16 May 2019

16th May 1831 - First Middlesex County Asylum opened

The First Middlesex County Asylum opened on 16th May 1831 at Hanwell.

By 1834 it contained 600 patients, and commanded an extensive and enlivening view. The apartments were well laid out, warmed and ventilated. The gentle curve of the buildings allowed more sunlight into the rooms than previous asylum designs.

The window frames were made of iron instead of wood. So that any restraint was well hidden.

As far as possible, given the need for security, patients could go about without realising they were in a prison of sorts.

Thankyou to the Mental Health Timeline for the date, and the London Courier and Evening Gazette - Wednesday 18 February 1835 for the description.

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