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Archiver > Bristol_and_Somerset > 2000-06 > 0961095369

From: "Marion L" <>
Subject: Stapleton: Institutions, Workhouses and Asylums
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 19:56:09 +0100
References: <009601bfd566$4b874540$031830d2@barry>

There were/are several establishments in Stapleton for the care of the less
fortunate. As there have been a lot of questions on list recently, I'll try
to summarise them.

1. The parish Poor House (known to be in existence in 1779, probably much
older) was in Poor House Lane, which has since been re-named College Court.
It would probably have been run by Stapleton Parish on a charitable basis.
This building eventually became a laundry and private house, and was
demolished to make way for the modern flats. I have a photograph of the
building from its days as a private house.

2. The Stapleton Workhouse, also known as the French Prison, The Stapleton
Poor Asylum, Stapleton Institution, Manor Park Hospital, Blackberry Hill
Hospital. Located in Manor Road. Built about 1779 to house French
prisoners of war; in 1833 it was taken over by the Bristol authorities to
due to overcrowding at St Peter's Hospital (there was at that time a cholera
epidemic), and used to care for the sick, the elderly and disabled people.
For some time it was run by the Bristol authorities under the Poor Laws
(providing a home for the destitute, and basic care for those with
disability or mental illness). By the 20th Century, it had become more of a
care home than a "poor house"; the more able residents in the grounds or the
wards, and the Institution was virtually self-supporting. By the 1950's it
had become a hospital for the elderly. Some of the original buildings
remain, although the buildings are now used for training purposes.

3. Snowdon Road Hospital, also known as Meadowsweet. I think is actually in
Small Lane rather than Snowdon Road. This was an isolation (TB) hospital in
the 1930's and 1940's; it later became a home for the elderly. Some
buildings are still there.

4. Glenside Hospital, also known as Bristol Borough Lunatic Asylum,
Stapleton Lunatic Asylum, is next to Blackberry Hill Hospital, on Manor Road
and was built about 1850. This hospital was for people with mental health
and psychiatric problems, and I believe there are still some patients being
treated on the site.

5. Fishponds Lunatic Asylum, also known as Fishponds House, Mason's
Madhouse (!) was in the area bounded by Oldbury Court Road, Elfin Road,
College Road, and Fishponds Road. This was a private establishment, founded
in about 1770 by Dr Joseph Mason. It closed in 1850, and the patients were
transferred to the new Borough Lunatic Asylum (# 4 above). Demolished about

Much of this information comes from a booklet called "Landmarks of old
Fishponds" by Peter Brown.

- -
Marion in Wiltshire, UK

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