Faces of the Asylum: The Patients of the Bristol Lunatic Asylum in the Nineteenth Century

Bristol Record Office holds a remarkable photographic archive of patients in Bristol’s nineteenth century Lunatic Asylum. In this article, Paul Tobia asks what these compelling and intimate portraits can tell us.

‘This vile place’: Stanely Spencer in Bristol 1915-1916

Artist, Sir Stanley Spencer RA CBE, worked at the Beaufort Military hospital in Bristol during the First World War. Paul Gough retells Spencer’s experience at the hospital (now UWE’s Glenside Campus), through his diary entries and other primary sources. During his time in service, Spencer recorded in his diary a personal revelation which transformed his outlook and attitude to his work. This revelation would inform his later artwork which came to be celebrated at Newbury.