Report - - Denbigh Lunatic Asylum - February 2014 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Denbigh Lunatic Asylum - February 2014


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I'm sorry I'm sure you are all bored of this site, it's well visited but I hadn't been so decided to go before I visited The Duke of Lancaster (about 30 minutes away)
The only thing I didn't enjoy was dropping my camera whilst I was taking it off the tripod and smashing my lens :banghead the place is huge for those who haven't been. Really enjoyed it - great site!

Other than that nothing major to report, no problems with security, was on my own other than pumping in to a non member who was shooting with a medium format film camera! Check him out, anyway….

This was once such a beautiful building. This Victorian Gothic style Asylum was built between 1844-1848.

It all started with a letter written to The Tomes regarding the poor treatment of Welsh pauper lunatics in English Asylums. The letter was written by Dr Samuel Hitch, Medical Superintendent of Gloucester Lunatic Asylum in September 1842. Over the next two years, meetings were held to discuss the construction of an asylum in Wales.

Building started in September 1844, staff were appointed in June 1847 and by October 1848, the hospital was complete and opened.

More building work was added during the asylum's history, including a Chapel built in 1862, an extension to the main building for 150 patients in 1865, a bakery built in 1868, a brewery also built in 1868, Turkish baths installed in 1871, a bigger extension was added for a further 160 patients plus a dining room for 400 patients in 1881 and during this year, the Chapel was extended.

In a way, it is a shame that building work had to continue to make room for extra patients. It proves that there was a need for a building like this. But let us not forget, not all these patients were mentally ill, some women were expenting a child but were unmarried and they were hidden away because of the family's shame. Some people probably just didnt follow the family line and a family would pay to inprision someone just to keep them out of the way. And some people would pretend to be ill, so they could go somewhere like this instead of a Workhouse. Life was hard and tough here but it was like living in a small village. If you were classed as a helpful patient, you helped and worked around the site, ie on the farm, in the grounds or even in the brewery.

The building work continued, more extension work in 1897. A laundry, boiler house, engine room and an Isolation hospital were completed in 1902. During 1903-1905 other accommodation was built. In 1926, Gwynfryn House was bought to accommodate 25-30 useful female patients.
By 1933-34, other buildings were built and bought including this Nurse's Quarters.

In 1956, Brynhyfryd Villa was opened. In 1958, the hospital farm was sold.
Right up to 1969, new buildings were built including this horrible nurse's training school.
But just 20 years later, plans were drawn up to close the hospital. In 1995, the main hospital closed and Gwynfryn followed in 2002.
During its life, the hospital held many events. The first annual ball for patients was held in December 1852 and in 1867, the first hospital band was formed.
During the 1920's-1930's, many physical treatments were developed including malarial treatment, insulin shock treatment and sulphur based drugs. Electro - convulsive therapy (ECT) was first used in 1941 and the following year, prefrontal leucotomy operations were carried out.



Walked over some SERIOUSLY unstable floors to get here!




Main building - nothing much left...



Look closely you'll see my wellies :-)



Cheeky self portrait



It's not a report on Denbigh if it doesn't have this red thing… :-)




Thanks for looking


Regular User
Missed this first time around. really good shots, they are very dizzy/disorientating angles.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is probably my favourite report of this place.. really shows it in a different way :) Love it !


28DL Full Member
Some cracking shot there I like the diffrent angles. Made me feel a little dizzy ..