"Imaginary Female Trouble" anyone?
I did my training (back in the 80’s) at Stanley Royd hospital in Wakefield (formerly known as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum). It had its own museum, which included an admission record from the 1800’s, which looked awfully similar to that. I think one of the saddest things about the place was that at one time, women were regularly incarcerated for being pregnant ‘out of wedlock’, and the kids then brought up in there. I recall looking after some of these people, as they had grown to old age, thinking my heart would break at the injustice and wasted lives.Posted 4 years ago
I believe I still have, somewhere, an old booklet titled ‘asylum attendants handbook’ dating from about 1910. One of my favourite, and in my opinion still relevant, interventions, goes something along the lines of ‘under no circumstances should the lunatics be allowed to climb ladders’. That’s my plans for the day scuppered then…Posted 4 years agoHarry_the_SpiderSubscriber
Off at a slight tangent…
My wife is preparing an academic paper based on the memoirs of a Dr Robert Killer (yes, really). He worked in Manchester in the early 19 century and annotated a directory with information on the people listed within it, including their medical histories and ultimately their causes of death. Until about 1830 if you committed suicide it was classed as “self murder” and you were buried at a cross roads with a stake through you to stop your spirit escaping. The only way to get a church burial was to be declared insane.
The law was changed after a prominent nobleman who was also a member of parliament took his own life. They had the dilemma of burying his impaled body at a cross roads or declaring him insane whilst in government.Posted 4 years ago
Also at a slight tangent, following the closure of Stanley Royd, in the 90’s, the remaining buildings were turned into ‘luxury apartments’ and sold off, as were quite a lot of the old psychiatric hospitals up and down the country. I really don’t get why you’d want to live in one of these places, knowing the history and atmosphere of them. Far too high a ‘woo’ content for me, thanks all the same.Posted 4 years agoglobaltiMember
The abuse of asylums sits alongside Irish nunneries and expulsion to the colonies in Britain’s shameful history. You only have to go on 28dayslater.com and see the size and importance of the Victorian asylums to understand how much of a role they played in sanitising Victorian society to suit those who ran it and benefited from it. The closure of the asylums was a positive step but in a “baby with bathwater” scenario we also took away places of shelter for the small minority for whom Care in the Community is never going to work.Posted 4 years ago
There was a big Victorian one near me that converted into flats soon after closing.
I know I put a light hearted slant on the thread but the misery and suffering those places must have seen means I’d never want to live there – I’d think the walls must have absorbed it.Posted 4 years ago
I think that some of these reasons for admission are still seen today, except the terminology has changed. ‘Hard study’ for example, would possibly be described as stress induced psychosis. I recall one of the publications from my book list as a student (mental disorder and its treatment, by Jack Lyttle, which I think is still in print), had a full chapter regarding homosexuality. This was in 1988!Posted 4 years ago
+1 for globalti.
I really don’t get why you’d want to live in one of these places, knowing the history and atmosphere of them. Far too high a ‘woo’ content for me, thanks all the same.
Dower House (Stoke park) in Brizzle is now luxury flats.Posted 4 years ago
I was chatting to a builder (big rough chap he was) who was working on it at the time. He told me he was working there late one night when the genny stopped, plunging him into darkness. Without a seconds thought; he dropped his tools, sprinted to his van and drove home! 😀
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