A 1930s pathology mortuary board from St Lawrence’s asylum, Bodmin, Cornwall
A 1930s pathology mortuary board from St Lawrence’s asylum, Bodmin, Cornwall
A 1930s pathology mortuary board from St Lawrence’s asylum, Bodmin, Cornwall

A 1930s pathology mortuary board from St Lawrence’s asylum, Bodmin, Cornwall

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The foundation stone for St Lawrence's Lunatic Asylum was laid in 1815. Within three years, the mental hospital opened containing 112 cells and accommodation for 72 patients. It made Cornwall the first county in the South West to provide an asylum for the insane prior to the 1885 Act which stated that asylums± had to be built in certain areas.The asylum, then St Lawrences mental hospital, went into decline in the 1980s and was closed in 2002.  Parts were converted into residential accommodation and the rest demolished.

The original oak framed slate board is dated August 1935 and shows the organs that would have been removed during a post mortem by the St Lawrence’s pathologist and has a space where the weight in ounces  was recorded by the mortuary assistant.   This practice still takes place in post mortems today.

An unusual piece of West Country history.  The oak has been dry scraped removing the later white paint.  The board is dated Aug 1935 to the bottom right.

Measuring: 79 cm x 49 cm

Cornwall, England, 1935