The Lunatic Asylum – A Film


In 2024 Oxfordshire Recovery College and the University of Oxford collaborated on an exploration of the archives of the Warneford Hospital, Oxford. Established in 1826, the Warneford was set up as a 'lunatic asylum' for patients of 'moderate' circumstances. From its beginning it had strong connections with the University of Oxford and in the twentieth century it became a research hub for psychiatry.

Oxfordshire Recovery College offers free courses on mental health and wellbeing, which are co-designed alongside people with lived experience. This project was an opportunity was Recovery College Tutors to explore the archives of the Hospital and to reflect on their own experiences in the context of  Warneford's history.


Filming and Production: Stuart Hobbs.

Oxfordshire Recovery College Participants: Stephanie, Tom, Hasina, Tina, Philippa.

Historians: Sally Frampton and Molly Wilson.

Thanks to: The University of Oxford John Fell Fund, Priya Atwal, Stephen Tuck, Lucy Barrell at Oxfordshire Health Archives, and Sarah Maddock, Tiziana Fiorito and team at the Library (Oxford Health), Warneford Hospital.