*Walks* This is one of the most intriguing museums, and it’s less than 30 minutes drive from Carshalton. The small museum looks back at the treatment of mental health and covers the long history of Bethlem hospital. It’s set in beautiful parkland that you’re free to explore.
At the entrance to the museum, shown above, are two sculptures from the old gates of the 17th-century Hospital which stood at a place called Moorfields in the City of London. They are called Raving and Melancholy Madness.
This free museum is situated on the grounds of Bethlem Hospital in Beckenham, in the London Borough of Bromley.
It’s a lovely 1930s art deco building, with objects on display from the hospital’s long history which dates back to 1247.
The hospital has had several premises during its lifetime and moved here from its last location – a place which is now the Imperial War Museum in London, SE1.
At the museum you can read about how doctors have tried to treat mental illness over the years. You can view tools, and read first-hand accounts of the people affected. There are old photos with engaging stories.
There’s lots of art on display, with several pieces available to purchase.
There’s plenty of parking on site, but you can also reach this place via public transport. There’s Eden Park station (30 mins from London Bridge), followed by a 15 min walk or 356 bus (towards Shirley – The Bethlem Royal Hospital stop). Also from East Croydon (15 mins from London Victoria), followed by 119 bus (towards Bromley – Shirley Baptist Church stop) or 198 (towards Shrublands – Monks Orchard Road stop).
The beautiful grounds are also free to visit, but unfortunately, we’ll have to cover that another time as the weather was so wet when we visited.
For more information on current opening times visit their website, You can pick up a free map from the museum reception to view the grounds, or look out for occasional booked tours that take place.
Let us know in the comments what you think