Tag Archives: mental asylum

Some lunacy in June 2012 edition of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

18 May

I was a little surprised when my “cousin” Mike let me know that my blog was featured in the June 2012 issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. I wondered what I had done this time to get myself mentioned in the magazine.

I had to rush out and get a copy, well OK if I am honest I forgot all about it and it was a couple of days before I finally remembered to pick up a copy one morning on the way into work.

I was a little shocked and very flattered to find my blog listed as one of the best websites for researching asylums and mental health records. Of course this is because of my series of blog posts about the search for my 2x great-grandfather George Thomas Gasson.

It has been a couple of years since I wrote those blog posts and on a couple of occasions I have wondered about updating them, or whether there is a need for any updates. I came to the conclusion that it probably wasn’t worth the effort, but maybe I need to re-visit them again.

So thank you WDYTYA Magazine and Jonathan Scott (the article’s author) for spotlighting the story of my lunatic ancestor and the research of mental health and asylums in general. Although I am still surprised that my little blog was included with the likes of The National Archives and The Wellcome Library.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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The hidden art of Hellingly Hospital

15 Dec

An interesting set of photos has turned up on the BBC website, showing the current state of Hellingly Hospital in East Sussex.

My interest in Hellingly Hospital, or the East Sussex County Asylum as it was originally known, comes from the fact that my 2x great-grandfather was a resident there for nearly twenty years (see My Lunatic Ancestor).

There is no shortage of photos (and video) of Hellingly Asylum on the internet, but it is nice to see some of them getting an airing on the BBC website.

The sadness of course is the state of decay that has developed and the fact that the site is soon to be redeveloped, although it sounds as if some of the original buildings may be retained.

It is hard to relate these current photos with what my 2x great-grandfather would have experienced. Which were original features and which were later additions? I can only hope that one day a detailed history of the asylum will be written.

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