A system in ruins; the Victorian asylums of Britain

Cromey, James Martin (2019) A system in ruins; the Victorian asylums of Britain. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3348514

Abstract

Despite its closure prior to the beginning of the 21st century, echoes of the county and district asylum system still remain across Britain. These grand architectural monoliths housed hundreds of people in various sites at their peak, across the countryside of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and offered care to mental health patients for over a century. Despite this, many will know the asylum complexes from whistle-blower accounts or newspaper articles declaring them unfit for purpose and highlighting incidents where negligence was commonplace. Furthermore, the fictional renditions of asylums in films, novels and video games has resulted in a lingering disparity between the asylums’ heritage, and the history as more commonly depicted and digested by the public.
The cultural perception of asylums is such that the sites now act as a focal point for perceived wrongdoing in past mental health care. Consequently, the sites retain a negative ambiance, brought about by the stigma shown towards these vast institutions, now lying derelict. This thesis will focus on the architecture of the asylum buildings, which will allow a discussion in to the stigma of asylums and the extent to which it is unfounded, instead based on the fictional portrayal of the asylum sites, and not the institutions themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Asylum, Britain, mental healthcare, historical, medicine, industrial archaeology, historical geography.
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Supervisor's Name: Given, Dr. Michael and McGeachan, Dr. Cheryl and Harrison, Dr. Stephen
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr James M Cromey
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41178
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 13:12
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 14:53
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/41178

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