Bedlam! Madness on the Streets of London

The incredible story of Bethlem Royal Hospital and the treatment of mental illness from 1247 to the present day

Established in the 13th century by a Crusader seeking to repay God for his salvation, the Bethlem Royal Hospital – often known simply as ‘Bedlam’ – has a chequered and extraordinary history spanning more than nine centuries.

In many ways, Bedlam’s story is also the tale of the treatment of mental illness over the course of London’s history.

Following a route that connects the sites of the original homes of Bedlam in the City of London, this tour explores the concepts, cures and stigmas associated with madness through time.

Learn how religion was as important as classical thought in the treatment of the unwell, how comparatively recently doctors became involved in the management of the hospitals and how the causes of mental ill health have been both surprising and commonplace across different eras.

Visit a compendium of intriguing locations from a Victorian Turkish Bath to a medieval monastery, the original home of Shakespeare’s plays to a hospital built around the time of the first Bethlem Royal Hospital.

An ideal introduction to the vast subject of the human mind and its ailments, this tour places London at the centre of the story.

For tour dates click here to visit Our Calendar page To arrange a private group tour any time contact us by email at

‘Bedlam! Madness on the Streets of London’ is available as both a standard tour and a full day educational course. Details of the standard tour are provided above.

For further details on our full day event or to make a group booking for a private tour please contact us at

The standard walk commences at the Kindertransport Statue outside Liverpool Street Station (for directions click here)  and lasts around 3 – 3½ hours


The standard tour costs £15 per person click here to book online

“Bedlam! Madness on the Streets of London” is also available as a private tour at any time by prior arrangement, subject to a minimum charge.

For further details or to make a group booking for a private tour please contact us at

Click here for a map and directions to the Kindertransport Statue