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.
A close up image of one a strong dresses; "bethlem hospital" has been sewn on the inside of the collar.

Held

  • 30 May — 21 August 2015 *on now

With a background as a fashion designer, and a passionate interest in functional and tailored garments, Fradgley was inspired to delve into the archive after seeing Victorian portrait photographs of patients at Bethlem wearing unusual quilted dresses. She recalls: 'I was fascinated by the seemingly comforting strong dresses, and related this form of protective care to my own experiences in hospital and encounters with modern day psychiatric care. For me, the purpose of the strong clothing was not to invoke or exacerbate fear or anxiety in the patient; rather, the attention to detail in creating such well-constructed garments was to bring some dignity, serenity, peace and tranquillity to the wearer as an antidote to their anguish'.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition-info/held

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

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.
A 19th century hand-crafted cake stand.

Open and Expand your Mind: Object Handling Event

  • 13 August 2015 6:30-8pm

Renia Jenkins facilitates hand-on access to, and starts conversations about, items contained in the Museum’s reserve collection.

Take the chance to explore our objects close up, ask questions and contemplate life in the hospital.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/open-and-expand-your-mind-a-museum-object-handling-drop-in-session

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

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

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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