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Saint Cerebellum's
The Woefully inadequate and outdated Psychiatric hospital

Reading Location Tour 11: St Cerebellum's Psychiatric Hospital

Named after the patron saint of unexplained headaches, St Cerebellum's was constructed in 1831 and considered shockingly avant-garde by the standards of the day. With separate wards for unmarried mothers, milk allergies, unwanted relatives and the genuinely disturbed, the hospital attracted an unwarranted amount of negative attention, something that was doubtless the intention as the high level of fee-paying curiosity seekers eager for lunatic-based entertainment surpassed that of Bedlam and Colney Hatch combined.

Upgraded from 'Nuthouse' to 'Booby Hatch' status in 1908 and from there to 'Loonybin' in 1941 and 'Funny Farm' in 1968, St Cerebellum's is now a combined Psychiatric treatment centre and secure hospital for the criminally insane, housing until recently the notoriously dangerous and extremely violent Gingerbreadman.

Woefully inadequate and outdated even before the foundation stone was laid, the hospital will be transferred to the new facility currently being built a little way to the West. The future of the old building was in some doubt as its dank cells, echoing corridors, cheerless interior and barred windows was thought to be unsuitable for any other purpose with the possible exception of mushroom-growing. Luckily, one of Reading's most noted public schools has stepped in and offered to buy the old place for its expanding business. 'Redecoration or updating,' said a school spokesman, 'will not be required.'

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