Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteLincolnshire Asylums


Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteLincolnshire Asylums


Lincolnshire Asylums

Lincoln Lunatic Asylum
established in 1820, is a spacious & handsome structure, pleasant situated on the lofty south-western brow of the Castle Hill, commanding extensive prospects. It has a handsome front, 260 feet long, ornamented with a portico of the Ionic order, & occupies, with the gardens & airing grounds, lawns etc, about 7 acres.

It was constructed from a plan furnished by Mr Ingleman, an architect of Southwell, & cost upwards of 15,000; but since 1826, it has been considerably enlarged; the original plan only affording accommodation for 50 patients. It has now room for more than a 100, & possesses all the advantages of the best conducted institutions of the same kind in the kingdom. It may be said to have originated with the late Paul  Parnell esq, who bequeathed 100 towards the erection of such a  building in 1803. Every part of the house is freely ventilated, & well lighted; warm & cold baths are provided for their use of the patients; & stoves are placed in the lower apartments to preserve a proper degree of warmth in the winter season. 

The long galleries afford opportunities for taking the exercise of walking under cover, when the weather is unfavourable; while the yards & airing grounds, with the employment in the garden for such as are able & disposed to labour, yield in their turn, exercise in the open air. The spacious pleasure ground in front is encompassed by a wall, so placed under the edge of the hill as not to obstruct the prospect, nor present the appearance of confinement, though it secures the patients from public observation & the chance of escape. 

In one part of the grounds, is a handsome white marble statue of the late E P Charlesworth, who died in 1853, after being 33 years one of the most active physicians & patrons of the asylum. The statue was erected by subscription, at the cost of about 300. 

Various amusements are allowed for the recreation of the patients, to enable them to pass their time as agreeably as their unhappy state of mind will admit. 

The management of the institution is under the direction of the president, vice-presidents, & governors, who are chosen from among the principal subscribers. The Earl of Ripon is the president. The visiting physicians are, Drs Chawner & Torry; the visiting surgeons are Messrs Snow & Hewson; Mr Francis D Walsh, is the house surgeon; Miss Anne Vessey, matron; Mr Richard Hall, secretary; & Mr Drury, surveyor. C Chaplin & A Boucherett esqs, are trustees of the real
estate; & Richard Ellison esq, is the treasurer. 

Before the opening of the Lincolnshire Pauper Lunatic Asylum, at Bracebridge, in 1852, many pauper lunatics were sent to the Lincoln Asylum, which has now seldom more than about 60 patients, about half of whom are females. Of 59 patients, in 1854, 4 were in the first rank, paying 30s each per week; 27 in the second rank, paying 20s per week; & 28 in the third rank, paying 12s per week. These charges are higher than formerly, owing to the present dearness of provisions. The total sum received from the patients, in that year, was 2863; & from annual subscriptions, 79.17s. 
Source: White Directory p.95
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

An extensive establishment, pleasantly situated at Bracebridge, 2 miles south of Lincoln, on an elevated & healthy site, near the high road. Attached to it are 45 acres of land, purchased by the County Magistrates, in 1846. 

The asylum has been erected by them out of the county rates, at a cost of about 30,000. It has room for 250 patients. The greater part of it was opened in 1852, & some additions were made in 1855/6. The plan & arrangements of this large asylum, are in accordance with the most approved systems adopted in other parts of the kingdom. The plain Italian style prevails throughout the large central building, & in all its wings & outbuildings; which, with the courts & airing yards etc, occupy about 7 acres. About 8 acres more are occupied by gardens, lawns, plantations, & roads; thus leaving about 30 acres for the farm, which is partly cultivated by spade husbandry, & gives healthy employment to many of the patients. 

The average number of patients in 1854, was 244, consisting of 110 males & 125 females. Many of the latter are employed in needlework.

The Asylum Chapel & burial ground were consecrated by the Bishop in 1855. M P Moore esq, of Sleaford, is clerk to the visiting magistrates. Edward Palmer esq, MD, is the medical supt; Thomas Allen esq, MD, is the assistant medical officer; & Mr George Kirkup, is the steward & clerk.
Source: White Directory p.96
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Eastgate House
Robert Gardiner Hill esq, FSA, one of the city surgeons, has an excellent Private Lunatic Asylum at his residence, called Eastgate House. During 1835 & several Succeeding years, he was house surgeon at Lincoln Lunatic Asylum, & it was there that this eminent philanthropist first carried out the present humane "system of non-restraint in lunacy" & discarded the strait waistcoats, the iron shackles, & other instruments, with which the more refractory patients were sometimes tortured into confirmed madness; when kindness & vigilant attention to health, cleanliness, & comfort, would either have restored them to sanity or have made them happy & peaceful residents of the asylum.
Source: White Directory p.96
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret