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By the mid 1800s the County Asylums Act and Lunacy Act had made it a requirement that every United Kingdom county
should build an asylum if they had not already done so, or should join with another neighbouring county to achieve the same goal. For the Hampshire asylum, a 100 acre site was located, known as Knowle Farm, close to Fareham. Purchased towards the end of the 1840s, work began on the asylum - to be known as the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum - in 1850, and the asylum took its first patients in December 1852.