Blog title
Hey! I've moved. You'll be directed to my new blog in 3...2...1...

Bedlam Tuesday/Hanwell Insane Asylum

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The (1st Middlesex) County Asylum at Hanwell, also known as Hanwell Insane Asylum, was built for the pauper insane and has evolved to become the West London Mental Health (NHS) Trust (WLMHT). The 2nd Middlesex was Colney Hatch Asylum, opened in 1851, and the 3rd was Banstead Asylum in Surrey, opened in 1877.     

While researching for my upcoming series I've uncovered a lot of information on line about  Lunatic Asylums all over the world.

In the late 18th century and early 19th century some of the best therapies were already in place. Unlike some of the horror stories we hear today about the history of psychiatry, William Ellis incorporated theraputic employment and the English Quaker, William Tuke, of the York Retreat, band chains or manacles.

In 1817 a William Ellis was appointed as superintendent to the newly built West Riding Pauper Asylum at Wakefield. 

He was born in Alford, Lincolnshire on 10 March 1780. His early career was as an apothecary but he soon took an interest in the treatment of mental disorders. This he learnt at the Sculcoates Refuge in Hull; which was run on a similar model as the York Retreat.

A Methodist, he too had strong religious convictions and so with his wife as matron he employed the same principles of humane treatment and moral therapy as practised at Sculcoates Refuge. After 13 years their reputation had become such, that they were then invited to run the newly built first pauper asylum in Middlesex called the Hanwell Asylum.


  1. GIRL, did you finish those edits???
    I wondered if this topic had driven you...

    You know.
    I am almost there!!!

    Two deadlines to go,,

  2. Working away. Lots to do but having fun!