You are here: Home > This Month's Highlight > 2013 Archive > June 2013: Broadmoor 150

June 2013: Broadmoor 150

Broadmoor Chronicle magazine, 1955

Broadmoor Hospital celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.  The Hospital is marking the event in June, and so it seems fitting to make this month’s highlight a Broadmoor one.

Where else to start but with the first patients?  There were eight of them, all women.  On 27 May 1863, they made the journey by rail and coach from Bethlem Hospital in London to their new surroundings.

Broadmoor was a far remove from Bethlem, which sat in the smoky depths of central London. The new patients found themselves in a beautiful spot of rural Berkshire, enveloped by trees and greenery but with far-reaching views across the countryside.

The image for this highlight comes from the admissions form that accompanied patient number one who was entered into the Broadmoor register. Mary Ann Parr, a thirty-five year old labourer from Nottingham, had been at Bethlem for nearly ten years after she had suffocated her newborn child against her breast.  Both she and her child probably suffered from congenital syphilis.

For Mary, Broadmoor would be home for the next thirty-seven years, though some of her fellow travellers that day would rejoin their families and friends once more.

One hundred and fifty years later, and Broadmoor is still going strong.  It provided the public protection that society demanded, and the dedicated care that its patients needed.  Broadmoor’s longevity is testament to its success, and it is a pleasure to wish it a happy birthday.

Mary Ann Parr's admissions form, 1863

 

Related Content

Stories from England's first Criminal Lunatic Asylum

Leave a Comment

Fields marked with a * are required

1 response(s) so far…

David
Posted on the : 1 Jul 2014

I was a patient at Broadmoor from 1988-1991 and recalled there from 1993-1996 when I absconded from a secure unit in Kent. I can honestly say there was nothing to celebrate in that accursed place and the staff, especially a certain charge nurse were on the whole wicked sadistic bastards, and you can quote me on that!

 

Latest News
Distance Survey 2017 Results
BRO does very well in the latest survey of distance users
Visitor Survey 2016 Results
The results of the UK Visitor Survey 2016 are now available
We're Accredited!
The BRO is now an Accredited Archive Service
10,000th collection received at the BRO
The Berkshire Record Office celebrates receiving its 10,000th accession
Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol online exhibition
New online gallery showcases Oscar Wilde and Reading prison
Distance Enquiry Services Survey 2015 Results
The results of the CIPFA Distance Survey for the BRO are now available

Latest Galleries

Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol

Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol
Biographies of Wilde and Berkshire's Victorian prison

Small Objects of Power

Small Objects of Power
An Exhibition about Medieval Seals

Enemies of the State

Enemies of the State
Irish Patriots in Reading Gaol

The Berkshire Echo

The Berkshire Echo 84
July 2018: Coleshill House and Estate - Conserving Coleshill - New to the Arc...