“The idea of fresh food which was cooked on the premises is very different from any of the hospitals nowadays where the food is brought in from outside.”

As well as looking at the history of St Audry’s, Molly has been involved in the recent project commemorating the closure of  St Clement’s Hospital in Ipswich. The links between the two institutions go back a long way and for many years staff as well as patients went between the two.

“My experience of being in St Clement’s was a very positive and beneficial one   I was there throughout the autumn and the trees and the grounds was really lovely. It was very restful. So it’s given me quite an interest in mental health.

At the Felixstowe Museum I was very interested in the painting of St Audry’s with the really lovely grounds with the vegetable garden. It has given me a feeling of wanting to see the actual place because it looked so nice.  The idea of fresh food which was cooked on the premises is very different from any of the hospitals nowadays where the food is brought in from outside.

I think the idea of all the fresh vegetables  that would be grown at St Audry’s was very interesting. The idea of the actual cooking of the meals  being prepared and grown really on the premises is one that’s nowadays not really available really certainly not in any city or large town hospitals.  Looking at Woodlands at Ipswich Hospital now there wouldn’t be any space to grow any vegetables or flowers, or for the patients to have a garden really.

I think there’s an importance in a mental health hospital for the patients to have a garden area. I think it’s much needed – not just a place to stand outside  and have a cigarette, but an actual garden area to sit in and maybe to help with the garden, maybe to have an allotment area and grow their own vegetables

To me the idea of being able to go out and walk makes the hospital itself seem less claustrophobic. Being out in the fresh air is quite important and it made my time at the hospital a much more enjoyable time than maybe it would be at somewhere in a  slightly more built up environment.