Eastville Workhouse, the mentally ill and systemic murder mysteries

Event Details
Date: , 2024
Time: to
Location: Studio 1&2 Level 1
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN
Price: Free
With: Roger Ball
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival
Page Details
Section: Events
Projects: Eastville Workhouse
Subjects: Workhouses & Poverty Laws
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Modified:
Eastville Workhouse
Eastville Workhouse buildings at twilight in the late 1960s.

The 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act aimed to prevent the mentally afflicted from being incarcerated in workhouses for long periods. However, studies across the country have demonstrated that large numbers of people with mental health issues were being held in these institutions, sometimes in appalling conditions, throughout the Victorian period and even into the twentieth century. Data for Eastville workhouse (constructed in 1847) in east Bristol supports this trend, despite the fact that after 1845 asylums were being constructed en masse and were available in Bristol and Gloucestershire.

This talk will explain why this situation arose, and using case studies of inmates in Eastville Workhouse investigates how the mentally ill were systemically neglected, often ill-treated, and sometimes even murdered.

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