The Devon County Pauper Lunatic Asylum, also known as Exminster Hospital due to its location in England, opened its doors to the mentally ill in July 1845. The building by J. Basire takes form of the outline of a sun rising; half a circle in the center with branches coming out and fencing around the branches. The building of three floors contained many who were considered mentally ill. What was defined as mental illness and the terminology changed as the years went on, though it changed the asylum housed many whom were considered such. The asylum closed its doors to any patient in July of 1985.
“Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness” notes the history of mental illness; before the 1840s, being mentally ill was considered to be a form of religious punishment and demonic punishment by many cultures. In 1407 the first European establishment for mentally ill was established in Valencia, Spain. As time progressed it was shown that Europeans began to increasingly isolate the mentally ill; treated inhumanly, often kept chained to walls in dungeons. In the late 1700s some changes were made as concerns for the mentally ill people’s well being grew. After the French revolution Phillippe Pinel, a French physician, took over the Bicêtre insane asylum, forbidding the use of chains and shackles. He provided the mentally ill with better living conditions, sunny rooms and the ability to roam around the grounds. Though some things have improved, mistreatment in other asylums persisted. In