Lunatic Asylums

This new education pack, the third in a projected series of five independently themed packs, centres on the treatment of mental illness in Victorian Greater Manchester, and gives an insight into the standards of the times.

It gives a background to the development of policies and attitudes towards the mentally ill, and how this relates to other aspects of Victorian society. It focuses mainly on Prestwich Lunatic Asylum, established in 1846, which still exists as a specialist hospital.

The records for this hospital are split between GMCRO and Lancashire Record Office, which has admission registers prior to 1891.

The sources used include extracts from a patient case book, extracts from Staff Obligation books, details of the diet the patients would have had, and a plan of the asylum.

This pack covers both the Victorian Britain, and Local History aspects of the National Curriculum, and is aimed at Key Stages 1-3. It should be noted that some of the sources may not be suitable for younger children. It includes original sources, with questions and activities designed to stimulate learning. It is hoped that the use of original sources in our education packs will promote the use of archives in the classroom.

The file (Asylums.pdf) is available in Adobe PDF format and is 1.05Mb in size.

It can be downloaded by clicking on the right hand mouse button on the above link and choosing “Save Target As” (Internet Explorer) or “Save Link As” (Netscape Communicator)

Posted by Cameron Lord