Where is Broadmoor Hospital? When was it built, who are its patients - how to watch Channel 5 documentary

Broadmoor is one of the most famous psychiatric hospitals in the world and has housed notorious killers

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Broadmoor Hospital is one of the most famous psychiatric hospitals in the world, and has housed numerous notorious criminals.

It was the focus of a recent Channel 5 documentary Inside Broadmoor: Criminally Insane, which explores the stories of some of the most famous criminals to have been locked up in the hospital over history - from Edward Oxford, who tried to assassinate Queen Victoria, to the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

This is what you need to know about Broadmoor Hospital - and how you can still watch the documentary on TV.

What is Broadmoor Hospital?

Broadmoor hospital, founded in 1863, is a high-security psychiatric hospital in England, which has housed some of the country’s most notorious killers. It was initially named Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum and accommodates up to 240 inpatients ranging from those with severe mental illness to people with multiple personality disorder.

Patients are treated with a range of therapies and typically stay at the facility for five to six years. Today, the hospital is only home to male inpatients after the female service at the hospital closed in 2007.

Where is Broadmoor Hospital?

Broadmoor Hospital is located in the Berkshire village of Crowthorne and has been there for more than 150 years, making it the oldest facility of its kind in England.

Patients and staff moved into a new £250 million Broadmoor Hospital near its former 150-year-old Victorian home in December 2019. The old Victorian building on the same grounds was put up for sale to help fund the new high-security hospital.

Who are Broadmoor Hospitals' patients?

Some of the prison’s most infamous patients in history have included Prolific patients that have stayed at Broadmoor include the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Ronnie Kray, and Charles Salvador - aka Charles Bronson.

Peter Sutcliffe was arguably one of the UK’s most notorious serial killers, having been found guilty of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others between 1975 and 1980. Sutcliffe was transferred from prison to Broadmoor Hospital in March 1984 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. In 2010, he appealed his conviction of life behind bars but was deemed mentally sane and transferred to HMP Frankland in Durham, where he died of Covid-19 in November 2020.

One of Broadmoor’s most notorious patients was gangster Ronnie Kray, who stayed at the institution for 16 years, and died there aged 61 in 1995. He and his brother Reggie were convicted of murder, armed robbery, arson, protection rackets and assaults. Following their arrest, Ronnie Kray was considered dangerous and denied all liberties. He was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and certified insane.

Former Broadmoor patient Charles Salvador, better known as Charles Bronson, is considered "Britain’s most notorious prisoner", having spent time in Broadmoor Hospital, as well as Ashworth and Rampton high-security psychiatric wards. He was initially arrested for armed robbery in 1974, but his sentence was lengthened due to attacking various inmates and prison staff while incarcerated.

At Broadmoor, Bronson attempted to strangle Gordon Robinson to death. He was later transferred from Broadmoor as he could not cope with the mentally ill patients he was surrounded by.

What is ‘Inside Broadmoor’ documentary about?

The documentary looks at how a civilised society treats those who are both ‘bad and mad’. Viewers will learn about the history of one of the most famous psychiatric hospitals and the treatments that have been applied to help the patients during the 150 years it has been in operation.

When is Inside Broadmoor on Channel 5?

‘Inside Broadmoor: Criminally Insane’ has initially aired on Channel 5 - but is available to watch on My5.