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  • Writer's pictureMatt


Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Shutter Island is a 2010 neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis, based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. Released on February 19, 2010, the film received mostly positive reviews from critics and was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2010, and grossed over $294 million worldwide.




Medfield State Hospital (originally the Medfield Insane Asylum), is a former psychiatric hospital complex located in Medfield, Massachusetts. This property was transformed into the administration buildings that were part of the Ashcliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane on Shutter Island.

This historic asylum was established in 1892 as the state's first facility for dealing with chronic mental patients. The college-like campus was designed by William Pitt Wentworth and developed between 1896 and 1914. After an era dominated by asylums built using the Kirkbride Plan, Medfield Insane Asylum was the first asylum built using the new Cottage Plan layout. It was formally renamed Medfield State Hospital in 1914.

At its height the complex included 58 buildings, on a property of some 1.4 sq. mi (3.6 km2), with a capacity of 2,200 patients. The facility was self sufficient, raising its own livestock and produce, and generated its own heat, light and power. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, the property was closed in April 2003 and the buildings shuttered. Thankfully the grounds have been reopened to the public and are open every day from sun up to sundown. Please be advised that the local Medfield Police patrol the facility after dark so do not try to trespass.

Lee Chapel was built in 1897 where patients could pray and attend mass. This church was used as the main administration building in the film. As you can see movie magic was performed where they altered the architecture considerably.

The gated wall that spans across the buildings is more movie magic and is not part of the original hospital.


We plan to visit this location again to check out the hospitals cemetery and get some more photo's at the same angles of the shots from the film stills. For more photo's that we took of the property, check them out via our Facebook page.

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