Bexley Asylum opened in 1898 and was London’s 7th asylum. Built on 750 acres of land next to Dartford Heath, the so-called ‘Heath’ Asylum housed 2,544 patients at its occupancy peak in 1915. None were there on a voluntary basis.

Containing over 11,000 records, the Bexley Asylum Minute books were transcribed by the North West Kent Family History Society and cover a wide range of material. Patients can be seen going on temporary release before their eventual discharge. Each record is a transcript of the original document that lists a patient’s or staff member’s name and age, the date of entry and a summary of the entry. This includes details of release and temporary release of patients as well as the hiring and promotion of staff, and tradesmen’s contracts.