Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Beckenham

History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Bethlem Museum of the Mind is a museum focusing on the history of Bethlem Royal Hospital, its programme of care, and its patients. Opened in 2015, the museum is housed in an Art Deco building shared with the Bethlem Gallery, which hosts exhibitions of contemporary artists who are current or former patients.

The museum's displays include work by artists who have suffered from mental health problems, such as former patients William Kurelek, Richard Dadd and Louis Wain. Another work is a pair of statues by Caius Gabriel Cibber known as Raving and Melancholy Madness, from the gates of the 17th century Bethlem Hospital. Other displays illustrate the history of mental healthcare.

The museum is a member of the London Museums of Health & Medicine.
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Bethlem Museum of the Mind reviews

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58 reviews
  • Very interesting displays which were very thought provoking. Very helpful staff. Gorgeous building. Thank goodness times have changed for women.  more »
  • Great place to visit. Guides very informative. I found the project enormous in scope and the customers seemed very similar to the poor modern sufferers. Fantastic work done by the caring staff over...  more »
  • Very interesting and thought provoking. Free of charge but a donation of £2 is gratefully received. Will go back. Parking is free and you can explore the grounds
  • Lots to learn and discover in this small but beautiful museum. This is where I first learned of Louis Wain, a talented yet somewhat tortured soul. Mostly known for his fabulous cartoons of cats (being a cat owner was reason to draw me to him). I just popped in with my sister curious about this place during one of their exhibitions. It's free but donations accepted which I am happy to when possible. Like most museums they have a small (well tiny) gift shop . Worth a visit.

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