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The London Contribution to Neurology and Psychiatry: The second British Symposium on the History of Neurology and Psychiatry
  1. Edward H Reynolds
  1. Correspondence to Dr Edward H Reynolds, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, King's College, London SE5 9PJ, UK; reynolds{at}buckles.u-net.com

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Following the first British Symposium on the History of Neurology and Psychiatry on 9 July 2014 at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience/King's College London1 a second Symposium was held at the Institute of Neurology (ION)/University College London on 26 November 2015 on the theme of “The London contribution to neurology and psychiatry”. The Dean of the ION, Michael Hanna, welcomed 134 delegates, including neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical and basic neuroscientists, historians and archivists.

Bethlem Hospital and the Museum of the Mind

Victoria Northwood, Archivist to the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust, described the history of the Bethlem Hospital, the oldest psychiatric hospital in the world still functioning today. Founded in 1247 as a Priory of the Church of St Mary of Bethlehem, it was in use as a hospital from the early 14th century and specialised in the treatment of the insane from the early 15th century. The hospital was originally located on Bishopsgate (near the current site of London's Liverpool Street station) and moved in 1676 to Moorfields. The hospital's second building was designed by Robert Hooke FRS (1635–1703), and incorporated the iconic statues of ‘Raving’ and ‘Melancholy’ Madness sculpted by Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630–1700); the interior of the hospital featured in the final scene of ‘The Rakes Progress’ by William Hogarth (1697–1764). The hospital moved once again in 1815, to St George's Fields in Lambeth (the building now houses the Imperial War Museum) and finally in 1930 to its current home in Monks Orchard, near Beckenham.

Bethlem merged with the Maudsley Hospital in 1948 following the establishment of the National Health Service and continues to treat patients as part of the South London and Maudsley National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust. In February 2015 a new Gallery and Museum opened at Bethlem, safeguarding the world renowned archives and collections cared for by …

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