News: Heritage Talks@Two

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

 The History of Mental Health Care in Surrey 1770 - c.1990


Thursday 2 March 2017, 2pm

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has said that it is time to end the culture of “keep quiet and carry on” over mental illness in his support of the Heads Together Charity Campaign.   The Duke has suggested that 2017 could be the tipping point in changing attitudes to de-stigmatize the illness.

There is an opportunity on Thursday 2 March to learn more about mental illness from a historical perspective.  Focusing on changing attitudes and understanding the practices that have taken place since the 18th century, this talk marks the start of Guildford Cathedral new, free, “Heritage Talks@Two” series. Launching on the 2 March, we are delighted to be joined by Julian Pooley from the Surrey History Centre to explore the fascinating story of The History of Mental Health Care in Surrey from 1770 to1990.

Louise Kenyon, Guildford Cathedral’s Outreach and Engagement Officer said “We are very pleased to be launching our new “Talks@Two” series with such a topical subject, looking at the way mental health care has been viewed in the past, and how this influences our current understanding of this challenging issue.  We are delighted that Julian Pooley is able to return to the Cathedral to deliver this talk, to sensitively use his extensive historical expertise to raise the profile of a widely misunderstood illness”

This talk traces the history of the care of the mentally ill and mentally handicapped in Surrey from the late 18th century, using the records of private asylums in Surrey's quarter sessions records but also the archives of Surrey's many mental hospitals: Springfield, Brookwood, Holloway Sanatorium, Royal Earlswood, and the 'Epsom Cluster' of Horton, Long Grove, The Manor, St Ebba's and West Park. It uses medical records and case papers to examine changes in treatments and shows how these records can be used by family historians.  It will be fascinating for anyone with an interest in the past, local history, community matters, archives and mental health issues.

We are pleased that the respected local charity, Oakleaf, will be at the talk on 2 March and attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about their valuable work supporting those suffering from mental health issues. 

The Spring Heritage series of “Talks@Two” continues in the coming months to include an enlightening set of talks on local “power-couples”.  On Thursday 27 April, Juliet Dunmur, grand-daughter of the architect of Guildford Cathedral, will share her unique knowledge of her grandparents, Sir Edward and Lady Prudence Maufe, and their joint role in designing the iconic building, now fondly recognised as “The People’s Cathedral”.  On Thursday 4 May, Perdita Hunt, OBE DL, will share her passion for the Watt’s Gallery – Artists Village and the couple who created it, leaving a legacy of an artist’s community in Compton, Surrey.  Both talks will focus on the unusual, but dynamic, power couples who played such a role in creating and shaping these buildings, whose legacies live on as living hubs serving their respective communities.

All are welcome to attend these fascinating talks on our local heritage, please register your interest by emailing to help us plan this event effectively. Thank you for your help!

For full details of all Cathedral events visit or call 01483 547886 for more information.  

The Cathedral, Refectory and Shop remain open throughout the works

Added Wednesday 8th February 2017