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Friern Barnet Photo Archive

Colney Hatch Pauper Lunatic Asylum
The Friern Barnet Photo Archive
Colney Hatch Pauper Lunatic Asylum

An engraving of the Second Middlesex County Pauper Lunatic Asylum, opened on 17 July 1851. The first Middlesex asylum was at Hanwell and had opened in 1831. At its peak Coley Hatch, later renamed Friern Hospital, had over 2600 patients. SEE ALSO IMAGE NUMBER 114 FOR MORE COMMENTS
Picture added on 16 September 2009 at 15:57
A descendant of mine was admitted to Colney Hatch in 1851. He had been a serving Police Officer in Dagenham before being implicated in PC Clark's murder "The Dagenham Murder" in 1846. No charges were pressed but he was a prime suspect. After the murder he returned to Bethnal Green and returned to his previous employment of silk weaver. On the 17th January 1851 Butfoy was taken away from home and admitted to the Bethnal Green Workhouse 'as a lunatic' Then some months later to Colney Hatch. 41 year-old Abia Butfoy became only the second patient to be admitted to the huge newly-opened Colney Hatch Pauper Lunatic Asylum, in Friern Barnet in Middlesex. On 7th July 1853 He died at the asylum' aged only 43, the cause of death being given as "Chronic changes of brain'' He was laid to rest in the asylum burial ground four days later. The service was carried out by the chaplain Henry Murray'.
I would like to know if the cemetary still exists and is there any way of knowing where he was buried, a plot number?
Thank you, Sara Brooks.
Added by Sara Brooks on 30 April 2011
Hello Sara, I know this is a year and a half later, but better late then never. My name is Shi and I live on Friern Barnet Lane, literally 3 minutes away. My friend is a Medium who has previously visited there, not for work, just to have a look around. It was very sneaky but her and a friend managed to unscrew some boarding and get into the tunnels underneath the building. These tunnels lead to another building which we believe is the chapel. It is tiny, no bigger then a child's bedroom. So as the tunnels are leading from the building to the chapel it is very likely that this is the route they would have used to transport the dead from the hospital to the chapel for the ceremony, then from there to the burial ground. Now we couldn't find the burial ground, but there is a mound which could have been a mass burial. These are all just ideas. I hope none of this is too insensitive as you were talking about family, I just wanted to give you any information I personally know, and if you need any more help please feel free to email me, and me and my freind will be happy to help.
Added by Shi from friern barnet on 21 November 2012
I was an exchange student in the early 1980's- went to Amsterdam and came back out of my mind. Not sure if it was drugs or viral meningitis or an unexplained psychotic episode - but somehow I ended up in Friern Barnett hospital for some weeks absolutely out of my mind... just plain crazy. Thought I was Gandi, Jesus, CIA and Menachen Begin in my head. really gone. Got escorted back to the US, given lots of drugs, and regained a grip on realty - thank god. Vivid memory or the place and some folks there. Long strange trip.
Added by DF on 18 December 2012
My 3x great grandmother died here in 1881. On her death certificate the cause is "exhaustion from paralysis" but then underneath this it reads like an autopsy report! Did they do medical "investigations" on these poor people after they died? (Or even before?!) I don't know where she was buried. I checked the 1881 census but these people weren't even mentioned. How many of these people just didn't "exist" then in 1881? No wonder family research is so hard when some people aren't even included. Any more information would be gratefully received.
Added by CB on 23 December 2012
The burial ground is next to the gate house on right
Added by Steve Good on 24 December 2012
Thank you Steve Good
Added by CB on 25 December 2012
My great-grandfather and his father before him both worked at this hospital from around about 1870 onwards. It is fascinating to read about the history of this place as it looked an impressive building. I have found from the census that only those that were workers are named fully, patients are only listed by their initials.
Added by Sharron Horton on 20 January 2013
Yes - I found that too Sharron.

Added by CB on 20 January 2013
Am I right in thinking the graves are unmarked? I presume when the site was redeveloped for flats the graveyard was left intact. Can anyone confirm this?
Added by Dave P on 24 January 2013
I lived in Lyndhurst Avenue from the early 60's and can remember when the area bounded by Colney Hatch Lane just south of Hillside Gardens down to the North Circular Road, along the NCR to the railway bridge, and back up to the south side of the hospital was fields that formed the grounds of the hospital. When the hospital closed the land was sold for development and local legend had it that when the estates on Poplar Grove, Firs Avenue, Ribblesdale Avenue etc were being built in the mid 80's there were hundreds of unmarked graves being found. Doubtless there was some exaggeration but given the size of the hospital and the less enlightened times during which it operated I'd be surprised if there wasn't some truth in it. The hospital was huge, it reportedly had the longest indoor corridor in the world at one point, three quarters of a mile long. The estates that surround it - Parkhurst, Bellevue, and Carlton Roads for instance - were built mainly to house the masses of staff needed to run the place, and New Southgate station was built to service the hospital. People were admitted for what we today would consider to be the most incredible of reasons, such as having radical political views, or being 'feeble minded', and as many inmates had no relatives they saw out their days there and had no family to see that they had a decent burial.
Added by Greg Fisher on 07 February 2013
Sara, when I first moved into Friern Village in 1998 I did a tour of the then undeveloped hospital buildings and grounds given by Dr Ollie Natelson, a local historian.
He showed us an area next to Friern Barnet Road to the west of the entrance gates which is overgrown by trees and bushes. However you can just make out 4 white marker stones which he explained are the outer markers for the lime pits where former patients were buried who had no know relatives. I do not know if there are records anywhere of who was buried in this area. We were not shown any other burial sites but as another correspondent mentioned much of the former grounds are now built on, Friern Village being the most recent additions some 15 years ago.
Added by Peter Storey on 27 August 2013
I wonder if those 4 marker stones are still in place...........
Added by Carolyn Boon on 27 August 2013
Hello Peter, thank you for the information, very kind of you. Abia did have a wife so I am hopeful that he had a proper burial. Must have been an awful place have been incarcerated in, poor souls.

Added by Sara on 27 August 2013
I worked at the hospital in 1978/79. There was a small cemetery at the rear of the hospital within a walled area at the railway end
Added by Michael on 20 August 2014
Thanks Michael - would you be able to confirm whether the cemetery has now been built over by the new development of houses at the back of the hospital? Looking at Google Maps I can't see a space where it might have survived.
Added by Dave P on 24 August 2014
I've been searching for a Debra Gordon who was in Friern 1970-1990s, she sadly passed away not knowing her son was searching for her. Any info on this lady would be a great help.
Added by Scoot Gordon on 30 September 2014
I am looking for info on my great Uncle Gabriel Martin he died 11 Dec 1881 at the age of 16 and was buried in Colney Hatch Cemetery, so does that mean he was in the Asylum?
Added by Lorri on 26 October 2014
I am looking for records of Bartholomew Corner who was an inmate of Colney Hatch. He died there in June/July 1871. Are there records for the patients?
Added by Kaz on 28 October 2014
Contact London Borough Archives. They hold the records
Added by Carolyn Boon on 01 November 2014
My mother Mina Rimell was taken there in 1935. My father wanted to be rid of her, divorce her and marry his pregnant girl friend. He paid a doctor to have her committed. I was 2 years old and taken to the Willesden Childrens Home.
She died there about 10 years later aged 33 years and given a paupers funeral in the East Ham Jewish Cemetery.
There are supposed to be 2 thousand people buried in the vicinity, which is now a luxury apartment block.

Added by Mark Rimmell on 27 March 2015
Carolyn Boon,
I have emailed them & have never a reply!
Added by Kaz on 28 March 2015
That's so sad Mark Rimmell.
Added by Carolyn on 29 March 2015
My mother Mina Rimell,was a Jewish Russian refugee living in Palestine. He never wanted to marry her but the army authorities insisted that since she was pregnant he must do the 'decent thing'. They came to Hanbury Street in the East End where I was born. He had met another woman who became pregnant....hence the payment to a doctor to certify my mother and have her removed to the Colney Hatch Insane Asylum. A Rabbi who I found after much searching long after she had died told me that not once did she even realise she was in an insane asylum but in a prison..and constantly asked 'Why?' and 'Where are my children and my husband.? 'She was constantly sedated and eventually died aged 33 years old. I met my fathers' new son, my half brother, who told me more of the story..Particularly that his new wife absolutely refused to take in two 'Jewish' children..I am wriitng my story..I am 81..and made a successful life in the movie industry..and spoke with Charles Chaplin in 1968 who unknowing to me and to him gave me the title when he remarked 'From the moment we are born ,we are sentenced to life''Sentenced to Life'..I hope will be completed...
Added by Mark Rimell (known as Rimmell) on 17 April 2015
Mark - please make sure you let me know when completed as I should love to read it.
Added by Carolyn on 19 April 2015
I wonder if the new luxury apartment dwelling gardens converted from the Friern Barnet Mental Hospital still contain some of the graves of those unknown people or were they disinterred and re buried...I suspect not...
Added by Mark Rimell (known as Rimmell) on 19 April 2015
Incredibly moving story Mark - thank you for sharing it. I too suspect the pauper's graves (over 2500 of them!) are still there. I can't find any evidence to suggest otherwise.
Added by Dave P on 19 April 2015
I was at this place in 80's - it was such a random few weeks in my life, but I have vivid memories of the place and people there. Nice folks, great chocolate brought by visitors. We are all so vulnerable. To anyone who knows me I am a healthy happy American mother of 4 teens.. but this place holds a special little place in my heart - it is a reminder of all our frailties. To this day I cherish my sanity after my time at FB. Happy Spring All!
Added by DF on 19 April 2015
It doesn't bear thinking about. I wonder where the designated burial site is/was?
Added by Carolyn on 20 April 2015
See photo 1727, which shows the burial ground. A comment in 2013 says it's now very overgrown.
Added by Colin Barratt on 22 April 2015
The burial ground has not been used since the 1870's. Those people who died at the asylum (not claimed by relatives) were sent to New Southgate Cemetery to be buried. I am familiar with the old burial ground, and as far as I can tell, there is now only a stone which reads "consecrated ground". I remember reading somewhere that the other stones have since been removed (none of the graves were ever marked). The two large burial registers were deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives, but the larger, main register is now "long-term" missing when one asks to see it.
Added by Lori on 21 June 2015
I have found where my Bartholomew Corner is buried after being in Colney Hatch Pauper Lunatic Asylum. If anyone needs any help in tracing yours let me know & I will check for you. Name & date of death should be all that is needed.
Added by Kaz on 22 June 2015
Hell Kaz, would be very grateful if you could find where Abia Butfoy is buried, he died on the 7th July 1853. Thank you. Sara.
Added by Sara Brooks on 25 June 2015
Hi Sara
I have checked everything i have & i'm sorry i can't find him :<(
Added by Kaz on 27 June 2015
Just been looking through newspapers & have found some bit on a Abia Butfoy , not sure if he is connected to you, was yours a policeman?
Added by Kaz on 27 June 2015
Any info on Martha, aka Amelia, Coste - born 1828 died 14 May 1881 In the asylum. Thankyou
Added by Carolyn on 29 June 2015
Sorry Carolyn,
I can't find anything....I did check the British Newspapers online & there are thousands of articles on Colney Hatch & it's going to take a long time going though different sections.... Might be worth you getting a subscription ??

Added by Kaz on 01 July 2015
Hi Kaz, thank you for trying anyway. Yes, he was a policeman, he was involved in The Dagenham Murder. See top post on this page which gives more information. Best wishes, Sara.
Added by Sara Brooks on 02 July 2015
Thankyou also for trying for me. I'm not sure if there would be an article relating to her being in there. Carolyn
Added by Carolyn on 03 July 2015
Is there any information about a George James Cording working at Colney Hatch in 1914, also a lady Grace Eva Cording there in 1911?
Added by Jeremy Renn on 01 August 2015
Sara Brooks, I am also related to Abia Butfoy, he was my 3rd Great Uncle, I'd love to get in touch. My email is palula25@hotmail.com I hope to hear from you. Either way I wish you all the best, Paula
Added by Paula on 25 November 2015
I bought a flat that backed on to the grounds of Friern Hospital, Sycamore Hill. While I was there, a film crew was
filmed a making a film. Any ideas what it was.. ?a very sad place
Anonymous comment added on 30 December 2015
You do not say when you lived there but two feature films were made at Friern - 'Britannia Hospital' which was made in 1982 when the hospital was still alive and 'Beyond Bedlam' which was made in 1994 after it had closed
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 30 December 2015
I have written about my mothers' incarceration in 1935. I never was tempted to visit the site. By great coincidence as a member of a film crew we filmed there in the 1990s a week before it would be closed forever and converted into luxury apartments and is now renamed 'Primrose Court'. It was a small scene for 'Longitude featuring Jeremy Irons and so at last I walked through the gates and into that dreadful interior.I guess it was meant to be...We filmed for just one day .
Added by Mark Rimmell on 30 December 2015
It's actually called Princess Park Manor, not Primrose Court
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 31 December 2015
For anyone interested; I have recently moved to Friern Village behind Princess Park Manor and in learning about Colney Hatch I will be making a point of looking into the original burial ground (following Peter's past suggestion of there being burial markers in the overgrown bit next to the entrance). I know from passing that area several times that there are some structures in there. They appeared to most likely be sheds, though.
Updates to come...
Added by Melissa D on 11 January 2016
Melissa - I shall look forward to it!
Added by Carolyn on 12 January 2016
Melissa, have you seen photos 1727 and 1728? These show the burial ground as it was. I don't know if the marker is still there. Perhaps you would let us know.
Added by Colin Barratt on 12 January 2016
Thank you David Berguer for reminding me that Colney Hatch is now called Princess Park Manor and not Primrose Court..
Added by Mark Rimmell on 12 January 2016
ABIA BUTFOY, aged 37, No 34 Crop Street Green St. Weaver, See former examination in book 1847 Folio 261.

ELIZABETH BURTON. 27 years, same address, says she was cohabiting with the above named ABIA BUTFOY (It seems they never legally married! I wonder why?) and by whom she has 3B and (cannot read 19th century handwriting!) See Examinatin ABook 1847. Cannot say where she belongs,says that her parents are dead and she was put into our House (Workhouse) when very young. See Father's examination in book 1826, folio 42.

Added by Arabella Seymour on 25 February 2016
My mother was the receptionist at the hospital for 12 years in the 70s and early 80s. As a kid I used to walk down from Woodhouse School to meet her and it was a strange part of my life to sit around four an hour in a mental hospital at the end of each day! After school I worked there in the summers as a porter in 83 and 84 (I think). An incredible place filled with stories and history at every turn.
Added by Andy Caddy on 18 March 2016
I am the grand daughter of Charlotte Butfoy "Annie" who came from Bethnal Green - she married Alfred Bray. Brentford has also been mentioned. I am keen to know more about her
Added by Penny Young on 27 March 2016
I've just read an article (from 2012) which quotes the developers of 'Princess Park Manor' who say that they discovered a secret tunnel from the hospital to New Southgate station "in case any famous politicians or royalty were brought in as patients." I wonder if anyone can shed any light on this?
Added by Dave P on 12 April 2016
As far as I am aware New Southgate Station was originally built to service the needs of the immense institution and had nothing to do with secretly delivering VIPs. The more I read about this institution and others scattered over the country. We would now call them 'Concentration Camps/Internment Camps' not to be confused with 'Extermination camps'. My mother was placed there in 1935 and died there in 1943/4. At 83 I am writing my memoirs as I have mentioned previously. This and other places were designed not only for the insane but (Quotation Julian Huxley 1930) so that people with disabilities could be segregated from everyone else in the name of perfecting the human race' Also to be designed as 'Miserable places with spartan conditions and harsh work regimes'. I read in my researched too that a government official declaimed that 'Only by hard work and harsh conditions could people be truly be rehabilitated'.
The signs above Dachau and other Nazi camps came to mind 'Work Sets You Free' !!!
Added by Mark Rimmell on 04 May 2016
Hi, I have just come across this forum on the net. I am trying to trace my 2nd great grandfather Henry Merson. He was admitted into the Asylum on 23rd March 1867 and died 2nd December 1868. Is there any way of finding out what he was in there for and any treatment he may have had please?
Added by Sharon Skingley on 15 May 2016
As far as I am aware treatment was minimal. Too little staff and patients were sedated most of the time.Those that were able were put to work and as I have mentioned the place was designed to be a 'miserable place with spartan conditions and harsh work regimes.' This I have taken as a quotation from one of the officials which can be seen on Google. Very few records seem to exist but maybe 'Kaz' who occasionally comments on here could help you.Good luck in your search.
Added by Mark Rimmell on 21 May 2016
For a history of the asylum, please refer to my book 'The Friern Hospital Story'
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 21 May 2016
My sister has been investigating our family history and has found that our great grandfather George Dennis was an inpatient at Colney Hatch for 4 years from 1888 to 1892. He was admitted because he had epilepsy and had frequent fits. He was married with 5 children but could not work as a foundry worker when the fits increased in frequency. He died in April 1892. My sister has found details of his medical records at The London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell. She thinks he was buried at New Southgate Cemetery and has contacted them to confirm if this is true, We are waiting to hear back from them.
Added by Kate Sparks on 17 July 2016
I'm trying to find any information about my uncle Israel Elbling (known as Izzy) who was committed to Friern Barnet in the mid 1930s for ridiculous reasons and lived there until he died in 1990. Apparently he was full of mischief and once caused a ruckus because he told one of the staff who was actually a reporter from the News of the World that he wasn't allowed to tend the tea parties with the female patients because he seduced them. This was told to me by a doctor. Izzy was in his 70s at the time. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Added by Peter Elbling on 05 August 2016
My grandmother worked at Colney hatch in 1923, she was just 16. Her name was Doris (Dolly) White and was attacked by one of the patients.
Added by Amy carter on 24 August 2016
My Grandmother Annie Key was a patient there from about 1930 till she died in 1964. I would really love to know why. It's said she died of septicemia caused through a broken hip.
Added by Roz Green on 26 October 2016
I oftem wonder if one can believe any of the 'causes of death' quoted on death certificates..One wonders how she came about the 'broken rib for example?...It was a horrific environment from the moment it opened ...
Added by Mark Rimmell on 27 October 2016
Hi, I'm researching information for a book. Im trying to locate any information I can on two separate patients (some say it was the same patient but I am inclined to disagree): 1) Nathan Kaminsky otherwised known as David Cohen, born in 1865, later admitted to Colney Hatch and perished in October of 1889 from "exhaustion of mania"

2) Aaron Kosminski otherwise known by Aron Mordke Kozminski was born on September 11, 1865, later incarcerated at Colney Hatch in 1891 and eventually released. Minimal information claims Kosminski died at the age of 53 on March 24, 1919 in London. No known photograph exists of either patient. I.am.wondering.if there was possibly a group photo shot that might have been taken that might possibly have either patient. Any other links to records would be greatly appreciated.

Another question I have concerns some treatment practices during this time (electroshock therapy, transorbital lobotomies, roman bath treatments, etc.). Pretty much from 1860's to theearly 1900's leading up to the 1903 fire.
Added by Michael Roman on 27 December 2016
Any information regarding Aaron Kosminski aka Aron Mordke Kozminski born September 11, 1865 died March 24, 1919, who was incarcerated at Colney Hatch between 1891 and 1894. Looking for possible photographs involved in group photographs, possibly. What group inmate photographs exist from the time of 1891 to 1894?
Added by Michael Roman on 27 December 2016
Hi, does anyone know of any one with the surname 'Carter' at Colney Hatch? My 2nd great grandmother's father (born 1829) is consistently and particularly recorded in many records that he was born in Colney Hatch (But all his siblings are just recorded as being born in Finchley). If he was not born in the building I imagine he would just be recorded as being born in Friern Barnet or Finchley? He was the first born and was baptized at St James the Great - abode recorded as Colney Hatch, however, his sisters were baptized in St Mary at Finchley, but they were living at Lodge Lane by that time. Does anyone know if there are any patient/inmate or even perhaps officer lists available online please? Also, does anyone have any knowledge about the street called Dungar Place? Struggling to find any trace of it anywhere, which led me to this website. Would greatly appreciate any info or advice.
Added by Jayne Cook on 20 February 2017
My Grandfather worked as a maintenance man in Colney Hatch around 1920's, it was through him that my mother met my father,my mother travelled from Wales to become a nurse there in 1920 when she was 18, she left to get married in 1928, she was also attacked by a patient Amy, and if the matron had not be doing her 'rounds' I would not be here, the patient was strangling her. My mum was a kind and compassionate person, I don't doubt there were some awful 'treatments meted' out and I find it very difficult to place her in that environment. She tried to go back after the war part-time, but found the treatment the patient were receiving on the wards too upsetting. later in the 1950-60s my late sister-in-law worked as a secretary there and I went with her and my brother to one or two dances there, the corridors were quit grim even then.
Added by Audrey Wilde Nee Young on 21 February 2017
Michael Roman - I am assuming this is the Aaron Kosminski who was the suspect in the Jack the Ripper case?
Added by Carolynkate on 22 February 2017
I believe my grandfather died in 1922 in Colney Hatch his name was Mark Moses. I have found his death certificate and am trying to find out why and who initially signed him into the aslyum. Do you know where any interment records could be found
Added by Carol Wilson on 29 March 2017
Philip Sugden wrote the complete history of Jack the Ripper and traced Kosminski, he was a historian and his research was extensive so if you get that book, all his sources are listed
Added by Jt on 21 July 2017
Added by Jt on 22 July 2017
Added by Jt on 22 July 2017
There are a lot of nurses who worked at Friern Barnet still alive and now working at St Ann's Mental Health St Ann's Road, London, N15 3TH. I was a trainee nurse at The Whittington and spent 3 months in Friern Barnet for mental health experience. It was quite a depressing and terrifying place to be aged 18 or 19. I witnessed electric shock therapy where pats were placed on both temples and a shock was sent through them making the person go stiff and shake a bit. A rubber pad was placed between their teeth to stop them biting their tongue. Patients would kick off frequently without warning and the male nurses would jump on them, hold them down and inject them then push hem into a padded cell naked so they couldn't use clothing to strangle or hang themselves to commit suicide. Dances were held for patients and we were expected to dance with patients. There were lots of patients there for most of their lives for petty reasons like not doing well at school and labeled backward, stress or anxiety or they had a fit and the family didn't want to be bothered. Nurses were frequently attacked with often serious life-threatening injuries. We were told to stand with our backs to the wall to avoid attacks. Patients ran around the grounds sometimes naked depending on their illness. Physical health was not catered for at all. Illnesses were not treated or referrals made to general hospitals. Patients were drugged for years and the drugs had severe side effects. Patients queued for their medication. Women were segregated from men in different wards and villas - male admission villa or female admission villa. The corridors were long, long, long. Patients would work in day wards or at the farm which was at the back of the hospital. There were patients with delusion of grandeur - one woman always dressed immaculately and was beautifully made up and sat in a very poised way. She constantly wrote to the Queen because she thought she was related. Another woman jumped up and down on her chair all day because she thought she was sitting on a man's p.... Most patients were institutionalized and could never cope in society. When a patient in a high dependency ward escaped, the police had to be contacted. Food was regulated and the same every week e.g. on Sunday cheese and beetroot was given for the evening meal. I'm really sorry to outline this information but it was the reality at the time. Unfortunately I don't remember any names from that time but I felt very sad that human beings found themselves in such an institution with other humans who could be very abusive. Nurses tried their best but their power was limited. The consultants prescribed lots of sedatives like Soneryl, Tuinal, Largactil, Dissipal barbiturates. There was one drug that when injected could be smelled in the person's breath and sweat. I wish everyone looking for family find the information they need. I would take the cause of death with little belief as no postmortems were done. My heart goes out to you.
Added by Brigitte Dingle on 03 August 2018
This was where my mother was taken in 1935..She was 25.A Russian Jew who met her solder husband on Palestine. They came to the East End but with two kids he tired of her and his his two 'Jewish brats'. He paid 5 pounds to a doctor to declare her insane. She was seized from our home in Hanbury Street..and taken to that awful place and spent the remainder of her life locked away. Our father married his pregnant girlfriend and we never saw him again. I was placed in the Willesden Childrens Home in 1935. My sister in another home. Our mother died about 7 years later and was given a paupers funeral and buried in the East Ham Jewish cemetery.Just a number ..I am told that other paupers might have shared that same grave..At least I was able to visit the grave many,many years later when I began to research my roots..Colney Hatch closed in 1990s and is now luxury apartments selling for millions..Hundreds of unclaimed bodies were disinterred and buried on the perimters of this luxury developement..
I often wonder which apartment in that place would once have been the cell occupied by my mother...Alas I will never know..I am 86 and I still thonk about what the terror of that place must have been like...Our mother 'Mina (nee Lebedeff) escaped the pogroms of Russia to find freedom first in Palestine and then England..Instead she discovered a life that was no life.
Added by Mark Rimmell on 05 August 2018
Hi My nan was in the hospital from 1974 till the day it closed. I don't believe in the after life but If you had seen what I have their you would never think about moving there. It was hell there as a small child it was the most frightening place on the planet. The sadness in the walls will still be there in my opinion and I don't believe in an after world or spiritualism but would never build a foundation on what I have seen go on in that building before. I love living in a Victorian house but that is something very different. When I was a kid I saw the padded cells the Victorians used to look down on people in straight jackets for fun. Happy home for all that want to live there xxx
Added by NATALIE ABBOTT on 11 August 2018
Does anyone know if and how I can find out information about the nursing staff that worked at Colney Hatch as I believe my Nan worked there before she got married and had a family. She lived from 1900 to 1984 and got married in 1932 so probably would gave worked there in the 1920s maybe? Thank you.
Added by Clare Gibbons on 18 August 2018
Hi, I have been trying to trace the death of my great grandmother Harriet Charlotte Suckling (nee Bruton). She was admitted on 29 September 1888 by her husband having, so the family story goes, attacked him with a carving knife as he was seeing another woman. The papers say Colney Hatch, which I understand is Friern Barnet. I had not realised that the census and possibly death records were not complete. Any information would be gratefully received.
Added by Carole Smith on 21 August 2018
Can anyone tell me how I can find the records of my mothers entry to Colney Hatch in 1935..and maybe there could be a pictire of her..She died there in about 1946/7
Her name was Mina Rimell
Added by Mark Rimell on 04 October 2018
Hi Mark, you may try this....discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/N13667049

Added by Carolyn on 05 October 2018
Mark Rimell, did you have any luck finding the record about your mother’s entry to Friern Barnet? My great grandmother had a similar experience to your mother and I would be really interested to find out more.
Added by Lucie on 05 January 2019
Mark Rimell. I checked the 1939 Register and a Mina Rimell was not in Colney Hatch but Napsbury - Middlesex County Asylum. She died in there in 1944 which is the St Albans District.
Added by Carolyn on 06 January 2019
It seems that my mother was at Napsbury and not Friern Barnet..I must check now..Napsbury could not have been worse than Friern Barnet..

Added by Mark Rimmell on 06 January 2019
My grandfather died in Friern Barnet in 1922 I have a death certificate. Is there any records to show where he was buried or why he was first taken to the hospital. His name was Mark Moses or Moss he died in December 1922.
Added by Carol Wilson on 07 January 2019
Someone earlier mentioned the making of a film at Colney Hatch...I was in the film industry as a Set Decorator and in 1999 we filmed a television film 'Longitude'. Jeremy Irons played the role of a man under phsyciatric treatment. The Designer came to me one day and announced that the scene of Jeremy Irons visiting his physciatrist would be filmed at Colney Hatch. It would be the very last time that Colney Hatch would exist since a few weeks later re-developement would begin and luxury apartments would be built. It was a strange feeling entering that awful place .The miles of corridors and abandoned cells,hospital, etc..etc..nWe filmed for just two days.. I had always thought that my mother had been incarcerated there but it turns ut she had been 'imprisoned' in Napsbury Insane Asylum'....I always regretted not taking any pictures of the interiors since it would be the very last time that any one would have the opportunity....Longitude was screened in 2000 and our Art Department won the British Acadamey Award for the series. I must try and find a video and check if any of the corridors etc were filmed I just cannot remember..
Added by Mark Rimmell on 07 January 2019
Hi, my great grandmother was admitted to Colney Hatch in 1929 shortly after the death of her baby. She remained here until her death on 1967. I am keen to find out more about her and her time in the asylum. Lilian Brett was her name.
Added by Lucie on 01 February 2019
Regarding filming at Colney Hatch (Friern Hospital), the 1982 comedy film Britannia Hospital was also filmed there.
Added by Colin Barratt on 02 February 2019
Hello. I am doing some research for a friend. I wonder if someone died there in say 1922. Would the death certificate say 'Barnet' as the district? I have taken this from other searches. What amazing stories! thanks Esther Kahn Melbourne Australia
Added by ESTHER KAHN on 13 February 2019
Hi, according to the website Free BMD it was. You can check yourself at www.freebmd.org.uk/

Hope this helps, Sara.
Added by Sara brooks on 16 February 2019
Yes, it should show as Barnet. PA good way to find a district is to google the town or village and add UKBMD. It then comes up with the entry.
Added by Carolyn on 16 February 2019
I am trying to find out what happened to my grandfather Joseph Moss, he was admitted to Colney Hatch in 1921 aged 31 and as far as I know, he never came out. The Metropolitan Archives sent me copies of medical records but they ended abrupty mid page in 1946. I think he may have lived until about 1962 but have no information at all.
Added by Paul Moss on 10 October 2019
REF INFO WANTED BY JAYNE COOK regarding Dungar Place I was born at number 3 Dungar Villas known in the 1800s as Dungar Place. A Mr Dungar owned land off of Summers Lane lane across to Colney Hatch Lane. See old Tankard The Trumph M Fairchild circa 1870 discussed on this site. The street known fondly as the Alley had two names left side DUNGAR VILLAS right side SUMMERS ROW. MY GRAND FATHER WALTER FAIRCHILD aka KING FAIRO built in the 1940s a row of houses known as Dungar Villas. Later an Eastern Electric sub power station was built over a massive celler basement which stored vats of beer for Whitbreads owner of the Trumph public house run by my great great grand mother Mary buried in the St James grave yard next to the park...where there is a civil war tunnel still undiscovered to the church the older cottages Summers Row was owned by the Jelks family which my grandfather built their family estate Montbello Tottridge Lane and also the area known as the Haliwick I rember going to Lodge lane to buy a horse housed in a small stable at the rear of the house. The Cook family did have links to the Alley and were related to the Prior family of Summers Lane. I hope this helps
Added by John Gairchild on 18 November 2019
I just noticed a discharge release form for Alfred Bierley age 11 and William Bierley age 3 in 1899. It says, "Open request Without notice by order of committee to Homsey Rd. R & To CRW to Colney Hatch Asylum Open Request. Dead (Ishmael) To Infromary." (some spelling may be wrong). My husbands grandfather William Bierley was adopted by George and Lula Bierley of Fleming County, Kentucky, USA. Is there any information available that would let me know where the William Bierley on this list, went after he was discharged?
Added by Lareina Bierley on 23 November 2019
Interesting to see that facade after so many years. It used to be my last stop on the main road before turning off to cycle to STC. I also saw it often when visiting my grandmother who lived in the terrace of houses almost opposite the main gate. I haven't seen any mention of it being turned into an emergency hospital (the patients having been moved away) in WW2. In that guise a lot of good work was done by the staff. I lived in Finchley and the Asylum was a familiar sight in my journeys around Finchley and Friern Barnet.
Added by Anthony on 31 December 2019
Hi my several times gt. grandfather Edward Sheldrick died here in 1860. He was married with 3 sons and had been a steward at sea. The death certificate isn't very helpful are there any records available?
Added by Diane Geden on 04 April 2020
Records are held at London Metropolitan Archives
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 04 April 2020
Hello my grandmother's sister Daisy Howard died in Friern Hospital in September 1955. I do not know why she was sent there. How can I find out when she was admitted and why? When I married I lived in Poplar Grove which seems strange to think she may have walked around the grounds where I lived
Added by Amanda O'Donovan on 15 April 2020
In the 50's and 60's my uncle was a charge nurse at the hospital but I never heard him talk regarding his job there.
My mother used to take in staff from the hospital renting a self contained room to them, they all seemed good natured people, but again never discussed their work there. In 1941 when I was a child I was taken there with suspected concussion after a fall at home, it was just up the road from where we lived, it was only an overnight stay though. Also used to help the milkman deliver milk to the various buildings in the grounds and some of the 'exercise yards' could be a bit scary to a kid. Not all the inmates who were there were scary and, in retrospect, did not deserve to be there - meeting them outside changes minds.
Added by Reg on 08 May 2020
I live here since the year 2000. I'm happy here, its like a village and its gated, a beautiful building.
Added by Yoke Samji on 23 May 2020
I lived on Friern Barnet Road, directly across from the hospital from 1972-1978. I was very young, approx 7 years old and I had two aunties and an uncle work there.I was a frequent visitor to the grounds as well as going into the hospital to wait for my aunties to finish work. I remember one auntie telling me about an elderly women who was actually placed in the hospital at 16 years of age for being pregnant and that the lady was still there 60 years later and so was her daughter. I remember my auntie talking to them. I still feel the great sense of sadness. I remember the corridors with the big steel doors and the entrance which was so intimidating. I remember them holding summer fetes in the grounds and we used to go over and collect conkers. I will speak to my mum and older brothers and sisters because they will all have stories about Friern Barnet
Added by Miss Jennifer Eccles on 12 June 2020
I cannot undrstand how people could bare to live in such a place.The site of so much suffering, my own mother incuded .
Added by Mark Rimmell on 14 June 2020
Knowing that my own mother ended her days there. She lasted 7 long years of deprivation and isolation. She was givn a paupers funeral but in a real cemetary....My father in 1935 had bribed a doctor to have her committed so he could divorce her. I was 2 years old and taken to a Childrens home..Many, many years later when the place had closed I could not bare to take a look inside although I now lived only a few miles away....In the 1990s I was in the film industry and filming 'Longitude' with Jremy Irons as a physchiatric patient..I was a Set Decorator ...The designer knew my history and announced that a scene was to be shot in the now abandoned building .This woud be the last week ever that it could be seen as developers prepared to convert it into luxury apartments. I had the choice NOT to dress one of the cells as a doctors' surgery..or to enter the building. However I felt that fate had intervened to allow me to witness th 4 miles of corridors and cells etc..I remember entering the place and wondering which cell had my Russian mother spent her last years. I would never know. Our Director allowed me to light a candle and place flowers in a cell. We filmed for two days and for the very last time the gates closed and today it is 'Primrose Court'. However I believe the spirits and souls of those that went before will forever occupy the now grand and luxurious dwelling and those that live there will help to exorcise those spirits and make it a happy place to spend their lives.
Added by Mark Rimmell on 15 June 2020
I remember the corridors and the big doors along them. It was an intimidating building but I was never scared, never afraid of the people that were there, there was a kind of sadness, very hard to describe. I was only a child, but I remember the walls painted green and doors I recall were dark grey/green. Now all these years later I am so sad to read the heart breaking stories of families, the treatment of patients and so many people not finding the closure of loved ones.
Added by Jennie Eccles on 15 June 2020
Jennie Eccles. Alas the Eugenics Society has a lot to answer for. In the last years politicians etc are trying to erase the history. That is impossible just as one cannot erase the history of the slave trade. I have been reading about the Eugenics Society who attempted to erase the poor, the disabled the 'undesirables 'by experimentation on the brains etc.and also making everyone infertile. A sad, sad part of our history..
Added by Mark Rimmell on 16 June 2020
Where can you find burial records of people who died in Colney Hatch around 1920s. My grandfather's death certificate states he was paralysed but they used to put that when people were interned because of a STD, I have been told.
Added by Carol Wilson on 16 June 2020
Such sad comments the past few days but they do need saying. The so called herd mentality that has been mentioned throughout this pandemic has opened my eyes even more to the them and us mentality. I wonder why my gt.grandfather x 4 was in there. He was in his 50's and had been at sea. RIP all the people who were wronged in any way at these institutions x
Added by Diane Geden on 17 June 2020
Carol Wilson a lot were buried in Brompton Cemetery unless the family wanted the person elsewhere. Post some details of the person you are looking for & I might be able to help you find them
Added by Kaz Walecki on 17 June 2020
Hello Diane, I found this online, hope it helps. The details of hundreds of thousands of people locked up in Victorian 'lunatic asylums' in England are being published online for the first time. The records of more than 840,000 patients committed to 300 mental institutions during the 19th century and early 20th century have been collected by the www.ancestry.co.uk website. The Lunacy Registers and Warrants 1820 - 1912 were digitised from records held at the National Archives in Kew, west London. Each record contains the patient's name, institution name, admission date, death/discharge date and - in many cases - the reason for being transferred to the institution and past crimes committed. Within the collection are some of Victorian Britain's most notorious violent criminals who were judged not guilty of their crimes by virtue of their insanity.mThey include Aaron Kosminski who has recently had been considered, though discounted, as being Jack the Ripper. The Polish Jew emigrated to the UK in 1881 and worked as a barber in London's East End before being committed to Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum in 1891 for lewd behaviour.
Added by Sara Brooks on 17 June 2020
It is very painful to read the comments of people whose loved ones were locked up here, many including my uncle, for most of their lives.
Added by Harold Peter Elbling on 17 June 2020
Carol Wilson please add some details & maybe I will be able to find him for you?
Added by Kaz Walecki on 17 June 2020
Hi Kaz. Death 25.12 1922 name Mark Moss or Mark Moses. Is there a way to find out who interned him into Colney Hatch?
Added by Carol Wilson on 17 June 2020
Thank you Sarah. I think I did find something on Ancestry but it didn't give any new info but I will certainly look again. I only originally found him with just his initials. He was at sea prior and as yet have really not been able to find much on that either. But things turn up online all the time so always wroth revisiting.
Added by Diane Geden on 19 June 2020
Carol.... Sorry to say I have looked but there don't seem to be a record of him being buried, but not all records are available, I wish you well in your search
Added by Kaz Walecki on 19 June 2020
Carol. The cemetery at the asylum ceased to be used after 1873 and 2696 patients were buried there. He may have been buried at New Southgate Cemetery. Sadly pauper lunatics were buried in unmarked graves but there may be a record there. Some Jewish patients were buried in east London where they originated from. There are photographs of the consecrated ground at the asylum on page 39 of my book 'The Friern Hospital Story' which is currently out of print but will be reprinted when things return to normal

Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 20 June 2020
My g-grandmother, Rebecca Cracowski/Krakowsky died in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum in the early 1900s - cannot find out why she was admitted, assume as a single parent of 5 children she was exhausted. Her chldren were sent to orphanages. My grandfather, Louis/Lewis Kaminsky/Kominsky was admitted around 1934 to Friern Barnet and died here in 1952, again would like to find out more information as to why he was admitted here in the first place. The treatment in these places sounds horrific.

Added by Carol on 14 July 2020
Sorry I cannot help but indeed it was horrific. Just read the history of the Eugenics Society.
Added by Mark Rimmell on 14 July 2020
Carol, Do you have Rebecca & Louis death certs? This might help you find the answers....

Added by Kaz Walecki on 15 July 2020
Hi Jas. I have both death certificates and Rebecca's records from Colney Hatch which don't really say much. I will have to look into obtaining Lewis Kaminsky's file but I suspect it will be closed.
Added by Carol on 15 July 2020
Carol - have you phoned round the Jewish cemeteries in the East End? I found Mark's probate info - address in Bow. Wife Esther, who I found death for - either 9 Sept 1940 Bethnal Green or April 1925, St George in the East
Added by Joy Henderson on 23 July 2020
Hi Joy, yes you are right his wife’s name was Esther or Ettie as she was know. She died in the Jewish Hospital in 1958 and us buried at Rainham Jewish Cenetary but Mark was not buried there. Where did you find the probate? Thanks
Added by Carol Wilson on 25 July 2020
Hi Carol. On Ancestry. I have emailed a copy to you - (check junk file too!) If you'd like me to look up anything else, please let me know.

Added by Joy Henderson on 26 July 2020
My Great grandfather was I think an inmate of Colney Hatch Asylum. His name was John Dennis and I think he was admitted there somewhere around 1909. He apparently had a brain tumour that they thought was mental illness at the time. He died while there from what I can understand. Im having real trouble finding anything about him and its heard to research from Australia. I haven't yet applied for a death certificate as I'm not even sure of his birth date etc
Added by Pauline SInclair on 12 September 2020
Pauline Sinclair. There's a John Dennis who died in the Barnet area in 1929 aged 55.
Added by Carolyn Boon on 12 September 2020
To add to John Dennis who died in 1929 died at 77A Highgate Hill Islington, which was a smallpox hospital, others suggest it was just an Infirmary. Hope this helps.....

Added by Kaz on 12 September 2020
Thanks Carolyn and Kaz. as far as I could work out we were thinking he may have died around 1910 as my great grandmother remarried after that time and had put her children into orphanages as she had no way of supporting her children with him being in the asylum. I will continue to search.
Added by Pauline Mitchelson on 13 September 2020
Pauline. What was your gt grandmother's name or the names of their children?
Added by Carolyn on 13 September 2020

Added by Pauline Mitchelson on 15 September 2020
Added by Pauline Mitchelson on 15 September 2020
I did post but it mustn't have worked. Great Grandmother was Jane Florence or Florence Jane Lightfoot. CHildren were George Daniel Dennis born 1900 Hilda Florence Dennis born 1905 James Douglas Lightfoot Dennis Born 1908 I think and Edward George Dennis Ely born 1911. I heard there were other kids that didn't survive infancy but don't know a timeline on their births
Added by Pauline Mitchelson on 15 September 2020
I have had a quick look & found the last child born Edward George Dennis. He was baptised 27/8/1915 living at 153 Usk Rd, Battersea..... I checked his birth record & he was not born an Ely but a Dennis in 1911, on the G.R.O. it states surname of Dennis [for the child] DENNIS, EDWARD GEORGE LIGHTFOOT
GRO Reference: 1911 J Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 538 Occasional Copy: A Where it states Occasional Copy A means his original birth & later adopted to be an Ely... So it seems the father [John Dennis] died later than 1909... I don't have a lot of time right now but will try & help again soon
Added by Kaz on 16 September 2020
I am totally confused. I have probably got it all wrong but I found 7 children - 3 of whom died before 1911. I have her name as Jane Emily Annie Lightfoot, married John Dennis 1898 in Kensington. In 1901 they are together, with George, in Fulham, and John is a Bricklayer. I can't find them in 1911. In 1910 an Emily Jane Dennis marries either William Grigg or William Charles Scott. In 1915 a Minnie Dennis marries an Edward G Ely in Wandsworth. There was a Minnie Jane Edith Cole who was married to a William Dennis, also a Bricklayer. Without doing further extensive research I cannot be sure but it is likely that William and John could be related as they gave their children almost identical names. I cannot find John's death. Sorry I cannot help further.
Added by Carolyn Boon on 16 September 2020
I did send a reply to you Pauline, not sure it's arrived as yet
Added by Kaz on 16 September 2020
oh wow! i am getting so confused now too. I just wish I could share this with mum to get her take on this! This side of the family is so confusing! I sincerely thank you all for the assistance you are giving me.

Added by Pauline Mitchelson on 17 September 2020
Frederick Charles Zensz died at Colney Hatch Asylum 1919 died of General Paralysis of the Insane of indefinite duration. What on earth is that? My Grandfather was 51. Where would he have been buried?
Added by Joyce Zensz-Snell on 03 October 2020
He could have been buried at New Southgate Cemetery
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 03 October 2020
My grandfather was Mark Moss/Moses he died in 1922 same comments. I asked the question and my letter was answered in the 'Who Do You Think You Are' magazine. The answer indicated it was a common comment for Syphilis. I found he was buried at East Ham Jewish Cemetery
Added by Carol Wilson on 03 October 2020
I just learnt of this sad place of being on a new audiobook called "Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets." It talks about the dark realities of how some ended up here. (It's free to listen to.) I definitely want to now read the book Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise now. It sends shudders listening to some stories as I certainly believe that money was behind the cause of many being labelled a lunatic. For the last 10 years my Brother planted it in my Mother's mind that I am unstable and it has truly haunted my heart, not only as it's so cruel but because I genuinely believe jealous and her will is what is at the forefront of his mind. I try my best to stay well away from his hideous aggression don't worry! But honestly I truly feel for these poor souls and just hope that the sedation helped somehow in being able to bear being there. May they all Rest in Peace no matter where they were buried. I would like to think that their souls are free now <3 *MARK RIMMELL* I look forward to reading your book too. All the best and sending love, Natty
Added by Natty M on 12 October 2020
My Grandma died in Friern Barnet 89 -91 Theresa Maria Scanlon. She was buried in Southgate cemetery. I visited her there a few times before she passed away I was 4-5 then. I loved her when I met her. I don’t know any of her family members parents, siblings? she was from Belfast. I would like to get more information about her. Anything, even memories of her anything 🙏🌹
Added by Stacei on 14 October 2020
Please can anyone help, my Aunt Millie Morgan was admitted here in the 1920s for being pregnant, did her baby die?

Added by Rosie Valler on 21 October 2020
Is it possible records are available for patients? My great grandmother Margaret millar (Bewley as married) was sectioned there. I would love to know what her diagnosis was ??? Where’s best to find out ?
Added by Wayne Bewley on 30 November 2020
My great grandmother was sectioned here, how can I find out what happened to her ? I know she died there but would love more history
Added by Wayne Bewley on 30 November 2020
Patient records are held at London Metropolitan Archives
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 01 December 2020
I believe my Grandfather's Aunt died at the hospital in 1925 but I am struggling to find any further information. Does anyone know if there are patient records which can be viewed? Thank you
Added by Esther on 13 January 2021
The records are kept at London Metropolitan Archives
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 13 January 2021
Thank you David. I have taken a look but am unable to locate any scanned documents. Unfortunately at the minute due to our current situation the archive is closed.
Added by Esther on 14 January 2021
Thank you David Berguer. I don’t suppose you know if there are any scanned documents do you? Thank you
Added by Esther on 14 January 2021
I don't think the documents have been digitised - there are hundreds of them! You will need to talk to them when they reopen.
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 14 January 2021
re the Death of Peter Turner, I hope we can one day have another reunion and put this Covid behind us RIP Peter
Added by Jim on 16 January 2021
17 Sept 1853 - Robert Hall Bedwell has died at Colney Hatch, Robert had been a patient for almost a year, prior to which his wife had died. Documented to poor law removal settlement records are his five sons aged from 11- 1 years old. I don't have his death cert. I know his patient number is 22573, wondering where he is buried? and would records still be available? Thanks in advance from Brisbane AU
Added by Ms Carmen Sinclair de Parata on 24 February 2021
Have you tried the free online database "FreeBMD"? URL is www.freebmd.org.uk/
Added by Anthony Batchelor on 24 February 2021
Mr Bedwell was almost certainly buried in conscecrated ground at the front of the asylum alongside Friern Barnet Road. There were no marked graves.
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 24 February 2021
Freebnd only gives district of death, not place of burial. My 3x gt gran died here in 1880 but her family must have claimed the body as she is buried in Newham
Added by Carolyn on 24 February 2021
My great grandmother Alice Mary Ann Nixon was incarcerated in 1908 and died at Friern Hospital in 1956. I have admission and death dates but no idea why she was sent there. Am getting sent in circles with the London Archives? Any suggestions welcome!
Added by Michele on 07 March 2021
Hi Michele, I think I may be in the same boat as you. My Grandfather's Aunt died at Colney Hatch Mental Hospital in January 1925.
I have contacted London Archives who have told me that seeing as she passed away as long ago as 1925 then I would not require a death cert. They have said that due to COVID -19 they are currently closed to the public and the majority of staff are working from home, this means they are unable to access original documents. They did mention that they normally they have paid document research services, reprographics orders and requests for certificates. They said to keep an eye out for this starting back up.
I have no idea how much these services normally cost.

Added by Esther on 07 March 2021
Thank you Esther, I will keep searching. Good luck with your quest! Will post if I get anywhere.
Added by Michele on 08 March 2021
Hi again Michelle, I just wanted to give you an update as I emailed the London National Archives regarding cost of document copies. This is what I have been told...A 1 day photography permit allowing you to take photos with your own camera is £7. If you are unable to visit the London National Archives then you can use the paid document research service which is £80 for a minimum hours research.
I hope this is of use to you. Esther
Added by Esther on 12 March 2021
My grandfather was a male nurse at the hospital. My father was an electrician there and my mother worked in the canteen. This would have been in the fifties. I remember seeing a photo of myself and my cousins at a Christmas party. I also remember the long corridors with pipes running along them
Added by Peter Willmott on 29 October 2021
Did anyone see last week's Who Do You Think You Are? This was featured and the historian was able to find records of the ancestor who was sent there
Added by Diane Geden on 02 November 2021
I was born in 1953 and when I was about 6 I remember this man that my dad befriended and he would pop in about once a week for a cup of tea and a chat. As i got older I asked my mum who is he and where does he live? His name was Doggie as we called him, dont know if that was his first name or last name, my mum then went on to tell me his stor She said he lives in the asylum because when he was a very young boy he was a orphan and in those das if there was nowhere for orphans tha's where they was put so that poor man which was in his 50s then had lived in there man and boy not having any family that he new of ,then he just stoped coming. My dad tried to find out what happend to him but couldn't so maybe he got ill and die. We would never know. I remember when he came to see us his clothes never fitted him. It was like he had somebody else's clothes - trouses were either too short or too long and his overcoat was always too big
Added by Brenda stone on 05 April 2022
How kind of your parents to welcome him Brenda. I remember many people walking around from the hospital badly dressed and looking uncared for
Added by Joy on 06 April 2022
It was a terrible place. Local people mostly pretended it was not there. My mother was inarcerated in 1935.It's now called Primrose Court A luxury development Hundreds of unclaimed bodies still lie on the perineter. My mother died there
Added by Mark Rimmell on 06 April 2022
We lived directly across the road from the hospital and our front door was never locked, typical in the 70’s. I remember a couple of times we had unexpected guests. Some of my family members worked there, so we were never fazed even as young kids. I do remember a story that my auntie told me of a lady that was put into the hospital at the age of 16 because she was unmarried and pregnant, the true horror of it was when I was told this the lady was 101 and her daughter was 85 and both had spent their entire lives there, I was too young to realise the enormity of it then, just heart breaking and unbelievably sad
Added by Jennie on 06 April 2022
I wrote a little in 2019 about visiting my grandmother's house opposite the hospital. But I myself spent some months in it in 1943 when it was in use as an emergency hospital. I was admitted to it as a war victim and they saved my life. I remember boing wheeled along that long corridor looking up at the ceiling. I also was taken to a band concert by The Squadronaires, the RAF band.
Added by Anthony on 06 April 2022
My father also spent time in there convalescing with a collapsed lung after having been submerged in a submarine for too long. I remember the blue overalls the service men had to wear
Added by MRS AUDREY WILDE (nee Young) on 12 April 2022
My grandmother, Nellie Cooper, was sent there in the 1950s after my mother was appointed receiver by the Court of Protection. l think she died in 1956. Do any photographs of the place exist?
Added by TIMOTHY ANDREWS on 22 July 2022
There are 172 images of Friern Hospital on this website. Simply type in 'Friern Hospital' in the 'Advanced Search' box at the top right of this page and take your pick
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 23 July 2022
There are 172 images of Friern Hospital on this website. Simply type in 'Friern Hospital' in the 'Advanced Search' box at the top right of this page and take your pick
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 23 July 2022
My grandfather Mark Moss /Moses died here in 1922. His body was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in East Ham. Is there any way to find out why he was admitted to the asylum. Would the LMA know this information.
Added by Carol Wilson on 23 July 2022
It's worth contacting them
Added by David Berguer, Chairman on 23 July 2022
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Friern Barnet

St John's SchoolSt John's SchoolColney Hatch Lane, N10Carlton Road, N11St John's SchoolOld Fire Station, Friern Barnet LaneOld Fire Station, Friern Barnet LaneOld Fire Station, Friern Barnet LaneOld Fire Station, Friern Barnet LaneSt John the Evangelist, Friern Barnet Road