An archaeology of lunacy examines the historic lunatic asylum from an interdisciplinary perspective, employing methods drawn from archaeology, social geography, and history to create a holistic view of the built heritage of the asylum as a distinctive building type. In the popular imagination, historic lunatic asylums were dark, monolithic, and homogenous, instruments for social confinement and punishment. This book aims to redress this historical reputation, showing how the built environment and material worlds of lunatic asylums were distinctive and idiosyncratic – and highly regional. They were also progressive spaces and proving grounds of architectural experimentation, where the reformed treatment practices known as moral management were trialled and refined. The standing remains of the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum system represent a unique opportunity to study a building-type in active transition, both materially and ideologically. When they were constructed, asylums were a composite of reform ideals, architectural materials, and innovative design approaches. An archaeological study of these institutions can offer a materially focused examination of how the buildings worked on a daily basis. This study combines critical analysis of the architecture, material remains, and historical documentary sources for lunatic asylums in England and Ireland. Students and scholars of later historical archaeology and built heritage will find the book a useful overview of this institutional site type, while historians of medicine will find the focus on interior design and architecture of use. The general public, for whom asylums frequently represent shadowy ruins or anonymous redevelopments, may be interested in learning more about the buildings.
fabric’ of the city into the expansive metropolis of the eighteenth century.3 Further clarifying our understanding of Ireland’s landscape in the
past is work by the Irish Post-MedievalArchaeology Group, which shares
essential information on archaeological excavations in Ireland and literature relating to post-medievalarchaeology, also publishing volumes that
correspond with the Group’s conference proceedings.4 Never before have
scholars had such a lively and complete impression of how early modern
Ireland may have looked.
Cultural and literary historians are
number of useful chapters relating to the post-medievalarchaeology of Dublin,
Carrickfergus, Belfast, Derry and Galway can be found in Audrey Horning, Ruairí
Ó Baoill, Colm Donnelly and Paul Logue (eds), The Post-MedievalArchaeology of
Ireland, 1550–1850 (Dublin: Wordwell, 2007).
Maurice F. Hurley, ‘Urban Housing’, in Rachel Moss
(ed.), Art and Architecture of Ireland, Volume I, Medieval c.400–c.1600
(Dublin and New Haven: Royal Irish Academy and The Paul Mellon Centre, Yale
An archaeological perspective on the use of recipe books
post-medieval period, usually taken as being c .1450 onwards,
has emerged as a specific field its own right. In the UK the
discipline is sometimes termed post-medievalarchaeology. An
alternative term, ‘historical archaeology’, is, however,
increasingly preferred, as it can be linked more seamlessly with the
parallel growth of post-colonial archaeological work, especially in
settlement in plantation ulster •
resulting in the formation of the Irish Post-MedievalArchaeology Group in
1999 and the publication of a number of important volumes.112 The results of
excavations already undertaken, such as the investigations into the location of
the village on Sir John Hume’s estate in Co. Fermanagh, have been mixed.113
However, recent excavations at the ‘lost town’ at Dunluce have revealed much
about its early seventeenth-century economy and society, and there are a
number of sites in the escheated counties that offer potential for further
of a North American and the Early Modern Period in Québec’, Post-MedievalArchaeology 43:1, Special Issue: The Recent Archaeology of the Early Modern Period in Québec City (2009), 1–12.
The œuvre by Ibrahima Thiaw is particurarly interesting for the social and political dimension of spatial construction of a society affected by a colonial encounter: Ibrahima Thiaw, ‘An Archaeological Investigation of Long-Term Culture Change
Family history, towns, landscape and other specialisms
archaeologists confined themselves to prehistory, but from the late
Victorian years they gradually moved forward in time to the medieval
and, by the 1950s and 1960s, post-medieval periods, hence the founding of Post-MedievalArchaeology in 1967.
Alongside this movement, although not strictly in tandem, architectural historians broadened their interests away from a diet of
churches, manor houses and public buildings, to take in the homes of
ordinary people, including farmhouses and cottages, from about the
sixteenth century. This shift can loosely be
Rolf Loeber, as well as growing numbers of archaeologists. 6
In the 1950s, the American colonies supplied archaeological evidence from such sites as Jamestown and Roanoke to supplement poorly documented histories. In the ensuing generation, what is called ‘historical archaeology’ in America and ‘post-medievalarchaeology’ in Europe matured as a discipline, as the experience of hundreds of sites produced a broader and more reliable set of data for the material culture of the early modern British Isles and its overseas offshoots. This in turn
types: Great House, Large House, Small House, and Cottage. The first two types may merge into our manor house, the third is our farm house, and the fourth would be Irish-constructed.
6 See J. Schofield, Medieval London Houses (London and New Haven, 1995), especially pp. 61-93; and D. Crossley, Post-MedievalArchaeology in Britain (Leicester and New York, 1990), pp. 75–97.
7 Limited observations of the above-ground fabric of Myrtle Grove suggest that Raleigh radically adapted a section of the St Mary’s college