By Anthony D. King
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Extra info for Buildings and society: Essays on the social development of the built environment
As with the hospital and prison, the architecture of the asylum developed in association with the system of classifying and organising the inmates. (based on drawings from The Builder, vol. C. Burdett, Hospitals and Asylums of the World, London, Churchill, 1893, p. 158) county asylum for Middlesex, were almost commonplace. 3 Cheshire County Asylum, built 1828. Accommodating 110 patients, the asylum already looks more ‘institutional’ than its supposed inspiration, the York Retreat. Within a generation, such small-scale asylums had vanished.
6 Design for asylums at Leavesden Woodside, near Watford, and Caterham, near Croydon, 1868. This shows a typical example of the pavilion asylum, the third basic type developed in the late nineteenth century to provide efficient storage for pauper lunatics. The emphasis on a healthy environment in a ‘country setting’, as well as social distance from the town, is well illustrated in this drawing. (from The Builder, vol. 26, 25 July 1868, p. 551) 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 domestic food production resulting from the Napoleonic Wars.
22 ANDREW SCULL poorhouses and gaols; and an equally unfocused and unsystematic feeling that the insane themselves deserved to be treated in a more ‘humane’ fashion; but they possessed no clear ideological vision of what could or should be put in their place. This lack of clarity was evident both in the first parliamentary inquiry the reformers instituted into the treatment of the insane, which at once found little but insufficient institutional provision to complain about and bestowed considerable praise on precisely the existing madhouses and asylums the reformers were shortly to criticize so vehemently;26 and in the vague, weak permissive legislation of 1808 which the reformers then secured.