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.
This busy picture shows a group of people having a party on the beach. Notably, the woman on the left in a purple dress plays piano, a couple dance in the middle and to the top right of the picture a lady sitting behind two small children fly an aeroplane.

Youtopia: Visions of the Past, Present and Future

  • 17 February — 25 June 2016 *on now

It is five hundred years after Sir Thomas More coined the term ‘utopia’, and almost one hundred and fifty years since the first use of the twin word ‘dystopia’. Now Bethlem Hospital’s museum curators hold up a mirror to today’s society by putting a first edition of More’s ‘Utopia’ on display, alongside rarely-seen works from the Museum’s reserve collection which communicate a vision of the best – and worst – of all possible worlds.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition-info/youtopia-visions-of-the-past-present-and-future

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.

The more strictly we are watched, the better we behave: Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon

  • 30 April 2016 2-3pm *on now

Jeremy Bentham is often portrayed as the oppressive manipulator of minds who distilled the essence of the disciplinary societies in which we still live. Michael Quinn of University College London explains the Panopticon concept and its place within Bentham’s wider project of delivering happiness through law.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://motm.me/PANOPTICON

Bethlem and the Brain: Muzzling William Lawrence's Medical Materialism

  • 7 May 2016 2-3pm

In 1822, Bethlem’s surgeon was dismissed for disseminating the heretical hypothesis that thought was a function of the brain rather than of an immaterial principle. Huw Price addresses the circumstances surrounding his dismissal and re-appointment.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

This is a free event to attend. You do not need to book, but you can register your interest at the link provided.

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/bethlem-and-the-brain-muzzling-william-lawrences-medical-materialism

A figure stands in the centre, on top of a dark hill and between trees (left) and a house (right).

Museums at Night: Animated Minds

  • 12 May 2016 6:30-7:45pm

Andy Glynne (TBC) director of Mosaic Films will be talking about their project 'Animated Minds', a series of short-films aimed at addressing stereotypes around mental illness. The series has won over 20 Awards, including a Mental Health Media Award, a BAFTA Children’s Award, an RTS Education Award and the City of Basel Prize for Educational Films.The animated films cover OCD, manic depression, agoraphobia, schizophrenia, Asperger's Syndrome and self-harm. With an ethos in line with our museum, we will be screening a selection of these short-films.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

This event is free to attend.

You do not need to book, but you can register your interest at the supplied address.

Website

http://motm.me/AnimatedMinds

A smiling, lightly ginger cat in the middle sits about the phrase "I am happy because everyone loves me."

Cake and Conversation

  • 18 May 2016 11am-12pm

Tea and Cake make great partners, but how do relationships impact on our mental wellbeing? Join us for a slice of cake and a cuppa at Bethlem Museum of the Mind, to discuss the relationships shown in our exhibition “Youtopia: Visions of the Past, Present and Future”.

Part of Mental Health Awareness Week and the Festival of Learning.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • 14-15

Admission

This is a free event, donations welcome.

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/cake-and-conversation

Julie McNamara  stands central, in front of medical objects.

Exceptional and Extraordinary

  • 17 June 2016 5:30-7:30pm

Exceptional and Extraordinary aims to stimulate conversations about difference through a series of thought provoking new commissions. The museum will host a performance by Julie McNamara as part of a month long programme of events.

Entitled “Hold the Hearse!”, Julie’s performance will lead us on an interactive, extraordinary theatrical journey through a myriad of museum collections that have impacted on the lives of the Mad, the Bad and the Unruly in our midst. This comic tale takes us though the history of two remarkable characters who evaded the collectors - complete with grime, gruesome grave robberies and grisly murder ballads.

The performance will be preceded by an object handling session and light refreshments will be provided.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Admission: £5.00
Concessions: £3.00

No booking fee.

Website

http://museumofthemind.org.uk/whats-on/event-info/exceptional-and-extraordinary

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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