suitable buildings for use as lunatic asylums from 1817, the Board rejected the reuse of the recently closed Roscommon Gaol, recommended to them by Undersecretary to the LordLieutenant of Ireland Robert Peel, as a suitable building for reuse as an asylum. The Board rejected the gaol on the recommendation of architect Johnston (National Archives of Ireland Commissioners for General Control: OPW 999/784, December 1817). In Johnston’s plans for provincial asylums, submitted later that year, his sense of the ideal symmetry of an asylum was indicated by his addition of
As well as the ideas behind the management of patients, the ideal asylum designs and specifications were not always adopted, or even advocated, by those involved in individual asylum design. For example, the Board of General Control in Ireland – who were responsible for the planning of provincial asylums in Ireland in 1817 – found themselves at odds with the government in Ireland, despite the government’s interest in establishing improved institutions for public confinement and welfare. The undersecretary to the LordLieutenant of Ireland at the time was Robert
Asylum, alongside a list of Tuke’s specifications, many of which matched up with the didactic writing of other asylum reformers.
James Bevans’s lack of success in realising an asylum design is interesting given his popularity at the time as a known asylum reform advocate. Bevans was a known Benthamite (Markus 1982 : 97), and this is reflected in his panoptic-style asylum plans. Bevans was well known to Robert Peel, then Secretary to the LordLieutenant of Ireland, who recommended him to the Board of General Control in Ireland as a prospective