The Spike Heritage Centre (Guildford)


The Spike Heritage Centre is an Edwardian vagrants’ hostel in GUILDFORD which was part of a Victorian Workhouse.

The volunteer role is to receive and welcome our visitors to this local heritage centre. You will support our volunteer Tour Guides and be part of an enthusiastic team.

You will also have the opportunity, if you wish, to contribute to ongoing research, adding to the information given to our visitors.

Full training and support will be given to suit you and additional training is offered including First Aid and Fire Safety Courses.

Hours are flexible and most volunteers commit to a morning or afternoon once or twice a month. All hours are open to negotiation and based around opening times which are

Tuesday and Saturday   10am to 1pm and 1pm to 4pm

We provide refreshments, out of pocket expenses and free parking

If you are interested or have any queries please get in touch by clicking on the 'Sign Up' button

Mission Statement

The Spike Heritage Centre is one of the few buildings remaining from Guildford's Workhouse in the Poor Law era, which housed the forgotten classes of Victorian England.  The Vagrants and Casual Ward, known as The Spike was built in 1906 to house vagrants and low paid workers.  After the Poor Laws ended in 1929, it continued as a night hostel until the mid 1960s. The NHS took over the site becoming St Lukes Hospital, operational until the mid 1990s when the new Royal Surrey hospital was opened.  The majority of the workhouse site was redeveloped, but due to the efforts of local campaigners, the Casual Ward was saved and remains as a historic building with lots of stories to tell. Individual visitors and groups are welcome to explore this unique building with guides providing the insight about how the poor were treated in a bygone age.