Site display: Normal | Text Only

My Collection | About Us | Teachers

Find objects

Select from more than one or two options below:

Objects search

Can't find what you're looking for? Try the search below.

Replica of an iron wrist restrainer, England, 1850-1920

  • Thumbnail1
  • Thumbnail2
  • Thumbnail3
  • Thumbnail4
  • Thumbnail5
  • Thumbnail6
  • Thumbnail7
  • Click the thumbnails to enlarge

The original of this wrist restrainer was found in a chest at the Hanwell Asylum in Middlesex in 1930. Hanwell Asylum is now West London Mental Health NHS Trust at St Bernard’s Hospital. The restraint was used to contain a violent or unruly patient. The copy is made of heavy leather with metal chain. It appears to be a highly accurate representation of the original because it shows marks of wear and tear. Hanwell Asylum’s superintendent was John Conolly (1794-1866). He famously renounced instruments of mechanical restraint in favour of ‘moral treatment’. Moral treatment was regular labour under constant surveillance. It is possible copies made of this and other articles found at the same time were created to illustrate to patients and staff the former treatment of inmates.

Object number:




Glossary: asylum

A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.

Glossary: replica

Use for precise reproductions of valued objects, usually in the same dimensions as the original. For reproductions of an image alone, use "reproductions" or "facsimiles." Use also when more than one similar object is produced by the same artist, craftsman, or studio, with little or no variation between them; if variation is apparent, use "versions." Distinct from "forgeries" and "counterfeits," which are produced with the intent to deceive.

Glossary: wrist restraint

No description.