Bedrooms, where the patients spent most of their hours when admitted, are also very important rooms to study when trying to imagine life inside. As always, they vary highly. Many, branching from aforepictured corridors, were merely two by four metre cells, stacked side by side, with tiny windows, and barely space to move after a single bed and sink come into the picture. They strike a visitor as thoroughly prison-like. Others are spacious dormitories, something out of an army barracks or boarding school, but with more rustic, cushy and balming decor. The assignment process of particular patient to particular bedroom probably involved a hospital-specific field of admin and politics unto its own right. After closure, beds are usually the first thing to get taken out, but this wasn’t the case in an asylum in the middle of Ireland.

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