st lawrences | recee

The asylum at Bodmin was often overlooked by explorers. That was partly due to its relative isolation, tucked away within Cornwall and many miles from the popular central haunts of the time. And SAVE's authorative Mind Over Matter devoted most of its descriptive text to the radial building and a scattering of ancillary buildings; the uninspiring picture didnít help either.

Early Internet searches (compiled whilst working on the first version of the Asylum List in 2002) mentioned the conversion of the radial building to apartments. On-line mapping services showed a mushy green blur for most of Cornwall. Therefore it was assumed Bodmin was redeveloped and there was nothing more to see.

Dave contacted me in 2006 and asked if a visit to Bodmin was planned. He explained that whilst the radial building was converted, the private Carew Block was derelict and the echelon Foster Block stood empty. A second check with the newly updated on-line mapping services revealed a sprawling site of many buildings of which the radial block was a small part.

With a holiday pending in Devon, it was a simple matter to pencil in a meet-up with Dave and finally recee St. Lawrences, Bodmin for myself.

"Treatment available to us consisted of Peraldehyde and Sulpher Powder for drugs, padded cells, strait jackets, one dungeon and cold shower baths. The dungeon was an underground room where disturbed patients were placed under constant supervision" - A. W. Vanderwolfe who worked at St. Lawrences.

(Note: larger sized pictures are available. E-mail me if you require them.)