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Former Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water

A Grade I Listed Building in Virginia Water, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.4045 / 51°24'16"N

Longitude: -0.56 / 0°33'35"W

OS Eastings: 500261

OS Northings: 168262

OS Grid: TQ002682

Mapcode National: GBR F9F.WT4

Mapcode Global: VHFTP.7YTN

Entry Name: Former Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water

Listing Date: 17 November 1986

Last Amended: 5 March 1998

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1189632

English Heritage Legacy ID: 289749

Location: Runnymede, Surrey, GU25

County: Surrey

District: Runnymede

Electoral Ward/Division: Virginia Water

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Broomhall/Windlesham/Virginia Water

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Virginia Water

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Former Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water


Former Sanatorium for private mental patients, now housing with communal amenity area for the residents. Built in 1873-85 to the designs of W H Crossland for Thomas Holloway, purveyor of patent medicines turned philanthropist.

Main building by W.H Crossland of red brick with Portland stone dressings and slate roofs. Almost symmetrical facade with what were originally private bedrooms and day areas on four storeys for private patients, male and female, converted in 1995-96 to houses. These set either side of central entrance with great hall over and former dining room, now pool, set to rear. Long front and wings punctuated with crow-steeped gables and bay windows; projecting centre of two storeys with open arcading on ground floor, main hall above with traceried windows and pinnacles at corners. Tall tower behind centre block with ornamental top stage, tracery opening and corner pinnacles, surmounted by a pyramidal roof and fleche. Wings return at both ends of fronts in similar style but have been curtailed. Many extensions at rear, now greatly reduced in extent and remodelled in 1995-96.

INTERIOR: entrance hall with stencilled decoration on walls and ceiling and three Gothic arches in front of staircase and corridors. Fine stone main stair branching into two with stencilled decoration on walls and balustrade and traceried windows with ornamental glass by Cottier and Co. Recreation hall on first floor with traceried windows and dais at one end, all sumptuously decorated. Hammerbeam roof and linenfold wall panelling with stencilling, glass in two-light traceried windows by Cottier and Co., walls painted with various figure scenes and, above timber dado, portraits on canvas by Ernest Girardot and others of various notables including Queen Victoria, Thomas and Jane Holloway, George Martin-Holloway and Henry Driver (many damaged and replaced).

On ground floor behind staircase, former dining hall with hammerbeam roof and stencilled decoration to walls and ceiling above dado level; the pastoral scenes painted on canvas by James Imrie and South Kensington students above dado level mostly lost. The stencilled decoration in the halls and on the staircase predominantly by J Moyr Smith, 1877-78. Other rooms in the main building simple, the interior much replanned by Charles Dorman, 1884-85. Later additions by R Weir Schultz and others mostly lost.

The Holloway Sanatorium was the most elaborate and impressive Victorian lunatic asylum in England, because it was the most lavish to be built for private patients, and it retains much of its original character and detailing. The quality of the external design and the decoration of the principal spaces is exceptional. It is the only example to be listed in grade I. It was paid for entirely by Thomas Holloway (1800-83) and his trustees, who also built the Royal Holloway College at Egham (1879-86) which survives nearby and is also grade I.

SOURCE: Victorian Society Annual, 1995

Listing NGR: TQ0026168262

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