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The Linchmere hospital is an austere and prison like mental institution for those suffering from mental conditions, as mental health was hardly understood in the 1960s it is compared by Sister Monica Joan to a place of torment.

Overview[]

The Linchmere is first seen in S06E05, a cousin of Frederick Buckle, Ivy Jackson had died and her son Reggie Jackson who also has Downs syndrome has gone to stay with them until a new home can be found. Shelagh Turner finds the Linchmere and both Fred and Sister Monica Joan decide to have a look as a prospective home for him. They find in it a very grim and prison like place where the wards are locked at night by the nurses. Fred decides it was not the place for Reggie and he said if he could he would take all the patients with him, but while they are there Sister Monica Joan is horrified to find that Sister Mary Cynthia was sent there by the order after suffering trauma from a brutal attack from the previous year. When Sister Julienne gets this news she tries to allow the stern nurse to discharge her into their care but she refuses. Since Sister Mary Cynthia doesn’t seem to be making any progress they decide to give her electroshock therapy.

The linchmere is next seen in the next episode, Sister Mary Cynthia is moved to a general ward because of the progress she is making. However the Sister becomes greatly distressed when her habit, cap and veil go missing but the nurse finds them for her. The nurse is less sympathetic when her bible goes missing, it turns out it was stolen by a woman who underwent a lobotomy. She waits for her son to collect her but never remembers he isn’t coming for her. Sister Julienne and Sister Monica Joan try to secure her discharge and they succeed. Before they go Sister Mary Cynthia speaks to the woman Mrs Archibald where it turns out she does understand her son isn’t coming but her hope is written off as mental confusion allows the woman to keep the stolen bible in the hope that it will bring her comfort. In the end Sister Mary Cynthia is sent to live in a much more gentle hospital called Northfield.

The experience of Sister Mary Cynthia or Mrs Archibald were not the only ones seen or spoken about, Jeannie Tennant’s mother had seven children and that led her to mental instability where she was in a constant cycle of going in and out of the Linchmere and Jeannie was desperate not to repeat the experience. Unfortunately her attempts to abort her third baby led to her death by an infection. Violet Buckle had an aunt that went “funny” according to her and went there. Another patient Marigold Nyall was a patient in the 1950s.

Another case which involved the Licnhmere that happened in the present for the midwives was the case of Louise Wrigley who was suffering from a mental illness, as Dr Turner had no other option he had to send her to the Linchmere. A choice he wished he didn’t have to make but he had no choice but to. He said he only sends patients to the Linchmere in the case that they are a danger to themselves or to someone else, such as another case Spencer Wray who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and turned violent, he was arrested and Dr Turner arranged for him to go to a mental hospital that would most likely be the linchmere.

Current Patients[]

  • Mrs Archibald
  • Louise Wrigley
  • Spencer Wray
  • numerous others

Former Patients[]

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