The Retreat occupies a central place in the history of psychiatry. Every textbook on the subject mentions the unique part played by our organisation in the reshaping of attitudes towards people who are mentally ill.
Opened in 1796 by William Tuke, a retired tea merchant, the original Retreat was intended to be a place where members of The Society of Friends (Quakers) who were experiencing mental distress could come and recover in an environment that would be both familiar and sympathetic to their needs. Some years earlier, a Leeds Quaker, Hannah Mills, had died in the squalid and inhumane conditions that then prevailed in the York Asylum, and appalled at this Tuke and his family vowed that never again should any Quaker be forced to endure such treatment.
Our interactive timeline shows some of the key dates from the history of The Retreat