Fairford Asylum and the Iles Family by Shelagh Diplock, read by Geoff Bishop

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This talk, about the Iles family and the Fairford Asylum is read by Geoff Bishop from a script of a lecture by Shelagh Diplock, at an FHS meeting, November 2008 Shelagh is a 3 x great granddaughter of the Alexander Iles.

Alexander, son of Daniel Iles, a yeoman farmer of Kempsford, had worked in asylums in London and saw a gap in the market in the Fairford area. He obtained a licence for 10 patients in 1823 and took patients into his own house. In 1827 he had 13 patients, 40 patients in 1829 the number of patients was over 119 according to the 1841 census and by 1844 there were 140 patients of whom 119 were paupers.

In 1856 Alexander died and left everything to Daniel, his eldest son. During the mid-1860s Daniel and his wife Susan were joined by their eldest son, another Daniel, who qualified as a surgeon in 1864. Susan Iles died in 1883 and Daniel in 1887. Dr Daniel and Henry, their sons took over the asylum until 1899 when Daniel died and his son Francis, another doctor, decided not to take over the business. The Retreat, as the asylum was also known, was sold to Dr A C King Turner in 1901 and it continued as an upmarket private asylum until 1944.