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Report - Talgarth Asylum : Clock Tower, Admin and Chapel - 11/04/2010

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by clebby, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Brecon and Radnor County Asylum, Talgarth

    Visited with ImmortalOwl. I visited here in June of last year, shortly after all the roof tiles had been removed. That was in summer, and it was already drenched.

    The 10 months since then has not been kind. As there is literally no roof, all of the rain that hits it (and remember, this is Wales we're talking about) pours straight into the rooms below. The harsh Welsh winter spelled the death sentence for the old hospital - the ceiling is now on the floor, wallpaper is folding away from the walls and a foul, black mould has crept across every door, wall and window frame.

    One of the reasons I went back was to see how the rooms had changed, but I also wanted to see the admin block and chapel, and, most of all, to get up that clock tower. The admin block was in use as part of a business park when I last visited, which put the front of the hospital where the chapel is out of bounds. But the business park has now gone into recievership, leaving the handsome and impressive admin block open to 'splorers. I think it's listed as well, which means it's kept it's roof tiles, and as it's only been empty a matter of months it's intact too.

    Here's the hospital's administration block, a fine slate-built building with stone detailings, handsome bay windows and an elegant clock tower, pictured circa 1910.

    [​IMG]

    I'll quickly purloin a history from my last report for those who are interested:

    The hospital was designed by John Giles and opened on February 18th 1903, originally under the name Brecon and Radnor Joint Asylum, but in 1921 it changed its name to the Mid Wales Asylum. It was originally designed to cater for only 352 patients, but by the end of 1925 there were 455, leading to serious overcrowding. In 1994 the number had dwindled to around 140. It closed it's doors on April 7th 2000. The site was then 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;


    I don't blame the guy tbh, though he should hang his head in shame at what he's let happen to the place. It's only a matter of time before admin gets fucked over too. But for the moment at least, it looks intact:

    [​IMG]

    Administration

    The first thing people would see of the hospital is a stunning entrance hall, with it's original tiled floor:

    [​IMG]

    And this beautiful fireplace:

    [​IMG]

    The hand carved mantlepiece is absolutely stunning. Christ, I hope they don't let this place get pikeyed.

    [​IMG]

    Coming off the entrance hall were these light and airy high ceilinged corridors:

    [​IMG]

    Which led to the plushest rooms in the place. This one was the Commitee Room, where the hospital governors would meet. On the other side was the Superintendents Office, but the Commitee Room was nicer, with it's marble fireplace and fine plasterwork. It still smelt of carpet. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    The other rooms downstairs were still very nice - wooden floors and doors etc:

    [​IMG]

    From the main entrance hall, a long tiled corridor led to some more offices, and the doors at the end join the main corridor network. It's quite odd - it goes from mosaic floors and polished wood to very derelict instantly through that door.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The staircase is a handsome affair - polished wooden handrails, cast metal bannisters and again, more tiled floors.

    [​IMG]

    Upstairs is brightly lit, with more high ceilings and lots of wood. Spot the asylum-esque light fittings. :eek:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunatley, unlike downstairs the original doors have had a sheet of plywood stuck over them. That said, it doesn't look too bad unlike some NHS modernisation, which is really shite.

    [​IMG]

    The upstairs rooms were fairly nice, with wooden floors and plush carpets, but it was the furniture that made it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Clock Tower

    [​IMG]

    It was a bit of a mission to get into the clock tower. Actually getting to the tower was easy, it's up in the loft. But even before I began to climb the ladder to the actual clock, I could here it was buzzing. I stuck my head up, and it was absolutely swarming with flies. I'm not talking 30 or 40, I'm talking several hundred. A couple of others have done the tower but that was before the fly season began. This was as far as I got before they began flying into my mouth:

    [​IMG]

    I was about to give up and call it a day, when...

    [​IMG]

    Bingo. A full can of flyspray. It looked about 50 years old and is probably a banned substance, but it did the trick, and I killed the whole fucking lot of them. Worth it ? I think so.

    [​IMG]

    The clock mechanism is intact. I can see why people get excited about them, it's a beautiful little contraption.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some ancient graffiti at the top of the tower:

    [​IMG]

    Main Stores

    The Main Stores were behind admin. Not especially interesting, but quite a nice building and I don't think I've seen it before.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Continued below.

     

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  2. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Chapel

    Like most asylums, Talgarth was a self-sufficient community and like most asylums, it had its own chapel.

    [​IMG]

    Inside, it's not exactly Cane Hill but it's better than most - well lit, amazing ceiling, hymn books etc:

    [​IMG]

    And looking towards the altar:

    [​IMG]

    Sophisticated humour that.

    [​IMG]

    There's loads of different bibles, hymn books, diaries and prayer books in there:

    [​IMG]

    The chapel was probably my favourite bit - it's much bigger in there than it looks.

    Mortuary

    The mortuary is a non-descript single storey building nexty to the chapel. It's not got any slabs left I'm afraid. :( It looks like it was used as a sandwich business at some point ? :confused But it does contain the sink that would have been used in the mortuary. What a nice place to prepare food!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A beautiful window in the entrance hall:

    [​IMG]

    Obligatory close up of Jesus:

    [​IMG]

    And that's all guys. Sorry about the amount of pictures, but by the looks of it admin is going to get pikeyed to death in no time so I thought I'd document it properly.

    Thanks for reading,

    George.
     
    #2 clebby, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  3. ASOM

    ASOM One-Man Urbex Art Army
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    You do know there is a genuine sanatorium built in 1903 just a couple of miles away!?
     
  4. Sentamentalias

    Sentamentalias 28DL Member
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    Such beautiful music accompanies the Talgarth Asylum images in this video...

    [video=youtube;InXy6xIOgIk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InXy6xIOgIk&feature=endscreen&NR=1[/video]
     
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