Infirmary 1862 – 1892

Leper staff
In 1862 the ‘lunatic’ asylum on the Island was reformed by Dr William Edmunds with a ‘moral management system’. This attracted more middle-class patients all of whom were white. These patients were kept apart from the other patients even though this was not done explicitly on the basis of race.
The Church of the Good Shepherd also known as the Leper Church.
During the 1860’s there were also more chronically sick white patients admitted to the hospital on the Island. This occurred at the time of the economic depression, tightening control of relief and the need for state care for destitute British Immigrants. After 1876, white patients were separated from black patients and by the 1880s the number of admissions of chronically sick white people outstripped admissions of black people. The hospital for chronically sick people was closed in 1892.
Lepers on the island in 1891 (left). Dr Samuel Impey, a leprosy specialist was appointed Medical Superintendent (right).
Drawing of Robben Island by G.M. Smith, a mentally ill patient (left). Painting by mentally ill patient depicting the landing at Murray's Bay, Robben Island, 1866 (right).

Tour Details


Cape Town
Light Rain
05:4019:19 SAST
Feels like: 15°C
Wind: 18km/h NW
Humidity: 90%
Pressure: 1017.27mbar
UV index: 0


South Africans
R400 per adult
R210 per child (U/18)

Non South Africans
R600 per adult
R310 per child (U/18)

Tour Times
09:00  |  11:00  |  13:00  15:00