Archive and historical images

This section looks to display all archive images that I am able to obtain. Credit is given where the photograph or source is known, images are otherwise published in the public interest. I do not own the copyright to these images and cannot grant consent for their use elsewhere.

Cane Hill appears to have a deficit of archive images – I suspect many were destroyed with confidential materials on closure, or held in private collections. I would be particularly interested in seeing private collections and would be happy to arrange digitisation and publication.

1930sMost likely taken in the 1930s or 40s, nurses in a female block. I would suggest Alleyn or Jenner, judging from the verandah through the windows.









A postcard of Admin, believed to date around 1930-1950. 

adminoldAdmin in 1953

signDetail of the sign at East Lodge, 1953

1993 illustrationIllustration of Cane Hill, 1993

Postcard kindly provided by T Hutchinson who wrote saying

My Grandmother Jesse Pratt worked there for a short time when she was 20 yrs old in 1919…

I am uploading a postcard from that date which was published by W.E.Eade, Coulsden, one of the Frith’s Series of cards.
Hope this is of interest to your site.

Ernie Townsend’s photographs

Thanks to Ernie Townsend for allowing permission to reproduce images that he recorded during his 24 year career at Cane Hill.

blue coachCane Hill’s coach in 1990

Boiler House Chimney replacementReplacing the Boiler House chimney in 1980

Staff CafeThe Staff Cafe in 1984

East LodgeEastlodge (the entrance on Brighton Road)  in 1980.

Chapel 1980The Chapel in 1980

Church OrganThe Organ in the Church in 1968

A day room, 1985. Most likely to be Blake.

22 thoughts on “Archive and historical images”

  1. Hi, Love the old photos of Cane Hill. Just a couple of points though – Harvard and Keats blocks did not have verandahs, although the ground floor ward in between them did (Jenner ward) and was essentially a replica of Alleyn ward.
    The photo of ‘East Lodge'(third down) is ot in fact at Cane Hill at all – it is the main entrance at LCC Bexley Hospital, Bexleyheath the lodge cottages still remain today although the gatehouse in between has been removed.


    [Thanks Pete, the ‘Eastlodge’ photo has been removed now. I’ve amended the comment regarding the top photo.]

  2. Please may I take one copy of Cane Hill Hospital, I have been doing my Family History and discovered one of my Ancestors was a patient who died inside there. Would just like to add it to my tree if its OK with you Thanks Wendy

  3. Hi did my training there in the early eighties it was a great place to be. First ever ward was Mapother ward never forget.

  4. My parents both worked at cane hill between (approx)1934 1975 we lived very close by and life revolved around the hospital my mother is still alive and will be 97 in jan. My sisters and I would like to try and trace a photo of my mum being presented to princess Marina (we think) the photo appeared in the local paper and she did have the original it has since been lost and I can’t find any reference to this visit it would have been in the late 50’s or early 60’s I hope you can help with this.

  5. Hi Shelley, I don’t know if I can help you here other than to suggest visiting the archive at Croydon Library and asking to see the Cane Hill box. Christopher may be able to help

  6. thanks for all the detail. My Grandmother died in Cane Hill in 1963 she had been there or in previous homes since circa 1936. Does anyone know where I can find/access patient history for that period?

  7. Follow on. Croydon Archives tell me that my grandmother was admitted in 1934 with post-natal depression and spent the rest of her life til 63 there.
    Patient history seems to have been destroyed but surely some must exist with the NHS takeover in 1948.
    Is there anyone still around that worked there in the 60’s

  8. Is it posible to find a person who was a patient in the Hospital in in40’s? Looking for Rose Cole (nee Harris) from Croydon.

  9. I have what appears to be a button with a possibly copper concave face with CANE HILL ASYLUM around the edge and LCA in the centre.
    On the verso it has in smaller print around the edge C & J WEBB LONDON (perhaps the manufacturer of the button)

    The are no holes in the button but it may have had a ?toggle for sewing it on or attaching it in a way similar to cufflinks.

    I found it tonight in a jar of coins etc that were in my grandmothers house in Mildura Australia,in ~1950 when I stayed there. Many of the coins etc may have been brought back by the men who had been in WWW1 or WWW2.And the number of countries represented suggests that some swapping of coins might have occurred. It is not uncommon for men to have bought home odd keepsakes picked up while away.
    Do you know the date of this object? I am not aware of any family member being in the asylum. However it seems likely that soldiers might have been rehabilitated there during the wars. There seems to be a big gap in the history that you have on line and nothing from the period from which this might have come.

  10. Michael Sweeney – Did you by any chance have any
    connection to the Dee family from County Limerick?
    My Mother and her two sisters worked at Cane Hill
    about the time your poor grandmother was first admitted.
    They had an uncle who was a policeman at Buckingham
    Palace during the early part of the 1900`s up until
    almost WW2 and his name was Michael Sweeney! You
    never know eh?

  11. Is it possible to find any archives of possible births at Cane Hill. I believe my mother in law was born whilst her mother Violet Haseler (Fear) was a patient back in the 1930’s.

  12. My grandparents both worked there when it opened and must have met there as my grandfather was Scottish. They married in 1895 and their place of residence is the asylum.

  13. Is there any record of my aunt Hilda Pannell who was in Cane Hill Hospital probably early 1950’s. She was removed by my mother and another aunt as they said the conditions she was living in were bad!! Thanks.

  14. Hi Steve, based on what you’ve said I would suspect that your aunt would have been at Cane Hill after the 1959 Mental Heath act was passed, as prior to this admissions were involuntary and patients could not be removed by family members. You may be able to find some information in the archives at the Museum of Croydon – further details are here:

  15. I believe my grandfather worked at Cane hill around 1928,along with my mum and dad at some point. Is there anywhere I can look for employment records to confirm this.

  16. My 2nd great grandmother was admitted to Woking Lunacy (as it was then known) in 1882 with “melancholia” then was transferred here in 1884 after no improvement where she remained until she died in 1913. She had 5 children and her youngest, my great grandmother was 18months old when she was first committed in 1882. So sad, thank goodness we have come a long way since then with mental health care, she probably had post natal depression.

  17. Hi Jackie, thanks for getting in touch. I have a document from the Surrey History Centre listing cases from Brookwood during 1867-1900, including a couple of hundred transfers from Brookwood to Cane Hill. If you can give a name I may be able to assist with finding more information.

  18. Hi looking for a member of staff who worked there as a porter he was Asian Rocker a billy this was around the early 1980s He was in his early 20s . thanks

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