Gloucester’s Asylums, 1794 – 2002.

by Ian Hollingsbee

This new book (an updated version of his earlier booklet produced in 1988) is a fascinating documentary of Gloucester’s Asylums from 1794 to the present date. It is A5 size, 60 pages, written by Ian M C Hollingsbee who is the local expert on the subject have spent many years working in and running both Horton Road and Coney Hill hospitals. His experiences within Gloucester’s Psychiatric services and a love of social history have enabled him to look in depth at the county’s part in the development of the early Asylum system through to today’s modern practise.

Beginning with an account of the founding of Gloucester’s first Asylum at Horton Road, it continues with the construction of the building, extracts from annual report books, the appointment of various physicians, matrons and medical supervisors to the founding of the Coney Hill Hospital. The report for 1910 includes an interesting list of the moral and physical causes of insanity. Whether your ancestor worked in one of Gloucester’s Asylums or was a patient there, although the book does not contain specific details of the latter, it will make excellent background reading to help you understand this aspect of their life.

The book, with over 7 pages of photographs of buildings and personnel costs £2.50 plus postage of £1.00 (UK), £1.50 (Europe), £2.50 (Rest of the world). It can be purchased from the author at: Mr I M C Hollingsbee, J.P., M.A., 89 Swift Road, Abbeydale, Gloucester, GL4 4XJ.