A PICTURE of what life was like in one of East Lancashire's largest mental hospitals is being portrayed in an exhibition in Clitheroe Castle.

The 'Hidden Histories – Alternative Futures' display' shows the reality of the conditions for patients in Whittingham Asylum between Blackburn and Preston.

Opened in 1873, it was closed in 1995 and demolished in 2016.

The exhibition combines personal experiences with social, cultural and historical observations.

It aims to highlight the history of the asylum, its purpose-built railway, and the emphasis on music therapy as a treatment. Visual art, music, poetry and film all form part of the exhibition.

Artists, writers, musicians, historians, and archivists have worked with the local community to explore what the history of the Victorian Asylum means to them today as part of two-year Whittingham Lives heritage project.

The experiences and voices of people who have direct knowledge of mental health issues are featured.

The exhibition - which involves visual art, music, poetry and film - forms part of a series of events exploring the asylum's 150-year history. It combines personal experiences with social, cultural and historical observations

Cllr Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's culture boss, said: "The environment createat Whittingham Asylum,are revealed in the thousands of documents preserved at Lancashire Archives, and through artefacts held by the Lancashire Museum Service. It is great to be able to display some of these. It is important to remember the county's role in building this institution and in providing care for people with mental ill health before the 1948 foundation of the NHS. "

The exhibition in the Steward's Gallery runs until Monday April. 8