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Report - Mid Wales Hospital Talgarth - June 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by PROJ3CTM4YH3M, Jun 25, 2015.


    PROJ3CTM4YH3M 28DL Regular User
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    Apr 26, 2011
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    Originally designed and built by Messrs Giles, Gough and Trollope of London in 1903, The Mid Wales Hospital, originally the Brecon and Radnor Joint Counties Lunatic Asylum was a psychiatric hospital in Talgarth, Wales.

    In the public opening ceremony Rt. Hon. Lord Glanusk said, “everything has been done that human ingenuity could devise for the happiness and safety of the inmates, and under the blessing of God, for their speedy restoration to health.”

    Initially dedicated to treating patients from the counties of Brecknockshire and Radnorshire, after the First World War, patients from Montgomeryshire were also admitted, and the ‘asylum’ was extended and renamed the Mid-Wales Counties Mental Hospital.

    During the Second World War, the hospital patients from Cardiff City Mental Hospital which had been requisitioned as a war hospital were transferred to Talgarth. In July 1940, it was agreed that most of the hospital should be given over to military use and most of the patients were transferred to other Welsh mental hospitals. The hospital was returned to civilian use in 1947.

    In 1948, the hospital became part of the National Health Service. NHS management brought a number of innovations, including art and occupational therapy and the integration of the sexes, who had previously occupied opposite sides of the hospital. The site also became home to the Mid and West Wales College of Nursing and Midwifery and the Powys Drugs & Alcohol Council for substance misuse. Other services included treatments for the elderly mentally ill, rehabilitation and continuing care, day care, reflexology, physiotherapy, electro-convulsive therapy; chiropody and psychiatry.

    Services started to wind down from the 1990's much like most of the asylums across the country mainly due to a change in attitudes towards mental health care. In 1999, the last wards closed. Some of the remaining facilities were then moved to the nearby Bronllys Hospital (formerly the South Wales Sanatorium)

    In 2009, the site was offered for sale. By this time, several properties that once belonged to the hospital, such as the gatehouse, had been sold off and the buildings were becoming derelict. There are signs of demolition throughout the site and many of the original slates (believed to be worth in excess of £1 million) were stripped from the roofs.
    Developers Collins Developments wanted to knock most of the site down and build 100 homes and a care home, however, local opponents said the scheme was too big and they wanted to preserve the buildings in any future redevelopment. The Road systems, in particular, were considered to be unsuitable for adaptation and concerns were raised over the lack of parking which would be available at the proposed site.

    A spokesman for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “Following a site visit to the former Mid Wales Hospital site, members of the planning, access and rights of way committee have unanimously supported the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse this application.”

    Developer Phil Collins said there was asbestos throughout the building and the only way to get at some of the underfloor segments to remove it was to knock the buildings down.

    SAVE British Heritage have mounted a campaign to save the remaining building and propose for them to be incorporated into any new development plans.

    Following a SAVE visit in January 2013, Graham Frecknall Architects produced a series of designs showing how the Mid-Wales Hospital could be adapted for residential use whilst retaining the majority of the original buildings. Mr Frecknall and SAVE both consider a successful scheme can be undertaken at Talgarth. He has prepared plans showing how the principal old buildings can be maintained. The scheme as shown shows 57 residential units created on the site, the majority in the old buildings, with a number of workspace units.

    As of 2014 The National Assembly for Wales have discussed the future of the site in several meetings, on the 4th February the Committee considered correspondence on the petition. Although the Brecon Beacons National Park (BBNP) Committee were scheduled to consider local listing of the site on 7 February, it was understood that this had now been deferred by a month. The Committee agreed to write to BBNP asking for an update on the position.

    On the 15th of April 2014, a letter was received from the Petitioner to the Clerk at the National Assembly advising “My sincere thanks to the committee for staying the course with this one. I received a similar response from the BBNP myself recently. Yet again the subject of the Mid Wales Hospital appears to have disappeared down a rabbit hole without any proper explanation. Fortunately, like the committee seemingly, patience is something I have in abundance so I am going to keep an eye on the agendas for
    meetings of the BBNPA and wait for it to reappear – maybe then it will be clear why it has been deferred and why Ms Nettleton is unable or unwilling to provide an explanation at this time.”

    It would appear that the next decision stands with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority who have been asked to carry out a survey in respect of local listed status of the hospital buildings, when this will happen? Who knows. In the meantime, the buildings continue to deteriorate at a rapid rate since the loss of the roof slates.

    Visited with Andy K, Pete Costello, Perjury Saint, Carl and PG UE. It was a nice day for a wander round this place some nice dramatic cloud cover with occasional breaks of sunshine provided some nice lighting whilst we were inside. I was pleasantly surprised with the state of decay this place was in, the green overgrown inside the buildings on the ceilings walls and floors made for some great subject matter for the photographs. The main hall was pretty interesting with half of the ceiling damaged, the other half still mostly intact with a clean break down the middle, again a pleasure to shoot. All in all a good day out in the depths of Wales enjoy the photos:

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    Thanks for checking out the report, higher res copies of the above photos and loads more from here on my blog: http://www.proj3ctm4yh3m.com/urbex/2014/09/23/urbex-mid-wales-hospitaltalgarth-wales-june-2014/
    ketchup likes this.

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  2. zombizza

    zombizza Pink
    Regular User

    Sep 30, 2010
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    Cracking photos.
    I loved this place and really like seeing how it is doing.
    Its quite rare in that the majority of damage has been done by nature and its interesting to see how that progresses.
    Here is my shot of your collapsed ward shot, when it was still standing.

  3. Bigian88

    Bigian88 The Massive Mancunian
    Regular User

    Nov 7, 2014
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    and people say Denbigh is bad, wow!

    I'm surprised the floorboards can support any weight nowadays
  4. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Feb 22, 2015
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    Lovely report, you have really nice shots there.
    It's a shame it's in a bad way, it looks like a very interesting
    Explore indeed :thumb
  5. ketchup

    ketchup 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 8, 2011
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    Damn.. last I heard about this place was that by night it was being smashed up in a hope to bring it down quicker.. anyone know if there is any truth in that??
  6. scotty markfour

    scotty markfour 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jun 25, 2015
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    need to visit this place ! just wish i was,nt so heavy ! ..lol
  7. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Jul 20, 2007
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    Didn't realise that corridor had gone. The locals need to stop going on about saving the entire place and accept its about to completly collapse. If they accepted some fo it being saved its going to be better than none which is the likelyhood before long.

    Meanwhile back in the day!

    jST likes this.
  8. Funlester

    Funlester The Fun One
    Regular User

    Jun 24, 2015
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    Great set mate
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