The Spike Heritage Centre
The Spike Heritage Centre
5
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
We are open from February 14th 2023 for drop-in visits on Tuesday mornings (last tour starts at 12 noon) and on Saturdays from 10 o’clock with the last tour starting no later than 3pm. 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. Over 600 Casual wards were built in Britain, the Guildford Casual Ward is uniquely the only remaining with its working cells.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area
Address
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Elizabeth J
    Guildford, United Kingdom11 contributions
    Well worth a visit.
    If you want to step back in time to “the good old days” this is the place to do it. Our guide vividly brought to life the deprivations of the homeless in the early 1900’s. The building is just as it was, and better suited to a jail than a refuge. They must have been desperate.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 February 2023
  • Ben
    3 contributions
    A brilliant bit of dark history
    A great experience all round uncovering a dark, bleak bit of history. Even though most of it was demolished, seeing the casual ward of the old workhouse is still fascinating and enlightening. I had a great tour delivered by Dennis who was very knowledgeable, easy to talk to, and tolerated me constantly interrupting with questions! An excellent guide with plenty of insights into The Spike. I also picked up some great little booklets from the shop, and was assisted by Christine who was also lovely. Had a great chat with her as well. Fascinating place and lovely staff! Would recommend to all, but do take a coat if you're going any time other than Summer. It's chilly!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 March 2023
  • Gurvinder T
    2 contributions
    Amazing tour guides !!
    Our tour guides Dave and TJ were absoultey amazing. They were very informative and knowledgeable and made our experience so good. They were funny and our 2 kids really enjoyed the tour and the history around the spike. Thanks again to Dave and TJ you were amazing!!!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 April 2023
  • Anne S
    Bicester, United Kingdom6 contributions
    Very much worth a visit!
    David - and TJ also - were wonderful guides and went above and beyond to show me this bleak but fascinating place and explain to me its history. This had special significance for me as I have ancestors who sadly ended up in a workhouse. This place deserves to be much more well known than it is and I highly recommend visiting it. It serves as a reminder of the past and of how far society has come and how much we have to be grateful for.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 13 May 2023
  • Magenta56
    230 contributions
    An interesting insight into life in a workhouse
    I was surprised how interesting the Spike was. The guide was friendly and knowledgeable. There was plenty to read, a video and exhibits to see. The spike really gave you an insight into life in a workhouse. There was also information about its much later life as a hospital which I found interesting. We could have spent a lot more time there, certainly a couple of hours there. I think older children would find it interesting too. They have toilets for visitors.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 19 May 2023
  • Bethan T
    2 contributions
    Really fascinating
    A really fascinating tour! Both tour guides were so passionate and knowledgeable. Great to see pictures and small film to see how it would have been. Really amazing to be able to walk around and hear stories about people who were there. Definitely recommend a visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Jennifer S
    2 contributions
    Real gem, well worth a visit
    This gem is well worth the short walk from Guildford. Excellent guided tour and the heritage centre really brings to life the experiences of people who sought refuge at the Workhouse. There is loads to see and the entry price is a real bargain.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 2 July 2023
  • Mark
    Stirling, United Kingdom3 contributions
    Interesting and engaging tour
    Turned up and felt very welcome as the lovely guide welcomed us in and took us on a really interesting tour. Kids (9 and 12) enjoyed it and our guide interacted with them too. Lovely place and learned a lot. All in all took about 1 and a half hours and was well worth it.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 4 July 2023
  • June M
    Reading, United Kingdom27 contributions
    An insight into the past
    We visited The Spike yesterday and were guided through the Casual Ward by Jordan, who proved to be an informative and enthusiastic guide. It was very interesting to understand more about the workhouse system and see conditions for ourselves. The entry price was very reasonable and we both felt we had spent a most worthwhile afternoon exploring a piece of social history which is often referenced but generally misunderstood.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 August 2023
  • schnortles
    4 contributions
    Gosh - that was good!
    On first arriving the buiding seemed a bit insignificant - which just shows how wrong first impressions can be! So much atmosphere and artefacts from a time long gone - thank goodness. The knowledgeable guides shared additional information and background details in a relaxed and freindly fashion. An excellent morning out!
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
242 reviews
Excellent
203
Very good
34
Average
5
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Loocol
United Kingdom218 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
Sooo interesting - we learnt so much about how the workhouse was formed, how it worked and why it was called the spike! Guide was lovely, funny & knowledgeable. Well worth the visit!
Written 19 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

schnortles
4 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
On first arriving the buiding seemed a bit insignificant - which just shows how wrong first impressions can be! So much atmosphere and artefacts from a time long gone - thank goodness. The knowledgeable guides shared additional information and background details in a relaxed and freindly fashion. An excellent morning out!
Written 17 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marian H
10 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
Nina showed us around the Work House and really bought it to life for us. Most enjoyable and definitely recommend if you don't know anything about Work Houses.
Written 16 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

June M
Reading, UK27 contributions
Aug 2023 • Friends
We visited The Spike yesterday and were guided through the Casual Ward by Jordan, who proved to be an informative and enthusiastic guide. It was very interesting to understand more about the workhouse system and see conditions for ourselves. The entry price was very reasonable and we both felt we had spent a most worthwhile afternoon exploring a piece of social history which is often referenced but generally misunderstood.
Written 30 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

originaltish
London, UK96 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
Really interesting visit . Our guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about the history . Really enjoyed our time learning about the Unionised work house system .
Written 27 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark
Stirling, UK3 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
Turned up and felt very welcome as the lovely guide welcomed us in and took us on a really interesting tour. Kids (9 and 12) enjoyed it and our guide interacted with them too. Lovely place and learned a lot. All in all took about 1 and a half hours and was well worth it.
Written 4 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer S
2 contributions
Jun 2023
This gem is well worth the short walk from Guildford. Excellent guided tour and the heritage centre really brings to life the experiences of people who sought refuge at the Workhouse. There is loads to see and the entry price is a real bargain.
Written 2 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bethan T
2 contributions
Jul 2023 • Friends
A really fascinating tour! Both tour guides were so passionate and knowledgeable. Great to see pictures and small film to see how it would have been. Really amazing to be able to walk around and hear stories about people who were there. Definitely recommend a visit.
Written 1 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Organiser2015
United Kingdom6 contributions
Jun 2023
Spent a fascinating couple of hours at this museum in Guildford. The tour guides are so knowledgeable, about the Spike, Work house conditions and Guildford local history.
Written 13 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Magenta56
Cheshire,England230 contributions
Apr 2023
I was surprised how interesting the Spike was. The guide was friendly and knowledgeable. There was plenty to read, a video and exhibits to see. The spike really gave you an insight into life in a workhouse. There was also information about its much later life as a hospital which I found interesting. We could have spent a lot more time there, certainly a couple of hours there. I think older children would find it interesting too. They have toilets for visitors.
Written 19 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 242
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

THE SPIKE HERITAGE CENTRE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Spike Heritage Centre

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

Hotels near The Spike Heritage Centre: View all hotels near The Spike Heritage Centre on Tripadvisor