steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

"But I don’t want to go among mad people."

The Museum of the Mind in Fishponds, on the site of the old Glenside Lunatic Asylum, is only open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. I've been meaning to go for a while, but today I finally got my act together.


It turns out to be quite a small affair, but packed with interesting objects, many of them modelled by mannequins that have themselves evidently sought asylum, perhaps from British Home Stores.

There's nothing quite as creepy as a mannequin that looks as if its mind is elsewhere...


(NB: One of these figures is not a mannequin.)

It was also possible to go into a padded cell (albeit open on one side), and to examine medical and mortuary instruments of yore. Some of the tableaux had an unsettling randomness. Why, for instance, would you put a boardroom table, phrenological head, video display about medical mattresses and a stuffed badger in such close proximity in your deconsecrated church?


Would the Science Museum in that there West Kensington ever dare assemble a collection of medical and anatomical knick-knacks in such pleasing disorder?


No chance of getting this enema syringe and nose and throat spray mixed up - no sirree...


But my favourite is perhaps this mortician's "coronet" - used, apparently, for getting the tops off skulls (you know how awkward they can be), much as you might the top off an egg ready for dipping your toast.


Altogether a fun museum - and well worth the free admission!
Tags: bristol, real life
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