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Report - North Wales Hospital, Denbigh Asylum, August 2014

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by 12318, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. 12318

    12318 28DL Full Member
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    North Wales Hospital

    The first phase of the North Wales hospital was built 1844-1848 and provided care for the mentally ill in North Wales . Eventually after many phases of construction, by 1956 it had 1500 beds and psychiatric healthcare, domestic, administrative and residential accommodation.

    It was declared surplus to NHS requirements in the mid 1980s following the development of new mental health care strategies and a move away from 'institutionalisation' towards community care initiatives.

    After a period of winding down, the hospital was closed in October 1995.

    Various experimental treatments were tested and developed at Denbigh over the course of its history.
    • In 1871 Turkish baths were installed to treat melancholia, amongst other ilnesses.
    • In 1916 all epileptic patients in the asylum were placed on a vegetarian diet since epilepsy during the early 1900's was still at the centre of much speculative research.
    • Electro-convulsive shock therapy was also introduced at the hospital in 1941 as a means of managing the symptoms of madness.
    • Other 'cures' for delirium also included sleep therapy, and the widespread practice of the pre-frontal leucotomy.
    The main hospital building is listed grade II and within the grounds there are four other buildings which are listed grade II, with the remainder of the buildings on the site being in the curtilage of the listed buildings.


    Current owner Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd had planned to build up to 280 homes, businesses and community facilities on the site, with the redevelopment enabling the original listed buildings to be restored. However, the planning consent expired in 2009 and the hospital's condition has deteriorated since it closed, with buildings looted, vandalised and damaged by fire. Recently the council has had to carry out emergency repairs at the for which the bill has reached £930,000 to carry out.

    Denbighshire council is seeking a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in order that they can protect the listed buildings. Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd is opposing this CPO - judging by the numerous pieces of CPO paperwork on the front gate, this process is not long underway


    The Explore

    A weekend away with my usual exploring buddy Whitelighter was on the cards for this one, which was brilliant as it gave us both a break from the families where we could relax and have some beers. So after an overnight stop in a local hotel, we headed out early hours.

    Access was easy enough and aside from hearing the infamous Guardian of Denbigh and his Hellhound tramping around the grounds doing his self appointed rounds on a couple of occasions, we didn’t have any closer encounters with them. (Although on one occasion Whitelighter did ponder “what the f*ck is that?!” and when I looked over to see what I thought was a dog at the end of the path, I promptly ran away from one of the local sheep…)

    Sadly a lot of the upper floors and roofs are now either collapsed, as soft as butter, or have been removed by the council as part of the repairs that they undertook (for example, all non-stone flooring material in the main building has been removed and the roof has been replaced with a soul-less tin roof)
    Of the few floors we were able to venture up to, almost taking an express trip through one of the stairs really helped to focus the mind!

    The place is still a worthy visit, and we were there around 7 hours. If we had gone a few years back when the upper floors were still doable, then we could probably have spent days there. The Victorians sure knew how to build ‘em.


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    Note the missing floors in the main building

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    The Chapel

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    The Morgue

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    Former cell, red 'call' button on the left

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    Anti-suicide cage on the external fire escape

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    As usual, more shots on flickr

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/97424506@N08/sets/72157646673922796/
     

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  2. whitelighter

    whitelighter 28DL Full Member
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    Nice set mate.
     
  3. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    Nice snaps there fella :)
     
  4. Marsden1002

    Marsden1002 Love it!
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    Good snaps. I really do need to visit here soon, i just want to "feel the grandness" of the front of the building.

    Looks impressive after all the riff raff have damaged it . . . .
     
  5. The Guard Dog

    The Guard Dog Will only bite a little bit... well a lot
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    Good to see this place, doesn't seem to have changed much at all.

    Nice stuff :thumb
     
  6. Seagull

    Seagull rave on
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    Never tire of seeing this place, nice shots
     
  7. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Ditto the above comments :thumb

    Nothing much seems to alter here, even after Arson attempts, although everythings that saturated i doubt there"s very little left that"s actually combustible except for the Baby Unit/ Nurses home
     
  8. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Still looks good to me :) Nice set of pics :thumb
     
  9. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Excellent report,on my to do list....
     
  10. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Good stuff...! Nice report and a fantastic set of shots...! Well worth the journey up there to see this! Thanks for sharing.

    u>.<n
     
  11. Archimedes

    Archimedes 28DL Full Member
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    Great Pictures of such an awesome place!
     
  12. gPub

    gPub 28DL Full Member
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    This place looks amazing.

    Quality that there seems to be so much of it left standing/un'developed'

    Gonna have to make a weekend of this one some time.

    Any one near here fancy putting us up for a night?
     
  13. jST

    jST LLS.
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    A local B&B?
     
  14. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Hi my name's Elwyn, I'll put you somewhere :thumb
     
  15. Pinkman

    Pinkman 28DL Regular User
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    Good stuff there, some lovely shots. This is definitely one to add to the bucket list :D
     
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