Spike Heritage Centre

Spike Heritage Centre, Guildford: Hours, Address, Spike Heritage Centre Reviews: 5/5

Spike Heritage Centre
5
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
We are open! All tours need to be pre-booked at least 3 days in advance. The Casual ward to the Guildford Union Workhouse was, and still is, known locally as The Spike. This is no ordinary visitor attraction but a unique visit to a time, place and a way of life for generations history often chose to forget. Prepare to be deeply moved as the tour guides escort you through an unforgettable Night at the Spike. 600 Casual wards were built in Britain, the Guildford Casual Ward is uniquely the only remaining with its working cells.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Popular mentions

5.0
217 reviews
Excellent
178
Very good
34
Average
5
Poor
0
Terrible
0

ikamik
London, UK3 contributions
Very Interesting!
Jul 2021
I visited The Spike Heritage Centre a few days ago, and can't recommend it enough. John, the tour guide and manager, really took his time to show me everything, and to answer all of my questions. The attention paid to detail was extraordinary. It is very rare to have a workhouse still standing and offering tours, so I was very fortunate to have been able to visit The Spike. This visit really was eye-opening.
Written 29 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Luke23_11
Farnham, UK6 contributions
Fascinating
Jun 2021
My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
I knew nothing about work houses or the associated history and I left feeling I had learnt a lot. I still can’t believe it closed in the 1960’s!
The tour was really informative and the building has been restored beautifully.
John, who conducted the tour was a really nice guy. It was well thought out and we both recommend everyone visits and learns about this fascinating time in our history.
Written 17 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
It really is an amazing tour, thank you so much for your review
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

irina j
London, UK1,628 contributions
Great visit
May 2021 • Family
We visited as part of history assessment and absolutely enjoyed our visit! Our guide John was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and knew how to engage well with school children. This is totally new to me as didn’t know anything about workhouses and the system designed in England to provide for the poor. Would highly recommend
Written 21 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
It is a very special and unique part of our history - must never be forgotten. Thank you for your response
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Malcolm
31 contributions
Insights on tramp life
Mar 2020 • Friends
A really worthwhile Tuesday morning getting to understand the Tramphouse history and especially also hearing from guide Dennis his personal history - and as a result recognising how far our society has progressed in its care and compassion for people compared with the cruelty of the turn of the 20 th century . Though not huge in what is there , the way the story is put together is compelling .
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for this review, you say it all. What a history waits to be unfolded.
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Insight X
12 contributions
Not much of the workhouse remains, but worth a visit.
Dec 2019
A bit disappointed that only a small section still standing. However, the guided tour, realistic 'set pieces' and historical film brought the experience of itinerant work seekers to light.
Written 29 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for reviewing - we saved as much as we could from demolition as the spike was doomed as "it's a time best forgotten". We recommend you visit the Workhouse in Southwell, Nottingham, very well preserved, but they have lost their Spike, the one you visited in Guildford is the last remaining of over 600 in the UK with the Working cells intact for the vagrants who could or would not find work.
Written 3 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris K
Guildford, United Kingdom114 contributions
Not the Good Old Days.
Jan 2019
A recent survey suggested the Victorians were the happiest people in British history, but I don't think that includes the poor people who used the Guildford Workhouse. It's a remarkable building and really well preserved with fascinating features and a little insight into the grim realities. Just a word of warning: the inmates carved all sorts of filthy comments and crude messages on the back of each cell door. Those are kept covered when there are children on tour.
Written 1 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Well, not every cell door. They were tough days unless you had a bob or two to spare. Thank you for your review always appreciated
Written 28 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fudge03
Sussex, England1,205 contributions
Deeply moving
Oct 2019
This is a wonderful place, with great volunteers telling you the moving story which lies behind the bricks and mortar. We were entertained and shocked in turn by the story we heard and the spaces we visited - it derives to be much better known.
Written 27 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
thank you for that super review, yes the Spike has a very true story to tell abut a time and a place long ago where homelessness was addressed by laws which no longer have any sway.
Written 20 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nicky C
Godalming, UK15 contributions
Staffed by enthusiatic volunteers, The Guildford Spike is a gem of social history.
Oct 2019
Six retired teachers from the Guildford area, most of whom had not visited The Spike before, were treated to a guided tour conducted by Dave and TJ. School teachers are not always the easiest people to impress with a talk but this group unanimously agreed that the two volunteers combined to tell an interesting story of the lives of the inmates who were 'allowed' to either sleep for the night on payment of a penny or to work for a whole day in lieu of payment. Neither vagrants nor casuals were able to return within a month and had to find their next accommodation in other nearby towns.
This visit illustrated the hardship suffered by the unfortunates who lived in the years before the welfare state came into being. The video shown was good backup for the guides' comments but undoubtedly the highlight of the tour was visiting the actual cells where the inmates slept and worked.
The charitable trust which runs this historic gem is continuing to improve the visitor experience with additional information about the history of the workhouse which also stood on this site and which before being demolished became part of St Luke's Hospital. Do visit, knowing that your entrance fee will help to preserve this small part of Guildford's disappearing history.
Written 8 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review, it is most appreciated.
Written 30 December 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sue D
1 contribution
Highly recommend
May 2019 • Friends
This historic site was brought to life on our visit with the combined help of TJ and Dave. It is full of information from the medical provisions, living conditions, accounts from past inhabitants and seeing the unique grate to facilitate the work that was used. The exhibition room went down very well. The whole site is fascinating and well worth a visit Or three. We're going back...
Written 6 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Delighted that you are returning, each tour guide has a different take on the tours so you will not be disappointed. There is much to tell. Although we are not staffing the Spike during December and January we are happy to give tours to groups that book - 01483 598420. ALSO Christmas Day at the Workhouse, do come along for a very special tour which culminates in mince pies and mulled wine, orange or apple juice before you head home for that special lunch. Tickets available from the Guildford Tourist Information Centre 01483 444333.
Written 20 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pronto1_11
Croydon, UK223 contributions
Well worth a visit
Oct 2018
Dont be pout off, its a great visit for an hour or so, giving an insight into times past, oh, and having a great view over Guildford
Written 27 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review, it certainly is a unique visit.
Written 28 September 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Spike Heritage Centre

Spike Heritage Centre is open:
  • Tue - Tue 10:00 - 15:00
  • Sat - Sat 10:00 - 15:00


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