Glenside Hospital Museum

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A collection on the history of Bristol Psychiatric hospitals and Learning Disability hospitals.

Dr Donal Early was the main founder of the museum and was a consultant psychiatrist at Glenside from the 1950s. He and his volunteers collected memorabilia and stored them on the balcony of the dining hall of Glenside. When the old building closed he and his volunteers were given the use of the Glenside Chapel, which they renovated and have slowly developed as a museum.

The museum has a wide range of paraphernalia and images from the life of Glenside and of the local Learning Disability Hospitals of the Stoke Park Group and the Burden Neurological Institution.

The Chancel is used for temporary exhibitions and for the paintings of Dennis Reed, an accomplished artist who painted life in Glenside from the inside, in the 1950's.

There are several early ECT machines on display.

We have a small archive of photographs and some records, most records regarding Glenside / Mental Hospitals in Bristol are held in Bristol Records Office.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open Saturdays and Wednesdays
10am - 12 noon
group/school visits can be arranged.

Admission charges


The Glenside Hospital Museum houses collections relating to the history of Bristol Psychiatric Hospitals, and Learning Disability Hospitals.

Highlights include an array of medications and remedies, drawings by patient Denis Reed, a fully operational church organ, ECT machines, padded cell, straight jacket, mortuary equipment, ophthalmic instruments, an undercarriage door of a Messerschmitt Bomber from WW2, and dioramas of an everyday ward, operating theatre, and GP's surgery.

Collection details

Social History, Medicine, Fine Art

Key artists and exhibits

  • Paintings by Dennis Reed
  • Early ECT machines

Glenside Hospital Museum
Glenside Museum
University of the West of England Glenside Campus
City of Bristol
BS16 1DD




0117 9652829

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