17 February 2019

17th February 1864 - The Early Days of Broadmoor


On 17th February 1864, male criminals from Bethlehem Hospital in London were transferred to the newly built asylum at Broadmoor.

The Home Secretary was responsible for criminal and dangerous lunatics, and so a state institution was built at Broadmoor in 1863 - reporting directly to the Home Office. This was unlike other asylums that counties and boroughs were obliged by law to provide for their local population.

Broadmoor was built on a hill with views across the Berkshire heathland. It was quite isolated from local habitation, so local people should not be too worried about escapees.

It started off as a fine Victorian building, and conditions appear to have been superior at first to those at Bethlehem Hospital.

Thankyou to today in psychology history for the date.

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