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Broadmoor Hospital on Great British Railway Journeys

27 Jan 2014

Broadmoor Hospital is featured in the latest episode of BBC2’s Great British Railway Journeys, with Michael Portillo.

In the series, Portillo travels the country by train with his copy of Victorian cartographer George Bradshaw’s ‘Railway Companion’ as his guide.

In the latest instalment, Winchfield to Crowthorne, he visits Broadmoor Hospital and speaks with Mark Stevens, senior archivist at the Berkshire Record Office, about some of the more colourful staff and patients from the Victorian period.

Stevens explains that the Victorians had a clear understanding that people who had commited crimes as a result of their mental illness needed to be in hospital, not prison.

The programme also makes connections between Victorian ideas of meaningful occupation and the work that continues at the hospital today.

At the end of the episode, Portillo comments: “One can only imagine how dedicated the current staff at this imposing place must be.”