This short list of published sources and web links are all connected to thinking about living with mental health conditions in the past and now. The books are available from libraries, and the web links on line. Please add to them if you can.


Barbara Taylor’s book has a useful select bibliography.

Steven Cherry, Mental Health Care in Modern England: St Andrew’s Hospital, Norwich 1810-1998 (Suffolk, 2003)

David Clark, The Story of a Mental Hospital: Fulbourn,1858-1983 (London, 1996)

Roy Porter, A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane (London, 1987)

Barbara Taylor, The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times (London, 2014)

Sarah Wise, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England (London, 2012)

Mark Davis, Marina Kidd, Voices from the Asylum, West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2013)

Also found a brilliant reference in Barbara Taylor’s book: p189. “In 1879 the chaplain of Colney Hatch, Revd Henry Hawkins, organised a meeting of psychiatric notables to deal with what he called the ‘unhappy situation’ of women discharged from the asylum with nowhere to go. The meeting resulted in the founding of the Aftercare Association for Poor and Friendless Female Convalescents on Leaving Asylums for the Insane, which established a number of ‘convalescent homes’ for such women. Today Revd Hawkins’s association is known as Together.”

Mary E Mann, a Norfolk farmer’s wife, wrote novels and short stories about life in rural Norfolk during the late 19th Century. Mary E Mann.


Web links

Mental Hospitals in England: A Gazetteer of Historic Asylums and Mental Hospitals in England, 1660-1948:

St Audry’s Project. Telling It Like It Is: The Story of a Psychiatric Hospital in Suffolk.

First hand accounts of asylum life in twentieth century Britain, from the Mental Health Testimony Archive in the British Library Sound Archive.

David Baker has given us permission to show his photographs of St Andrew’s Hospital, available on this site:

The Smithsonian Institution runs a collaborative archive transcribing project, which could be a model for getting people involved in working with St Andrew’s Hospital archive material:

Oral History Society – – their advice in the ‘Getting Started’ and’ Legal and Ethical’ sections is particularly useful.

British Library Sounds – – this is an excellent source of sound recordings which can be listened to online.

East Midlands Oral History Archive (training section) – – this is a very good source of information on carrying out oral history projects.

BBC Radio 4’s The Listening Project – – the website contains lots of recorded conversations and advice.

ABMU Heritage Group’s website about county asylums – – includes information and photos of St Andrew’s.

Whittingham Lives project – – a two year multi-faceted arts and heritage project aimed at researching, exploring, celebrating and critically reviewing the culture and legacy of Whittingham Asylum in Preston from its opening in 1873, closure in the mid 1990s through to its demolition in 2016.

Resources from NORAH sessions

Casebooks: SAH 270/271

DN/TA 596: Thorpe tithe map of 1842, showing the asylum

DCN 40/16: Grant of hunting rights on Blofield and elsewhere by King William II to the Bishop of Thetford, undated but about 1090 (this is in Latin)

ACC 2009/103: collection of material mainly photographs, reports etc about the Norfolk War Hospital, but also including earlier and later material, including a plan of the Hospital dated 1903.

Manifestations of Madness: A study of the patients of Norfolk County Asylum, 1846-1870 by Julie Jakeway, 2010

Books by Frank Meeres are available on Amazon