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Report - North Wales Hospital, Denbigh - September 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by Session9, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
    Regular User

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    History

    The North Wales Lunatic Asylum was the first psychiatric institution built in Wales; construction began in 1844 and completed in 1848 in the town of Denbigh. The U-shaped Tudorbethain style hospital was built due to the spreading word of mistreatment of Welsh people in English asylums; The North Wales Hospital would be a haven for welsh speaking residents to seek treatment without prejudice or a language barrier.

    Renovations and extensions were made at the hospital from 1867 until 1956, when the hospital reached its maximum capacity at 1,500 patients living inside her walls and 1,000 staff at hand. Physical treatments such as Cardiazol, malarial treatment, insulin shock treatment, and sulphur based drugs were used and developed in the 1920s and 1930s, and 1941-1942 saw the advent of electro convulsive therapy (ECT) and prefrontal leucotomy (lobotomy) treatments.

    In 1960, Enoch Powell visited the North Wales Hospital, and later announced the "Hospital Plan" for England and Wales, which proposed that psychiatric care facilities be attached to general hospitals and favored community care over institutional settings. This was the beginning of the end for the North Wales Hospital and others like it; in 1987 a ten year strategy to close the hospital was formed. The North Wales Hospital was closed in sections from 1991 to 2002; most notable was the closure of the main hospital building in 1995.

    On July 12, 2004, The Prince of Wales visited the hospital and administered a speech detailing his Phoenix Trust, a historic building trust that prevented the structure from being demolished. Planning permission was granted to convert the buildings into flats (which has now lapsed) and apart from some work to the roof of the main building in 2012 and some asbestos removal, the site remains in a sorry state. The council is now pursuing a compulsory purchase of the hospital.


    The explore

    A relaxed time, aided with the absence of dog n' beard. A local guy said the beard had died (only by rumour!) at least ten times in the last year, but he still made appearances here from time to time. The only other human activity (apart from a few kids later in the day) was some guy who came onto the site briefly, drove round and pathetically re-arranged some heras fencing :confused



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    ^8. The roof provides a similar function these days.


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    ^9. Directions to Mother?


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    ^11. Padded cell time (minus the actual padding that had been ripped out and chucked on the ward floor).


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    ^12. Interesting (and i expect original) plaster work around these heavy doors.


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    ^13. Art Deco style stair case detail.


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    ^16. Weather, not surprisingly, a mix of sunshine and showers. Thankfully more dry than wet.


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    ^18. Sadly the substantial slab lies in pieces scattered outside.


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    ^21. After an enjoyable mooch, a good selection of locals had gathered. I was thinking it must be my birthday :D



    Thanks for looking :)
     

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