An interactive website has been launched to commemorate and document the fascinating history of St Clement’s Hospital in Ipswich, the last Victorian asylum in Suffolk.
The website, which can be found at www.smhp.nhs.uk/stclements, invites members of the community to contribute stories, photos and interesting facts that together will document the 140 years of St Clement’s Hospital. Stories can be contributed by anyone online by clicking on ‘Share your story’ on the front page of the website.
A highlight of the site so far includes a digital copy of a booklet made in 1970 celebrating 100 years of St Clement’s. The booklet holds interesting facts such as the wages of ‘servants’ in 1870 and the out-dated treatment methods used.
The website invites members of the community to take an active part in this heritage project including service users and their families, past and present staff, nearby residents as well as those in the community that have no experience of St Clement’s.
The site is hosted by Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, as part of a Lottery Heritage funded commemorative project with Red Rose Chain and Inside Out Community Arts.
A series of creative workshops, which run until early next year, are also promoted on the website. These events include various drama, textiles, writing and art workshops that take inspiration from the history of St Clement’s.
Gabriel Tamaya, Trust Project Lead, said: “It is time for the story of St Clement’s Hospital to be retold. This exciting project will mark the closure of the hospital and help people to learn the history and social significance of St Clement’s.
“This website will act as a living, growing archive of stories about the hospital and advancements in mental health care as more and more people contribute their thoughts and memories.”
St Clement’s Hospital is being closed as state-of-the-art new wards at Heath Road, Ipswich have replaced the outdated wards at the former asylum.