We have been researching Hartwood Mental Hospital which is a 19th century Mental Institution. In the novel, ‘Divided City’, Joe’s dad suffers from mental illness. We wanted to learn about some of the places where people with mental illnesses are being or have been treated.
Hartwood Hospital opened around 1895 for people with serious mental health issues. It was the largest Mental Hospital in Europe and the most crowded in the UK – it could fit over 2500 patients. It was originally called Lanark District Asylum.
Hartwood Hospital had a lot of things. It had its own farm to grow food for its patients. It had its own graveyard for any patients that died. It also had its own staff-house, railway line and reservoir.
Hartwood Hospital is in pieces and would cost too much to rebuild and get up and running again. It closed in 1999, mainly due to the Care in the Community Act. It was then used for two years for a small television channel and finally closed in 2001.
Hartwood has a bad reputation because of the state it is in and there are apparently ghosts. Lots of people would not like for them or their family to go there, even if they are mentally ill and needed treatment.
Hartwood Hospital seemed like a good place before it burned down in 2004. We would had loved to go and visit it to see what it was like and how the patients were treated.
28 Days Later Urban Exploration:
Hartwood Hospital, Lanarkshire:
http://www.whateversleft.co.uk/asylums/hartwood-hospital-lanarkshire accessed 5/11/14
Whatever’s Left Blog