The West Riding Lunatic Asylum in Wakefield is a perfect case study in the importance of science in the asylum. Built in 1818, it was one of the largest and most famous institutions of the Victorian era, and a significant location in the development of psychiatry and the neurosciences in Britain. Moreover, the published records, archives and objects which remain from the nineteenth and twentieth century mean there is a wealth of primary material through which to engage with the history of the asylum.

In this section of the site we will present information on the West Riding Lunatic Asylum, including novel research about Wakefield, images from the asylum, and details on how you can see more original items. This work is being supported by the University of Leeds.