Inside Broadmoor: On location at The Workhouse

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With exclusive and unprecedented access to Broadmoor’s archives, Inside Broadmoor is a two-part documentary which reveals the extraordinary history of the psychiatric hospital.

The 1824 Workhouse in Nottinghamshire and its 1871 Infirmary building (which is not on public show) were both used as locations.

Rachel S Harrison, Property Operations Manager, describes the experience,

'The crew from Inside Broadmoor were on the look out for a red-brick building with an institutional feel, to act as a backdrop to their dramatic reconstructions and The Workhouse certainly fitted the bill with its imposing exterior and its austere, empty rooms.'

Starring roles for our volunteers

It wasn’t just locations that the crew found at The Workhouse, as Rachel explains,

'Not only did we provide various locations but over 20 of our volunteers ended up with starring roles! Including Kathy Cameron, who swapped her usual role as one of the 40-strong learning volunteers for a spot of acting, playing Christiana Edmunds The Chocolate Cream Poisoner, who laced chocolate creams with strychnine, in the 1870s and spent 35 years in Broadmoor.'

The opportunity to participate in these ‘starring roles’ has sprung directly out of the learning volunteers’ work in providing immersive educational programme for schools.

As Rachel explains, 'Their expertise in storytelling, living history re-enactment, and educational visits, as well as writing and performing archive-based stories, meant the step to scene stealing appearances in the documentary was small one.'

For a good cause

As well as showcasing The Workhouse on the small screen, the location fees will support a variety of operational projects which will help with conservation of the property, and helps draw attention to the site’s own history accommodating paupers with mental health issues, and their ongoing work to improve the site’s historical and contemporary significance nationally.

Part 1 of Inside Broadmoor aired on Monday 30 September 2013, if you missed it then you catch up on Demand 5.

Part 2 airs on Monday 7 October 2013 at 9pm on Channel 5.