County Asylum, Winwick

MMM.1989.24.5

Information

Please note: this post contains outdated language around mental health conditions. This postcard, featuring a photograph of the front of Winwick Hospital, was sent in 1909 by hospital attendant Gilbert Lea. On the reverse, a handwritten letter read: "Dear J. Hope mother and all are well, I expect to see you before long. how do you like the card. G Lea". It was addressed to Miss J Lea at 87 Albert Road, Widnes. Gilbert worked at Winwick Hospital, then known as Winwick Asylum, in the early 1900s and 1910s. He often wrote home to his family and sent them photographs of the hospital during his time working there, from pictures of the grounds to day to day life with the staff and patients. The hospital, then known as Winwick Hospital and Mental Asylum, opened in 1901, a time when people with mental health conditions were contained, rather than cared for. By 1959 it was one of the largest hospitals in Europe with nearly 2,000 patients.