A Boundary Between Two Worlds? Community Perceptions of Former Asylums in Lancashire, England

Carolyn Gibbeson*, Katie Beattie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mental asylums are often depicted as dark, feared places of torment and scandal. Yet slowly the negative perceptions surrounding them have receded. This chapter explores whether there is a boundary that exists between community and asylum as Gittins argued or whether the relationship is more flexible and fluid. It deepens this emerging reinterpretation by examining how those living and working around former asylum sites in two local communities in the North West of England view their abandoned asylum as those sites progressed through conversion to residential accommodation. The study reveals the diverse meanings and interpretations of these sites, challenging the conventional interpretation of an asylum, for all times and all purposes, stigmatisation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVoices in the History of Madness
Subtitle of host publicationPersonal and Professional Perspectives on Mental Health and Illness
EditorsRobert Ellis, Sarah Kendal, Steven J. Taylor
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030695590
ISBN (Print)9783030695583, 9783030695613
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMental Health in Historical Perspective
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2634-6036
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6044


Dive into the research topics of 'A Boundary Between Two Worlds? Community Perceptions of Former Asylums in Lancashire, England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this