Dreaded and reviled by many, these nineteenth-century buildings provide a unique window on how the Victorians housed and treated the mentally ill. Despite initially good intentions, they became warehouses for society’s outcasts at a time when cures were rare. Isolated, hidden in the countryside and surrounded by high walls, most have been closed since the 1980s, their original use largely forgotten. In The Victorian Asylum Sarah Rutherford gives an insight into their history, their often imposing architecture and their later decline and brings to life these haunting buildings, some of which still survive today.
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