Story: Mental health services

Conditions in lunatic asylums, 1866

Conditions in lunatic asylums, 1866

The Dunedin Lunatic Asylum was opened in 1863 and its plain and dismal exterior led many residents to feel concerned about conditions in the hospital. However, three years later the Southland Times printed this enthusiastic report. It found that 'the lodge at the entrance looked the very ideal of comfort,' while 'well-clothed and admirably clean-looking men' were working on the native plants in the grounds. Ten years later the hospital was already overcrowded, and the much larger Seacliff asylum was built nearby. (26 September 1866, p. 2)

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Southland Times, 26 September 1866, p. 2

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Warwick Brunton, 'Mental health services - Lunatic asylums, 1840s to 1900s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 January 2018)

Story by Warwick Brunton, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jul 2017