Bodmin Asylum project

Bodmin Asylum project
Bodmin Town Museum

By: Reg Sheppard
Added: 06 May 2014

Asylum Stories Project

Bodmin Town Museum is working with a group of clinical and research staff from Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and the Institute of Cornish Studies to recreate the story of the treatment of mental illness in Bodmin. It is an ambitious and imginative project aiming to draw on memories of past patients and staff at the hospital as well as using documents, photographs and artefacts from the museum's collection.

A room in the Shire Hall has been booked for an Open Week in September  2014. Local Writers Emma Mansfield and Annamaria Murphy from Kneehigh Theatre and artist Vicky wiltshire will be taking part as well as students from the Art and Psychology departments of Bodmin college to make this a truly community event. Members of the group made a preliminary visit to the museum at the end of March and were delighted by the quantity of material we were able to produce from the stores; notably photographs showing the development of the asylum from 1900 to the present day, documents detailing the treatmentand diet of patients in the 19th century and a Handbook of Psychiatry from 1946.

The public will be invited to come to the exhibition in September and to share any stories or experiences they might have and in the meantime if you would like to get in touch with the group for more information or pass on any memories their e-mail address is asylumstoriesbodmin@gmail.com