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Truncheon, England, 1901-1930

This leather truncheon appears to have seen some use. It was reputedly used at Narborough Mental Asylum in Leicestershire, England, during the early 20th century. It is made of a leather-covered spring and is broken near the handle. The warden, probably male, inserted his hand into the leather strap. He used the weapon to subdue asylum inmates. Other behaviour-control measures included physical restraint, seclusion, and sedation. Few other treatments for mental health issues were available during this period. Government acts passed during the early 1900s improved the medical care and welfare of people with mental health issues. Narborough Mental Hospital, formerly Narborough Mental Asylum, closed in 1996. This was due to the ‘care in the community’ policy.

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Glossary: psychiatric hospital

Psychiatric hospital specialising in the treatment of serious mental illness, usually for relatively long-term patients.

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: truncheon

No description.