Demolition of Foster Flats

Activity at the St Lawrence's demolition site resumes with the razing of Foster Flats and day centre. Larger images here.



A collection of wintry photos taken around the hospital grounds by numerous staff. Most of these buildings no longer exist. Larger images here. Further detail here.


Foster Hall Christmas Party 1987

The Annual Children's Christmas Party held in Foster Hall on Saturday 19th December 1987.


Brass Buttons

Brass buttons from a scarlet waistcoat worn by attendants at the Cornwall County Lunatic Asylum. Further info  here.


Foster November 2013

Clearing the remains of Foster Hall and wards continues before the next stage of demolition, scheduled for completion in February 2014. Larger images here.


Foster Hall 1968

St Lawrence's Hospital Social Club bar in Foster Hall during 1968. This temporary bar was installed in the hall for various staff events and occasions including the annual St Lawrence's Staff Social Club Draw.
The St Lawrence's Hospital Social Club Draw was held every Christmas in Foster Hall.  Prizes to be won including turkeys, Christmas cakes, cigars, bottles of spirits, etc, are displayed here on hospital sheet covered tables in front of Foster Hall stage. Access to these photos courtesy of W. Jago. Further SLH images here



Foster Demolition September 2013

The demolition of Foster in full stride. Valency and Kensey wards are the first to go along with Foster corridors and the provisions store. For further images of the demolition in a larger format: Foster demolition



Farewell St Lawrence's Social Club

St Lawrence's Social Club began its 57 year existence as the Rose and Shamrock in July 1956 and occupied four different buildings during its lifetime. The club closed its doors for the last time during September 2013. Larger images, further detail and staff photos snapped from the past six decades, many taken in the club, can be accessed here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html


Hospital grounds

The hospital grounds as photographed by staff over the past four decades. More from this collection can be viewed in greater detail at http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html


Foster buildings

A collection of photos taken around Foster block by staff over the past 35 years. More photos from this collection and further detail here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html


Foster Building 2013

External video footage taken around Foster building during May 2013, prior to demolition this summer. Further detail, video and images here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html


Examining Mental Illness in Cornwall

We are two post-doctoral researchers, Sam Rayne and Jo Esra, investigating the history of St. Lawrence’s Hospital and Elizabeth Barclay House in Bodmin, Cornwall, having both completed our studies at the University of Exeter. 

We want to find out as much as possible about the two sites in question, especially given that the Foster Building of St. Lawrence’s is, at the time of writing, under threat of demolition. However, we also want to put that exploration within the wider context of Cornish cultural history, as we feel that issues of marginalisation are relevant to both. We also hope to investigate the more general history of mental health in the Duchy which we feel is an under-explored aspect of Cornwall’s past. 

 This blog will share some of the history of St. Lawrence’s and Elizabeth Barclay House, so please feel free to comment, give feedback or ask questions.The blog can be accessed here: http://stlawrencesbodmin.wordpress.com


Rashleigh 2003

Rashleigh building was erected between 1881 and 1884, occupied in 1887 and demolished in 2004. Larger images here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html


Harrison Clinic

Harrison Clinic started out as an isolation hospital. Built in 1898, closed in 2003 and demolished during 2012. Larger images here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html




This building was opened in 1872, housed 100 patients and was referred to as the long building before being named after the Chairman of the Committee, Nicholas Kendall. The building was destroyed by a fire in 2001 and demolished in 2008. Further images can be viewed on the website here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html



Radial Building, opened in 1820 at a cost of £16000, was known as the Asylum and admitted its first patient on 25th October of that year. Large images can be viewed on the website located here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html



Rashleigh building, erected between 1881-1884 and occupied in 1887, was demolished in 2007. Further images can be viewed here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html 


Sports Day

Sports day, captured on a reel of 8mm cine film during the 1960s on the cricket pitch, now a housing estate. Film courtesy of Lyn & Gerald Paul.


Williams House

Williams House, named after Mary Francis Williams, a Chairman of the Health Committee. The building housed two wards; Delank on the ground floor and St Germans above. View further images here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html 


Radial 1988

Video shot in and around Radial and Foster on the 26th February 1988 for a Social Club evening, entitled " Night of the Heroes." The hospital as it was a quarter of a century ago!  The images that appear on these pages can be viewed larger here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html 



Foster block corridor with numerous entrances on the left leading into Foster Hall. At the end of this corridor, the entrances to Kensey, Tamar, Fal and Valency Wards. The pharmacy was located further down on the right next to the cigarette machine. Images on these pages can be viewed larger on the website relocated here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html 

Another view of Foster corridor containing entrances to the staff dining room and hospital kitchens. In the foreground and to the left, fire panels, where nurses on fire duty gathered after the fire alarm sounded.

A floor polishing machine stands idle along this Foster corridor view, looking towards Kensey Ward.

Foster corridor, looking down from Kensey Ward, towards the entrance on the right for staff showers and changing rooms. Images on these pages can be viewed larger on the website relocated here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html 


'Top End' 1991

The 'top end' of the hospital, videod in 1991 including Radial, Kendall and Rashleigh. The images that appear on these pages can be viewed larger here: http://slhphotos.atspace.com/index.html