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Report - Mid Wales Asylum, Talgarth - 26/06/2009

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by clebby, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
    Regular User

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    Well, I thought it was about time Da-Mop learnt what an old asylum smelt like, so I dragged him out of bed and off we went to Talgarth. He was in sleep mode and said he would rather have a ten minute lie in than come out exploring, but after a bit of nagging he agreed, and what a day we had.

    The hospital was designed by John Giles and opened on February 18th 1903, originally under the name Brecon and Radnor Joint Asylum. In 1921, it changed its name to the Mid Wales Asylum. It was designed to cater for only 352 patients, but by the end of 1925 455 were present. In 1994 the number averaged around 140. It closed on April 7th 2000 but because it was under used at this point parts of it had been left empty for years and this has left parts of the building in a very sorry state.

    The site was sold off to its previous chief medical officer for pittance, which was somewhat controversial in the local area.

    From a report by the Auditor General for Wales compiled in 2002;

    Recently, the slate roof tiles have been stripped of all buildings excluding the main hall and the admin block, so I expect the sites owner has been laughing all the way to the bank.

    Anyway, looking at older reports from before the tiles were removed, decay looks to have sped up rapidly and water is getting in, fast.

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    Much of the corridor network has been demolished or cut up; however, certain setions such as this still remain standing...

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    Stumbling across the asylum's ballroom was an incredible experience; I have seen so many photos of this room but standing in it seemed completely different.

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    It's not as big or as fancy as Hellingly's main hall, but it is in much, much better condition. The windows and light fixtures aren't broken for a start.

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    Some props and curtains were left behind the stage, which was a nice feature.

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    Like other asylums, the main hall was the centre for all leisure activities. Nearby was this bar. Somehow, even if it wasn't in a horrific condition, I doubt it could ever look nice. I mean, look at that wallpaper!

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    We then found our way into the ward network. This is where the asylum lacks - the wards are stripped out, fairly modern and lack any history. However, the solid wooden doors are fantastic in there own right.

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    These wards are seemingly some of the last to have closed, as they are in the best condition. Despite this, the smell is foul; I've gradually learned to love the smell of decay but in places it was overpowering.

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    Each ward seemed to have a corridor running it's length with a staircase at each end.

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    Coming off this corridor, there was another corridor that led to the toilets.

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    We soon got bored of the wards and returned to the corridor network. But before we left, I stumbled across the mural room - a photo opportunity too good to miss.

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    After a bit of wandering we stumbled across the nurses accomodation block at the back of the site. It contains this beautiful staircase - it's such a shame it's going to be demolished and the lack of a proper roof is causing it to quickly rot.

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    It turns out there's not one but two of these staircases in the nurses block - I swear most of the building is taken up by them. Not like today, when everything has to be tightly packed in to save space.

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    The actual nurses rooms were by and large empty and dull, but this one room glowed pink because of these curtains, which fluttered eerily in the wind.

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    In recent years, some demolition work has taken place in the centre of the site and, although this ceased for a few years, it seems to have slowly restarted again and so soon the asylum may be no more. It's very sad - it seems such a waste of a very beautiful building, and although it's not the worlds most interesting explore it will be a shame when it has gone.
     
    #1 clebby, Jun 26, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009

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  2. Da-Mop

    Da-Mop 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Better add my best photos on now sorry I haven't been on recently I just haven't got round to doing any exploring.

    A good place to start for my first asylum considering it’s my closest (but it still took over 2 hours of travelling to get there). As Clebby said I still needed to get a whiff of that asylum smell and heck rotting carpets, wood and roof panels sure isn't a good smell. I won't bother with a history because Clebby's done all you need so I'll get right onto the photos;

    This is what first confronted us as we got in; the evidence of work being done on the place was ever present.

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    Although the place has been mostly stripped there was still a bit of equipment left like this light.

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    I have always wanted to see the corridors of an asylum, these aren’t the best but they'll do.

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    As I said before the evidence of demolition is obvious and the corridors are the first being gotten rid of.

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    We were lucky to just stumble upon the main hall and since they seem to be disappearing like wildfire it's nice to see a proper one before it's demolished.

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    Finally just some other photos I thought were nice.

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    That’s it. Hope you liked it. Hope you get there soon if you want to do it because with demo it won't be great for much longer.
     
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