Bracknell Forest Borough
Postal Code: RG45 7EG
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Broadmoor Hospital is a high-security psychiatric hospital at Crowthorne in the Borough of Bracknell Forest in Berkshire, England. It is the best known of the three high-security psychiatric hospitals in England, the other two being Ashworth and Rampton. Scotland has a similar institution at Carstairs, officially known as The State Hospital but often called Carstairs Hospital, which serves Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Broadmoor complex houses about 260 patients, all of whom are men since the female service closed with most of the women moving to a new service in Southall in September 2007, a few moving to the national high secure service for women at Rampton and a few elsewhere.The hospital was previously known as the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum; the change of name reflects a change in attitude towards mental illness, criminals, and the word "asylum".
Broadmoor opened as a mental institution in May 1863, and has since become synonymous with some of Britain's most notorious criminals.When Broadmoor began life in the 1860s the attitude towards mental health was radically different. Asylums were kept as far away from normal communities as possible - an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality. The Broadmoor 'criminal lunatic asylum', as it was called, was opened in 1863 with 95 female patients. A block for male patients followed a year later. The hospital was built after the passing of the Criminal Lunatics Act of 1860 - also called the Broadmoor Act. It drew attention to the poor conditions in British asylums such as Bethlehem Hospital, which was known as 'Bedlam'. It also followed the setting up of the McNaughton Rules, a series of questions which determined whether a person was too insane to be charged with a criminal offence. The site covered 290 acres (116 hectares) on the edge of the Berkshire moors some 32 miles from London. The asylum was "intended for the reception, safe custody and treatment of persons who had committed crimes while actually insane or who became insane whilst undergoing sentence of punishment".
The imposing building was designed by Major General Joshua Jebb, a military engineer who is said to have based the building off two other hospitals - Wakefield in Britain and Turkey's Scutari Hospital.(text added by Geoffrey Gillon)