Charles Henry Howell

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Charles Henry Howell FRIBA (c.1824 – 1905) was the principal architect of lunatic asylums in England during much of the Victorian era. Based in Lancaster Place, London he was a partner in the architects' firm Howell & Brooks.

Howell designed asylums at Beverley (1868–1871), Moulsford, near Wallingford (1868–1870 and 1877), Brookwood (1862–1867), Cane Hill (1883) and Middlesbrough (1893–1898).[1] among others.

He was Consultant Architect to the Lunacy Commission and was Surveyor of Public Buildings for the County of Surrey from 1860–1893.[2]

Between 1886 and 1897, Howell was the assessor for seven large asylum design competitions, when professional concern was expressed "...[that] Giles, Gough & Trollope or G T Hine always seemed to receive the first two premiums - with the result that any new ideas on asylum design were being stultified".[3]

Other buildings designed by Howell include Christ Church at Shamley Green, Surrey (1864),[4] St Lawrence's Church at Seal Chart, Kent (1867–68),[5] St Leonard's Hill, Windsor, (1875), Ribsden, near Bagshot, Surrey (1876)[6] and Surrey County Hall. He was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Howell died on 22 June 1905 at Lynwood, Leatherhead, in Surrey.[7]


  1. ^ [1] Index of Lunatic Asylums and Mental Hospitals
  2. ^ [2] Surrey History Service Collections Catalogue
  3. ^ Jeremy Taylor 'Hospital And Asylum Architecture in England 1840-1914' Mansell London and New York (1991)
  4. ^ Nairn, Ian; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1971) [1962]. The Buildings of England: Surrey (2nd ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 453. ISBN 0-300-09675-5. 
  5. ^ Homan, Roger (1984). The Victorian Churches of Kent. Chichester: Phillimore & Co. p. 86. ISBN 0-85033-466-7. 
  6. ^ 'Building News' 13 Oct 1876
  7. ^ Library of the Royal Institute of British Architects

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