Glenside Hospital Museum

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A collection on the history of mental health care and learning disability from Bristol Psychiatric hospitals and the Stoke Park complex of earning disability hospitals.

The museum is set within the church built for the patients of Bristol's purpose built asylum. It has a significant national collection of historical artefacts, photographs and information on mental health and learning disabilities care over the last 150 years. In addition to the short period when the museum was Beaufort War Hospital, for wounded soldiers during he First World War. Sir Stanley Spencer worked there as an orderly and used his memories in the painting at Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere.

The Chancel has regular temporary exhibitions.

There is a unique collection of documentary drawings by the accomplished artist Denis Reed. These drawings of patients, sleeping, walking, talking, show a unique glimpse of life at Bristol's Mental Hospital in the 1950s.

The museum is divided into the three hospital stories and displays a wide collection including early ECT machines, a padded cell, strait-jackets, bed-pans and probangs.

NB. We use our collection to provide people with an overview of the hospitals but any records on the patients are held in Bristol Records Office.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open Saturdays and Wednesdays
10am - 12 noon
Group/school visits can be arranged by appointment on other days.

Admission charges

Free

Getting there

We are in the church within the walls of the old asylum, now UWE's Health and Social Care Campus.
Buses: the number 5 from Bristol City Centre stops directly opposite the museum. The 13, 81 and 83 also stop outside. For more information, visit Traveline.
On Wednesdays parking has to be outside the Campus walls on the street, however the car park outside the Museum/church can be used on Saturdays.

Additional info

Parking on Saturdays. On street parking outside UWE campus Wednesdays.
Child friendly.
Disabled access and toilet.
Refreshments and shop.
Free to all.

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
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
drawing the brain

Life in the Asylum - Captured on Paper

  • 29 May — 8 June 2018
  • 2 — 3 June 2018 12-4pm

Glenside Hospital Museum brings a taste of its historic collection of drawings, photographs, & artefacts relating to mental health care into town, with a series of drawing workshops, open to all. (See Eventbrite for times and bookings on workshops.)

Glenside Hospital Museum's perceptive documentary drawings by Denis Reed (ARCA. RWA), artist and patient at Bristol Mental Hospital, speak volumes of what life was like in this psychiatric hospital in the 1950s, shortly after the NHS had taken over the management. Each of his beautiful A4 line drawings of patients - sleeping, shaving, bathing, walking, talking - retain a startling power. The Victorians had placed a value on occupation as a treatment and previously patients, wherever possible, would have been given a job to do within the hospital community. This was not considered appropriate for the new establishment and this lack of occupation is illustrated by Reed's drawings.

In addition, there will be on display a small selection of old photographs and artefacts to give further insight into the hospital at that time. Doctors faced with ever increasing pressures to find solutions to mental illness developed many experimental cures, such as leucotomy, ECT and Insulin Therapy. Although, still relatively little is known about the brain, it is now recognized that many of these treatments, while they may in some part have seemed to help the patient, for the most part were extremely primitive. History however is a powerful reminder that what is considered progress in hindsight is not and while less physical intervention is currently used, in the future some of the drugs prescribed today may be considered equally primitive.

With the support of Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, Bristol City Council Imagination Fund and the Association of Independent Museums Pilgrims Trust Fund the exhibition is designed to broaden the public’s understanding of mental health and inspire the creative process.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

City Hall Vestibule Park Street
College Green
Bristol
Bristol
BS1 5TR
England

Services and facilities

Website

http://www.glensidemuseum.org.uk/

Getting there

We are in the church within the walls of the old asylum, now UWE's Health and Social Care Campus.
Buses: the number 5 from Bristol City Centre stops directly opposite the museum. The 13, 81 and 83 also stop outside. For more information, visit Traveline.
On Wednesdays parking has to be outside the Campus walls on the street, however the car park outside the Museum/church can be used on Saturdays.

Glenside Hospital Museum
in the church on the University of the West of England Glenside Campus, Blackberry Hill,
Stapleton
Bristol
City of Bristol
BS16 1DD
England

Website

http/:www.glensidemuseum.org.uk

E-mail

glenside_museum@hotmail.com

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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