ITV documentary: Broadmoor

ITV is showing part one of its documentary about Broadmoor tonight at 9pm. The makers were given more access than anyone has had before, so it should be an interesting programme to watch if you want to find out more about what the hospital does and how it does it. I think it probably won’t cover too much of the history of the place though.

From the Radio Times page about the programme:

“For the first time, the world’s best-known high-security hospital lets in the cameras. Documentaries about prisons, hospitals and mental health facilities have proved popular in recent years and in a sense Broadmoor offers veteran film-maker Olivia Lichtenstein a combination of all three.

It’s unlikely to make for comfortable viewing, though: this is a facility (technically a hospital, not a prison) that houses and treats the most severely psychologically disordered patients, including violent offenders such as Peter Sutcliffe. And having the patients’ faces blurred (on the insistence of the hospital) won’t make it any easier to watch. Even so, it should be grimly fascinating television.


1/2. Part one of two. Having been built as a Victorian asylum for the criminally insane, Broadmoor in Berkshire is now a high-security psychiatric hospital and home to some of the nation’s most violent men – many of whom are considered too dangerous to be accommodated elsewhere. This documentary meets new patients at the institution, others who are responding well to treatment, and some whose lack of co-operation keeps them from moving on.”

The ITV page includes a video clip of the director, Olivia Lichtenstein.



Published in: on 05/11/2014 at 10:51  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

The Sketch 23 Oct 1901

The Sketch

An article from the 23 October 1901 issue of The Sketch, an illustrated weekly newspaper/magazine. The full text reads:

“During His Majesty’s Pleasure”

Life At Broadmoor Asylum

An extensive red-brick building, fashioned somewhat like a squat letter “H”, standing on a lofty eminence, amidst beautiful scenic surroundings, and wearing a generally bright and attractive appearance. That is the Asylum, at Crowthorne, in Berkshire, which received as patients the insane among criminals.

The only feature about it which bears any resemblance to a prison are the large, nail-studded entrance-gates. The grounds in the rear are arranged in terraces, leading down by stages to the cricket-field, a wide stretch on bright-green turf, level as a billiard-table, and flanked by the high outer wall. Viewed from the rear, the Asylum might pass well for the princely country abode of a distinguished nobleman. Standing immediately outside the building on the top terrace, one obtains a perfectly free and uninterrupted view of the surrounding country, the outer wall being hidden below the terraces. The building is designed to accommodate 486 male patients and 185 females. Upon the occasion of my visit, they had one male beyond their number, but twelve short of their full complement of females. Another wing is being added, which is to accommodate an additional eighty patients and will be ready next year.


Published in: on 22/04/2014 at 09:31  Leave a Comment  

BBC News Magazine – Broadmoor Hospital: Inside a Victorian ‘lunatic asylum’

BBC News Magazine – Broadmoor Hospital: Inside a Victorian ‘lunatic asylum’

The BBC news website has posted a slideshow about the history, and future, of Broadmoor Hospital. It’s now 150 years since the Hospital (or Asylum as it was originally) opened to both male and female patients.

Published in: on 28/02/2014 at 11:55  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Views of Broadmoor

Views of Broadmoor

Views of Broadmoor

The postcard is undated, but the various images on this card are shown on the Frith site as being taken in 1910: “Female Quarters”, “Female Entrance”, “Entrance”, “Male Quarters” and “The Terrace”. There have certainly been some changes since it was issued!


Published in: on 11/05/2013 at 14:03  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

#13 – Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue

Crowthorne, Lower Broadmoor

Crowthorne, Lower Broadmoor: Frith no. 78039

Franked Crowthorne, Berks, unreadable date. The Frith website lists the photo as “Lower Broadmoor 1925, Crowthorne

This road is now known as Chaplain’s Hill. The houses are still there, and there are some garages as well now. The trees in the centre aren’t there any more, having at some point been removed to provide a small parking area.

Published in: on 25/09/2011 at 12:00  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

#49 – Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue

Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue

Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue

This card is very similar to this one, but they are actually slightly different photos. They were taken at different times, and from slightly different positions. (more…)

Published in: on 06/06/2010 at 13:00  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

#13 – Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue

Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue

Crowthorne, Broadmoor Avenue: Frith no. 59478

Wokingham, 9.30am, Sp 9 09.

At some point, the road changed it’s name from Broadmoor Avenue to Lower Broadmoor Road. (more…)

Published in: on 30/05/2010 at 13:00  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

#72 – Broadmoor Asylum

Broadmoor Asylum

Broadmoor Asylum: Frith no. 57931

Franked Crowthorne, 9pm, JY 13 08. (more…)

Published in: on 25/04/2010 at 13:00  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

#46 – Male Quarters, Broadmoor Asylum, near Crowthorne


Male Quarters, Broadmoor Asylum, near Crowthorne

Male Quarters, Broadmoor Asylum, near Crowthorne

“Male Quarters, Broadmoor Asylum, near Crowthorne”. Frith no. 62896.

Much of this part of the hospital looks relatively unchanged

Published in: on 17/06/2009 at 11:51  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

#1 – Entrance Gate Broadmoor

Entrance Gate Broadmoor: Knill & Sons

Entrance Gate Broadmoor: Knill & Sons

Franked Wokingham, 8.15pm, 21 Au 04.

Although this building is still there, it’s no longer used as the entrance to the hospital. It’s now within the secure perimeter, and so you can’t go and take photos of it.

Published in: on 10/06/2009 at 22:34  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,