Postcards from Hill End Asylum
By Amy Cooke
These postcards, produced by Alpha of St Albans, are from the collections of St Albans Museums’. They show Hill End hospital in around 1906, including a view of the railway line which used to serve the hospital. It might seem strange to us now to think of sending a postcard showing a mental hospital, or asylum as it is refered to on these postcards, and we can only speculate about who would send them and why.
The messages on the back of these postcards don’t give us a lot of imformation about the sender: one says “Hope you will like this for your collection“, the other “Write soon, Love from L“. Both postcards were addressed to a farm in Devon, just on the edge of Dartmoor, but we know almost nothing about the sender, known only as ‘L’. Was this person was a patient at the hospital writing to family and friends in Devon, a member of the hospital staff, or simply a visitor recording a trip to this rather unlikely-seeming tourist destination!
It would be really interesting to hear from anyone who has any thoughts about these postcards