St John’s Asylum – Lincoln, UK

“St John’s hospital in Bracebridge Heath near Lincoln was built in 1852 to house and treat people with mental illnesses. Designed by architects Hamilton and Thomas Percy in a grand Italian-Style, the building now is now a shell of its former greatness.

“The corridors and most of the cells and day-rooms have a honeycomb vaulted ceiling, and a common belief is that the honeycomb pattern was to reduce noise levels, to stop the cries and screams of inmates travelling down the long corridors.

“Like many asylums the hospital had male, female and children’s wings and used some of the traditional medical techniques in that day to “cure” insanity, including electric shock treatment. Conditions such as depression and post natal depression were classed as a mental illness and treated the same as someone with schizophrenia. Brain surgery was believed to cure mental illness and was commonly used in asylums such as this.

“The asylum grounds also included the hospitals own burial site for those unfortunate enough never to escape from its intimidating walls. Whilst surveyors were excavating the grounds, work had to come to a stop when human skeletons were uncovered. It turned out they had found the burial site.” (Behind Closed Doors). 

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