26 April 2018
Last year, the Trust formally nominated Dr John Conolly, Resident Medical Superintendent of the then, Hanwell Asylum (now St Bernard’s Hospital) 1839-1844, for recognition by English Heritage. We are delighted to announce that their Expert Panel have just short-listed him for a Blue Plaque subject to further historical research.
There is huge competition for Blue Plaques in London so it is great to see someone with an historic connection to the Trust being selected. More importantly, he was one of a few pioneers of his era who fought for humane mental health treatments.
Kevin Towers (Head of Mental Health Law) wrote the nomination explaining how Dr Conolly’s influence during the Victorian era has had lasting impact: “In his effort to improve the dignity of patients by removing mechanical restraints, John Conolly set the tone for more recent attempts to remove the stigma of mental health issues and the discrimination that emanates from that stigma.”
*Portrait picture taken from The Victorian Asylum – by Sarah Rutherford
**Memorial to John Conolly in Hanwell in a small park that used to be a glen in the grounds of his house, on Conolly Road, which is named after him.