Bethlem Museum of the Mind

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Founded in 1247, Bethlem Royal Hospital is now located in Beckenham, South London, as part of the wider South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The Archives and Museum service is dedicated to the history of mental health treatment, and includes historical and archival material as well as a large art collection. De-stigmatising mental illness is one of its major roles.

Bethlem Museum of the Mind reopened in the old hospital administration building in February 2015, and now holds regular events. Check the museum website for more details.

You can find us on Twitter @bethlemmuseum, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bethlemmuseumofthemind.

Venue Type:

Archive, Museum

Opening hours

Wednesday to Friday, and the first and last Saturday of the month

10:00 - 17:00

Admission charges

Free

Getting there

Nearest Station: Eden Park / East Croydon
London Transport Travel Zone 5

By car:
From Central London, via Streatham or Crystal Palace to the A214. This passes the north end of Monks Orchard Road.

From further south, via the A232 Croydon to Orpington Road. This passes the south end of Monks Orchard Road just west (the Croydon side) of West Wickham.

By train:
From Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo East or London Bridge to Eden Park, via trains travelling to Hayes (Kent). Four trains per hour from London Bridge: journey time 30 minutes. Walking time from Eden Park Station, 15 minutes, or take the 356 bus from outside the station to Bethlem Royal Hospital.

From Victoria, frequent fast trains to East Croydon: journey time about 15 minutes. Buses from outside the station, travelling towards West Wickham, Nos. 119, 194 and 198, pass the south end of Monks Orchard Road. Walking time from the bus stop, 5 minutes.

By bus:
Bethlem Royal Hospital is at the Shirley end of the 356 route, which runs to Forest Hill.

The Bethlem site:
Bethlem Hospital occupies a large site and the buildings are widely scattered, but it is easy to find the Archives and Museum, which is close to the entrance. If you are on foot, turn right just inside the gate, and you will find our building a little way down the road on the right hand side. It is well signed. This is a service road, and the traffic barrier is opened only for Heavy Goods Vehicles: so if you are driving you will have to turn left and follow the signs, working your way round until you are nearly back where you started. You may find it easiest to park in the visitor's car park near the gate, or outside in Monks Orchard Road, and walk the short distance to our building.

Additional info

Archives and reference library open to the public by appointment only. Museum opening hours cannot be guaranteed at all times. Please telephone to check before planning a visit.

Collections illustrate aspects of mental health and mental healthcare. They include archives of Bethlem Hospital (the original 'Bedlam') and the Maudsley Hospital (founded in the 20th century, influential in psychiatric teaching and research). Historical objects relate mainly to Bethlem. The unique art collection contains works by artists, past and present, who have suffered from mental health problems. It comes from many sources, not only from the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals.

Collection details

Archives, Fine Art, Medicine, Personalities, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Richard Dadd
  • Louis Wain
  • William Kurelek
  • Jonathan Martin
  • Vaslav Nijinsky
  • Cynthia Pell
  • Caius Gabriel Cibber's statues of 'Raving and Melancholy Madness' from 17th century Bedlam
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Maudsley at War: The story of the hospital during the Great War

  • 6 July — 24 September 2015 *on now

The Maudsley Hospital was envisaged in 1907 as an urban centre for the treatment, teaching and research of psychiatric disorders. Just before its official opening in 1916, the hospital was requisitioned by the Army and during the Great War it treated thousands of soldiers affected by shell shock and other war neuroses. Under the influence of Frederick Mott, the Maudsley offered patients a pioneering 'atmosphere of cure' that would challenge existing psychiatric approaches.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Maudsley Long Gallery
Maudsley Hospital
Denmark Hill
London
SE5 8AZ
England

Getting there

Nearest railway and overground station: Denmark Hill, London Travel Zone 2. From Central London - London Bridge, Blackfriars, Farringdon, St Pancras and Victoria. There are direct connections to Bromley, Bexleyheath and Croydon as well as services to north London, Bedforshire, Hertfordshire and Kent.

When leaving Denmark Hill Station, turn right out of the station. Turn right to walk down the hill. Maudsley Hospital will be on your right; use the main entrance.

By bus: The 35, 40, 42, 45, 68, 176, 185, 345, 468 and 484 all stop at or near Maudsley Hospital. Please check the TFL website for more information.

By car: From central London follow the A215 from the Elephant and Castle. The hospital is located on the left hand side of Denmark Hill.

Services and facilities

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition-info/the-maudsley-at-war-the-story-of-the-hospital-during-the-great-war

A group of men look up at the sky whilst standing outside Bethlem Royal Hospital, St George's Fields.

Keep the Home Fires Burning: Stories from the Great War

  • 29 August — 31 October 2015 *on now

A new exhibition at Bethlem Museum of the Mind will focus on World War One from the home front perspective. It brings together stories from various affected groups, including soldiers and their families, women, psychiatric patients and refugees. The stories are gathered from a selection of objects belonging to Bromley Museum and Bromley Local Studies and Archives, along with patient records from Bethlem Royal Hospital, held at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Through these objects visitors will find evidence of the immense impact the war had on these groups as well as the opportunity to reflect upon the eventual recovery of the nation from the War.

As with mental illness, the War had devastating effects on people’s lives. The exhibition would like to remember the suffering experienced during those years highlighting the idea of resilience and recovery, as approaches that continue to have the capacity to improve the prognosis of people, either vulnerable or affected, with mental health disorders.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition-info/keep-the-home-fires-burning-stories-from-the-home-front

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.
Two men stand in a bomb crater in St Geroge's Fields. The head attendant stands behind them.

Keep the Home Fires Burning: Stories from the Great War

  • 29 August 2015 2-3pm *on now

The curators of the new World War One exhibition, "Keep the Home Fires Burning: Stories from the Great War" introduce it to its visitors.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 11-13
  • 18+

Admission

Admission to this talk is free; please register your interest the link below.

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/keep-the-home-fires-burning-stories-from-the-home-front

A portrait of a patient at Bethlem. The face has more detail than the body.

A diseased cerebellum, or a wildness in the face?

  • 5 September 2015 From 2pm

Lindsey Stewart, CHASE PhD candidate at the Open University, speaks about early neuroscience, physiognomy, erotomania and the portraits of patients commissioned by Alexander Morison, the nineteenth century Bethlem physician.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

This event is free to attend. Please register your interest using the link.

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/a-diseased-cerebellum-or-a-wildness-in-the-face

The front of Napsbury Hospital

Untold stories of the First World War

  • 10 September 2015 7-8pm

Dr Claire Chatterton, Chair of the History of Nursing Society, considers the impact of the government requisition of asylums for use as military hospitals during the First World War on civilian psychiatric care.

Image owned by © Royal College of Nursing Library & Archive Services

www.rcn.org.uk/library

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission is free. Please register your interest at the link below.

Website

http://motm.me/1IP9h5w

An individual carries a bucket and ladder along the street.

The Chaplain's Entertainments

  • 26 September 2015 2-3pm

The museum's director Victoria Northwood explores a unique collection of lantern slides compiled by Rev Edward Geoffrey O'Donoghue (Bethlem chaplain 1892 - 1930) as part of a programme of entertainments for staff and patients.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets are free. Please book using the link below.

Website

http://motm.me/1N71789

An abstract skull showing different compartments, each representative of somebodies emotions.

The Big Draw: Every Drawing Tells a Story

  • 3 October 2015 10am-5pm

Join us for the Campaign for Drawing's annual Big Draw event. This year's theme is "Every Drawing Tells a Story." Encouraging drawing and creativity for all ages.

Take your inspiration from William Kurelek and Bryan Charnley and draw what's on your mind. Use our stencils or draw by freehand.

Have a closer look at Kurelek's "The Maze" and add your own interpretation.

This event is a drop-in activity that is suitable for everyone. If you would like to register your interest please use the link below.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/the-big-draw-every-drawing-tells-a-story

Brain Fag

  • 3 October 2015 2-4pm

Consultant psychiatrist, Dr Deji Ayonrinde, reviews the history of the disputed diagnosis of 'Brain Fag.'

Tickets are free. Please register your interest at the link below.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/brain-fag

'The Greatest Artist of her Time?'

  • 8 October 2015 7-8pm

Nicola Gordon Bowe talks about and signs copies of her new book on the life and art of Wilhelmina Geddes (1887-1955), stained glass artist and sometime Maudsley Hospital patient.

Tickets are free. Please use the link below to register your interest.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/the-greatest-artist-of-her-time

The camera obscura box covered in portraits drawn by visitors to it

The Big Draw: Draw Me

  • 30 October 2015 12-8pm

In the age of the Selfie when portraits and cameras are a common part of everyday life we invite you to come and step inside a camera obscura. Use the Draw Me Booth to draw a portrait and have your own portrait drawn, and then have them “exhibited”. Help us to fill the walls with your portraiture at Bethlem Museum of the Mind.

Watch these videos to see how it works: https://vimeo.com/31215928 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC3zmJkWptM

Creativity will fill the museum, with collaborative drawings and crafts that you can take home.

This free event is a drop-in activity that is suitable for everyone, from 12:00 to 20:00 (last admission 19:30).

You do not need to book, but to register your interest please use the link below.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/draw-me

An image of WHR Rivers

Aspects of the Same Problem: The Many Careers of WHR RIvers

  • 31 October 2015 2-3pm

Ben Shephard speaks about the psychiatrist and anthropologist W.H.R. Rivers, and signs copies of his book Headhunters, recently released in paperback.

The event is free. Please use the link below to register your interest.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/aspects-of-the-same-problem-the-many-careers-of-whr-rivers

Getting there

Nearest Station: Eden Park / East Croydon
London Transport Travel Zone 5

By car:
From Central London, via Streatham or Crystal Palace to the A214. This passes the north end of Monks Orchard Road.

From further south, via the A232 Croydon to Orpington Road. This passes the south end of Monks Orchard Road just west (the Croydon side) of West Wickham.

By train:
From Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo East or London Bridge to Eden Park, via trains travelling to Hayes (Kent). Four trains per hour from London Bridge: journey time 30 minutes. Walking time from Eden Park Station, 15 minutes, or take the 356 bus from outside the station to Bethlem Royal Hospital.

From Victoria, frequent fast trains to East Croydon: journey time about 15 minutes. Buses from outside the station, travelling towards West Wickham, Nos. 119, 194 and 198, pass the south end of Monks Orchard Road. Walking time from the bus stop, 5 minutes.

By bus:
Bethlem Royal Hospital is at the Shirley end of the 356 route, which runs to Forest Hill.

The Bethlem site:
Bethlem Hospital occupies a large site and the buildings are widely scattered, but it is easy to find the Archives and Museum, which is close to the entrance. If you are on foot, turn right just inside the gate, and you will find our building a little way down the road on the right hand side. It is well signed. This is a service road, and the traffic barrier is opened only for Heavy Goods Vehicles: so if you are driving you will have to turn left and follow the signs, working your way round until you are nearly back where you started. You may find it easiest to park in the visitor's car park near the gate, or outside in Monks Orchard Road, and walk the short distance to our building.

Bethlem Museum of the Mind
Bethlem Royal Hospital
Monks Orchard Road
Beckenham
Kent
BR3 3BX
England

Website

www.museumofthemind.org.uk

E-mail

Museum

victoria.northwood@motm.org.uk

Archives

colin.gale@motm.org.uk

Education and Outreach

caroline.smith@motm.org.uk

General enquiries

heather.reed@motm.org.uk

Telephone

020 3228 4227

Archivist

020 3228 4053

Education and Outreach

020 3228 4537

Fax

General

020 3228 4045

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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