Author Topic: Highcroft hospital/ asylum  (Read 4593 times)

townie

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Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« on: March 14, 2014, 10:41:53 PM »
Highcroft Hospital was a former Poor Law institution, then a psychiatric  hospital. There was a social  stigma to being treated there. Some of the old Highcroft Hospital grounds have  been used for new housing. The main hospital itself has been renovated into  luxury apartments and has been named Highcroft Hall. Highcroft Hall was built  between 1869 and 1871 by Victorian architect,  Yeoville Thomason.
The building, sanctioned by the Poor Law Board, was  originally a workhouse providing housing to paupers, idiots, tramps, seniles,  lunatics and imbeciles (terms used at the time with distinctive definitions).
The building was originally named the Aston Union Workhouse. 
I had to go there in the 70s. I have never been so scared in my life I would have sooner walked through Belfast in the 70s than go there again. If you have never been in a mental hospital before DON'T TRY IT its not good for you.




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blane

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2014, 08:34:44 AM »
It could not be all bad,they did cure you. :P :P :P

mikejee

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2014, 10:53:39 AM »
Mental hospitals are not the same now as they were in the 1970s. I unfortunately have had to visit someone in various ones (not in Brum) from the late 1970s through to the 2000s, and nowadays they are not anything like as forbidding. The old High Royds and Stanley Royds hospitals in Yorkshire were like something out of a gothic novel, though these type seem to have all been closed now. The newer ones are much more people friendly, both to visitors and patients.

roy one

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2014, 11:08:52 AM »
at one time you could be put in a place like this for having a child out of wedlock or if you had any kind of odd behavior  folk would had fits and blackout but has times gone on and we know more about the brain how it works and enlightenment
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

Phil

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2014, 11:15:46 AM »
I think I have mentioned this before, but in the early 70's we covered most of the hospitals including the mental health hospitals in Birmingham for Skip Hire. We occasionally also did clear outs for most of them. We would talk to lots of the staff and patients, I was surprised to see that most of the inmates in the mental health hospitals were suffering from depression.
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townie

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 10:36:25 AM »
I can't remember if they had different wings for the state of the mind. but I know for a fact that the wing or ward I went to was not for people suffering with depression they were raving lunatics. If ever you have been in one you will know the difference. Yes they have all changed now but I am talking in the 70s when Highcroft was still Victorian. 
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Raydar

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 11:44:00 AM »
Not all inmates were imbeciles or idiots, in the latter part of his life my Father suffered with HUNTINGDONS, he was a very clever man in his time, but his illness made him a different person during his last years, when he spent the time in Highcroft.
He died in Highcroft in 1968. I still miss him.
Another chap in there at the same time was still suffering from the effects of the Great War, hiding under his bed most of the time. He was classed as mad, but he was suffering shell shock, something completely different.
A there was Charlie, he was mad. He used to lean against a radiator looking out of the window. While there he would pee through the radiator while no one was watching, then mop his water up with his handkerchief and hang it on the rad. to dry. So maybe not so mad.
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greenbrummie

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2014, 12:28:12 PM »
I visited someone in  Highcroft in the mid 1970's. She and her twin sister  had been in separate  similar institution sfor approx 37 years as a result of severe autism, both born deaf and dumb and their  family being unable to support themselves while caring for them.  .The first thing that hit me was the smell of urine and the dumbed down behaviour and expressionless faces of  many in there and the apparent indifference of staff to lack of any apparently stimulating activities


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Phil

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014, 12:33:06 PM »
GB

I have to agree about the smell in mental institutions it was especially bad on summers days. As you say the care they received was at the best indifferent.
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townie

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2014, 10:40:04 PM »
Raydar I am not saying all the inmates were imbeciles or idiots. I was on the ward/ wing where they was. It seemed like every 50 feet there was a door that was locked every time it was opened. I just hope I never have to go there again. and I don't wish it on anyone. They say don't knock it until you try it. I would give this one a miss. Its easy to visit come and go when you like, Don't stay its not an hotel.
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omninan

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Re: Highcroft hospital/ asylum
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2014, 06:41:36 AM »
I worked in another psychiatric hospital (all saints ) and the doors to the ward were usualy locked as some  patients in a confused state due to their illness would wander unaware of the danger they were in in to the main road.Mental illness should be treated same as any other illness  its peoples fear of the unknown that stigmatises mental illness