Horton chapel postcard from a photograph taken shortly after opening. Note the newly-planted trees.

The Horton is the location for the first permanent exhibition dedicated to the fascinating history of Epsom’s cluster of five psychiatric hospitals, and the people who lived and worked there.

From ground-breaking music therapy and Horton’s world-renowned malaria laboratory to daily life and sports, visitors can explore the unique experiences of patients, staff and the local community.

Horton was a war hospital during both world wars, and the chapel played an important role.

This exhibition can only illuminate part of the story of the hospitals. Many experiences remain untold or only glimpsed in the accounts of others. The exhibition features oral histories recorded in 2017 through the Keeping Us In Mind project.

The small number of interviews with patients that were recorded are included but some did not want to relive a distressing time in their lives or still felt stigmatised by the experience.

The Horton team will continue to seek interviews with former patients and others connected with the hospitals, and to respect their wishes.

If you would like to share your own story, please do get in touch.

You can find out more by reading the blogs written by our volunteer heritage researchers or visiting Epsom & Ewell History Explorer website.

Victorian Postcard Horton Chapel
This postcard was printed before the installation of the Great War memorial, now an impressive, restored architectural feature of The Horton.

“The best thing that ever happened to me was being a patient at Long Grove. It made me aware of the fragility of life, the reality of mental health for everyone.”

“You were literally taken away, removed from society, kept in a place. And if you didn’t speak up, you didn’t leave.”

William Collins

“I was never sure if the wall was there to keep them in or us out.”


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