disability


Looking to the Light

New Dialogues an exhibition of Art at Glenside Hospital Museum on until the 1st April 2023 An exciting exhibition of contemporary art exploring mental health care has been launched at Glenside Hospital Museum, Bristol.  It is one of three ground-breaking new exhibitions across the UK inspired by remarkable collections relating to mental health. In Bristol, […]


‘From the coal mines to war and back’ by Eddie Parsons

On the 7th October 1918 Jack arrived at Beaufort War Hospital with a severe gunshot wound to the chest. John Edward Hewitt, known as Jack, was born on the 24th of November 1899, to parents Robert and Mary Ann Hewitt in Castleford, West Yorkshire. Tragically his mother died in childbirth when Jack was only three. […]


Recoveries

In the ten years I have been researching the patients of the Bristol Lunatic Asylum, the thing that most struck me was the disparity between the popular view of asylums and the results of my studies. They were seen as as dreadful barbaric hellholes from which, once entered, you would never return but my studies […]


The Stretcher: Untold Stories of the First World War

‘The stretcher-bearer ferried him from hell, A wounded soldier the blast of a shell.’ Stretcher-bearers are the unsung heroes of the First World War. They were often considered to be nothing more than a porter, but they were in fact extremely brave individuals who returned to the battlefield to collect the wounded. Advancing troops were […]


Glenside: Mental Health Museum by Sophie Stammers

For those of you who have not yet visited the Museum, or are unable to get here, this post gives a real flavour of what to expect when you come. It originally appeared on Imperfect Cognitions, the blog run by researchers at Project PERFECT, a multidisciplinary team investigating issues in mental health, irrationality and wellbeing, […]


Not ‘Us’ but ‘The Others’

Article by Dr Paul Tobia   Being laid up in bed for the last week with what my wife is determined to label as ‘manflu’ I have had lots of time to think and have considered the question why do research on Bristol’s Victorian psychiatric hospital and does it do any good. Does Glenside Hospital […]


Children at the Asylum, forgotten pasts: Part 3

To rescue their forgotten pasts I have chosen a further four children to illustrate the diversity of their health problems and experience in the asylum.   Henry Kane   Henry Kane was admitted on May 24th 1898 from the Bristol Union Workhouse. He died of tuberculosis seven months later. Aged 15 he suffered from what […]


Young children in the Asylum: Part 1

The asylum admission books record many tragic stories but the most heartrending were of children admitted to the asylum. There were not many; 96 or 1.8% of the admissions between 1861–1900 were children aged 16 or under and of these only ten were under 11. The youngest was Rosina Smith who was admitted aged just […]


Discovering Glenside Through its Objects #4: Creature Comforts

One area of the museum has been dressed as it would have been during Glenside’s pauper lunatic asylum days, using the original furniture from the  Victorian Board Room. There is a large mahogany dining table and chairs to seat twelve. The lower half of the room has the original dark wood panelling. Above, the walls […]


Epilepsy and the Lifton Family

Nowadays epilepsy is not seen as a psychiatric condition and a person with epilepsy is unlikely to be treated by a mental health unit. In the nineteenth century it was different as the Lifton family were to discover. In 1861, when Bristol Lunatic Asylum opened, the Liftons were a fairly prosperous family. Isaac and his […]


Language and Disability: who cares? (I do)

Laurine Groux-Moreau reflects on language and disability at the History of Place event which took place at the MShed on Saturday 3rd December 2016. This was originally published on Laurine’s blog  Language and Disability: who cares? (I do) https://ohmyfrenchness.co.uk/en/home/language-and-disability-talk-at-mshed/ For a few months now I have been involved with History of Place, a national project […]


Words have power

In recent years there has been a movement to call attention to the widespread use of ableist language. If you don’t know, ableist language is any word or phrase that intentionally or inadvertently targets an individual with a disability. So using words like crazy, idiot, lame etc. to describe someone is ableist. Some people think […]