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Report - Denbigh Lunatic Asylum, North Wales Hospital - December 2013

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by The_Raw, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Dec 1, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I ended 2013 on a good note with a lengthy solo visit to this legendary mammoth of a place. I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful day's weather with some good light, very little rain, and the whole place to myself....well, except for Elwyn that is.... :rolleyes: Floors are sagging all over the place if they haven't collapsed already but there is still a good deal of beauty to be found in this amazing spot, the sheer scale of the place is astounding and the exterior of some buildings is still breathtaking.

    Here's the history:

    Denbigh Lunatic Asylum was built in 1848, being the first ever asylum in Wales it's purpose was to cater for Welsh psychiatric patients who had previously been sent to English asylums. It increased in size over the years and became the North Wales Hospital, at it's peak hosting 1500 patients and 1000 staff. Many drugs and treatments were developed at this hospital, including malarial treaments, insulin shock treatments and sulphur based drugs during the 1920s and 30s. The early 1940s saw the introduction of electro convulsive therapy (ECT) and prefrontal lobotomy treatments.

    The end was in sight for Denbigh when in 1960 Enoch Powell visited the site. Soon after the visit, he announced the hospital plan for England and wales, which would see psychiatric care facilities being attached to general hospitals and the introduction of care in the community. In 1987 a ten year plan was in place to facilitate the closure of the site, it closed in sections starting in 1991 with the main hospital building closing in 1995. By 2002 the Grade II listed building had been completely abandoned and in the same year was sold at auction to a redevelopment company called Freemont. Freemont 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.

    The main hall was burnt down in 2008 and the rest of the hospital now remains in a serious state of disrepair. Denbighshire council have recently undertaken works costing in the region of £900,000 to repair part of the roof although this has done little to improve the general state of the place. The Council are now in the process of taking steps to make a compulsory purchase order of the site.

    Anyway, onto the pics, quite a few of them but then I did make it into every corner of the site pretty much :D

    The front of house

    The grand entrance

    The staircase

    Creepy corridor shot

    One of many collapsed roofs

    Bay window, probably the best one left from what I saw...

    Corridor open to the elements

    Secure cells


    Large hall upstairs with dodgy floor

    On the ward

    Nurse's station

    Corridor painting

    Parts of the main building have been completely gutted now presumably for restoration

    Rude not to take the obligatory wheelchair shot, although watch out for Elwyn on the other side of the wall :D

    Overgrown corridor

    The Canteen

    The Furnace room

    The Plant room

    Abandoned telly

    The back of the main site


    Day room

    The Mortuary, body storage fridge with the examination room behind

    The Chapel



    Seven years of bad luck

    The amazing Exterior

    Everyone will be pleased to hear that Elwyn still rules the roost here, I managed to avoid him all day until I was leaving. He spotted me and gave chase in his vehicle, threatening to mow me down and then releasing his dog to give chase. :crazy Didn't take much to outrun the old codger and his dog though, he really is a bit tapped isn't he?! Thanks for looking :D

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    #1 The_Raw, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

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