Shot taken inside the abandoned Harperbury Asylum in Radlett.

Featured in ‘Visualizing Emotion’, August 2011.

Featured in ‘Mysteries of the Past and Present’, August 2011.

Featured in ‘Everything Ends’, August 2011.

Featured in ‘The Art of Peeling Paint’, September 2011.

Harperbury was one of the ‘London 5’ asylums or ‘colonies’ built to ‘house’ London’s burgeoning ‘mental defectives’ or ‘insane’ (the preferred terms of the time).

Harperbury was built in the 1920s to house c.2,000 people in male, female and (unusually) child ‘villas’. It is in a semi-rural location surrounded by fields; to keep the inhabitants in or to keep the mentally ill out of sight for the public?

Harperbury had a school on site too for children we would now class as having Autism, Downs Syndrome, Epilepsy and so on. Large parts of the site are now derelict and totally abandoned. Some are still operational.

There is a large amount of information about Harperbury on the internet. An excellent article can be found here This article details the story of someone who worked at the Asylum.

An aerial view of the site can be seen by entering the postcode WD7 9HQ into Google Maps (or similar).

A photograph is a trace of its subject. The viewer and the image belong to each other. Capturing these traces is a passion, an obsession for me. I hope the thrill comes through in my images.

View Full Profile


  • MartinJohnson
    MartinJohnsonover 3 years ago

    Very spooky

  • Richard Pitman
    Richard Pitmanover 3 years ago

    You’ve made it look quite human here. Somehow.

  • kellbellrauch
    kellbellrauchover 3 years ago

  • Kelly, you are good to me! I’m so pleased to be featured, it’s an honour.

    – Josephine Pugh

  • laruecherie
    laruecherieover 3 years ago

    Creepy…I like it:-)

  • I’m delighted! Thank you so much for the feature, it’s much appreciated.

    – Josephine Pugh

  • Matt Roberts
    Matt Robertsover 3 years ago

  • Thanks Matt. I’ve looked at your features and they’re ace. I’m honoured to be among them.

    – Josephine Pugh

  • richman
    richmanover 3 years ago

    congratulations josephine

    4 September 2011
    ThE aRt Of pEEliNg PaINt

  • Richman! Thank you sincerely for the honour. It’s great to be featured.

    – Josephine Pugh

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.