Fisherton House Asylum

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Fisherton House Asylum
Established 1813
Opened 1815
Closed 2003
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Rambling Plan
Location Salisbury, Wiltshire
Alternate Names
  • Old Manor Hospital


A private lunatic asylum started in Fisherton Anger outside Salisbury circa 1813. From 1829 it was licensed by the Wiltshire Court of Quarter Sessions until a boundary change in 1904 caused the Quarter Sessions of the City of Salisbury to be the licensing authority. Between 1850 and 1870 the asylum accepted criminal lunatics, prior to the establishment of Broadmoor. Throughout its history it received pauper lunatics from local authority asylums all over the country, and particularly London.In 1954, by which time it had become known as the Old Manor Mental Hospital, it ceased to be privately run and was absorbed into the National Health Service. It was then administered by the Knowle (Fareham, Hampshire) Hospital Management Committee. In the early 1850s it had been the largest private mental hospital in England, with about 700 beds.

In 1974, the N.H.S. was reorganised and the hospital came within the Salisbury Health District of the Wiltshire Area Health Authority. By the 1990s there were few Service Patients remaining and the Department of Health encouraged the treatment of mental health problems within the community. Modern medicines ensured better control of symptoms and an outreach team assisted in preventing admission. The wards were gradually closed within the hospital until by the start of the 21st century a smaller new facility was planned and commissioned and the Old Manor closed.