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Report - Denbigh Asylum, Denbigh, North Wales, May 2010

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by ZerO81, May 4, 2010.

  1. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
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    History

    With the Lunatic Act passed in 1808 every county in the country was to provide an institute for the mentally ill, but by 1840 North Wales was still without such an institution because the poor rural communities could not afford to erect one. This meant that the most seriously ill pauper lunatics were sent to the English Asylums.

    Building of the Hospital started in 1844. Plans were drawn up by Mr Fulljames of Gloucester under the guidance of his friend, Dr S. Hitch. The Hospital was constructed from limestone bricks produced by the Graig Quarry near Denbigh and was regarded as the finest structure of its type. The building work was completed four years later and opened on the 14th of November, 1848 and was able to house up to 200 patients. The clock tower was donated by a Mrs. Ablett in memory of her husband who donated the land for the Asylum.

    The hospital was under ever increasing pressure to support its patients and relieve over-crowding, this led to a number of extensions occurring through out its life; the most major extension work happened in 1899. This allowed the Hospital to house 1500 patients at its peak and offer a wide range of treatments.

    Modern History

    Denbigh Hospital was initially put up for sale by the North Wales Health Authority after it closed in 1995, but initial bids of around 1 million were refused.

    The site was eventually sold for £155,000 in 1999, to a Lancashire Business man.

    The new owner commenced to "asset strip" the building, removing many sections of valuable wooden floors, cast iron radiators and stone work. Much of the surrounding farm land was also sold off around this time to gain maximum return from the investment.

    Following on from planning problems encountered, the site was once again sold at auction, this time selling for £310,000 to Acebench Investments.

    In July 2004, The Prince of Wales added Denbigh Asylum to his charity, the Phoenix Trust.

    Since this time, very little has happened to ensure the future of this building, with the latest loss on the site being the loss of the main hall to fire in November 2009.

    The Visit (visited with a none-member)

    Decided to have a weekend in North Wales as it was a Bank Holiday, arrived in Denbigh on Saturday afternoon and went to take some external shots and to get a feel for the place. I have seen many photos of the place, but nothing can prepare you for the view as you come over the hill and there she is in all her (external) glory.

    Arrived back at the asylum very early on Sunday morning and had a very peaceful 6 hours wandering around the place, its a great place to visit, but very disorientating.

    Shortly after 12pm, things started to go wrong, a group of people (10 or so) were caught by everyones favourite bearded bloke, it appears he has a new tactic these days, he does not even bother getting out of his car with the pooch any more, he sat in his van and waited for the police to arrive. We decided to head out of the building to see what
    was happening (first mistake), then the police arrived, so the three of us decided to head back into the building, as we decided that they would be happy catching 9 people and would not bother coming into the building to look for us 3 (second mistake), we sat on the top floor of the building for 15 minutes hoping for things to quieten down again, but sadly for us, our luck was out and we were greeted by 2 local police and "the beard" who had come to remove us.

    We were escorted out of the building, asked to give the police our details, one of us was searched then sent on our way (the police were very nice about things and just said that we should not be in there because we were risking our own lives).

    We were all given a nice certificate from the police (the stop and account form detailing what they had done - Last Pics below), a few more externals on the way out of the gate and that was it, a sad end to a great day - but we WILL be making a return visit.

    Thanks to EoTech for some helpful tips prior to visit which all worked perfectly.

    On with the photos:-

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    [17] Bryn & Friends
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    [18] My Certificate :thumb
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    Full gallery found HERE
     
    #1 ZerO81, May 4, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016

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