St David's Hospital, Carmarthen

St David’s Hospital, Carmarthen

St Ebba’s Hospital, Epsom – London Ewell Epileptic Colony

St Ebba’s Hospital, Epsom

St Edward’s Hospital, Cheddleton, Staffordshire – Third Staffordshire County Asylum

St Edwards Hospital, Cheddleton (Britain from Above)

St Francis Hospital, Haywards Heath, Sussex – Sussex County Asylum

St Francis Hospital, Sussex (Britain from Above)

St George’s Hospital, Stafford, Staffordshire – First Staffordshire County Lunatic Asylum

St Georges, Stafford (Britain from Above) – to the read of the prison

St George’s Hospital, Morpeth, Northumberland – County Pauper Lunatic Asylum for Northumberland

St Georges Hospital, Morpeth (Britain from Above)

St James’ Hospital, Portsmouth, Hampshire – Portsmouth Borough Asylum

No photograph available

St John’s Hospital, Bracebridge Heath, Lincolnshire – Lincolnshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

St John’s Hospital, Stone, Buckinghamshire – Buckinghamshire County Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

St Lawrence’s Hospital, Bodmin, Cornwall – Cornwall County Lunatic Asylum

St Lawerence’s, Bodmin

St Luke’s Hospital, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire – Middlesbrough Borough Asylum

No photograph available

St Martin’s Hospital, Canterbury, Kent – Canterbury Borough Asylum

St Martins Hospital, Canterbury

St Mary’s Hospital, Burghill, Herefordshire – Herefordshire County Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

St Mary’s Hospital, Stannington, County Durham – Gateshead Borough Asylum

No photograph available

St Matthew’s Hospital, Burntwood, Staffordshire – Second Staffordshire County Pauper Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

St Nicholas’s Hospital, Coxlodge, Northumberland – Newcastle upon Tyne Borough Lunatic Asylum

St Nicholas’s Hospital, Newcastle (Britain from Above)

Stanley Royd Hospital, Wakefield, Yorkshire – West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Stanley Royd Hospital, Wakefield (Britain from Above)

Stone House Hospital, Dartford, Kent – City of London Lunatic Asylum

Stone House Hospital

Storthes Hall Hospital, Kirkburton, Yorkshire – Fourth West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Storthes Hall Hospital (Britain from Above)

The Towers Hospital, Humberstone – Leicestershire Leicester Borough Lunatic Asylum

No photograph available

Tone Vale Hospital, Taunton, Somerset – Somerset County Asylum

No photograph available

Tooting Bec Hospital, Tooting, London – Metropolitan Asylums Board – Tooting Bec Asylum

No Photograph available

Warley Hospital, Brentwood, Essex – Essex County Lunatic Asylum

Warley Hospital

Warlingham Park Hospital, Chelsham, Surrey – Croydon Borough Asylum

Warlingham Park Hospital

West Park Hospital, Epsom, London – Eleventh London County Mental Hospital

West Park Hospital, Epsom

Whitchurch Hospital, Whitchurch, Glamorgan – Cardiff City Mental Hospital

Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff

Whitecroft Hospital, Newport, Hampshire – Isle of Wight County Asylum

No image available

Whittingham Hospital, Preston, Lancashire – Fourth Lancashire County Asylum

Whttingham Hospital

Winterton Hospital, Sedgefield, County Durham – Durham County Asylum

Winnerton Hospital

Winwick Hospital, Warrington, Lancashire – Fifth Lancashire County Asylum

Winwick Hospital, Warrington (Britain from Above)