Search records

Bath key from Ballamona Hospital

Date made: 20th century

Maker: unknown

Description: This key was used by staff at Ballamona Mental Hospital to turn bath taps on and off. The taps were designed to release water only with this key, to prevent patients scalding themselves or flooding the bathroom when having a bath.

The key is of brass or similar alloy with silvering which has worn to expose the base metal.

Ballamona Hospital was opened in 1868 as a typical Victorian 'lunatic asylum'. Its emphasis was mainly on incarcerating the insane, admittedly for their own protection and welfare, rather than on treatment. As attitudes towards (and understanding of) mental health problems changed, its focus became more geared towards treating those whose conditions were treatable. The hospital finally closed its doors in the 1980s as the emphasis moved towards care in the community. It was later demolished to make way for the new Noble's Hospital.


Measurements: 5 x 6.2 x 1.6 cm

Materials: Copper alloy

Object name: key

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1996-0232


Optional, not displayed

Manx National Heritage (MNH) will always put you in control of the information we send you. Read our privacy policy