Report - - HM Stanley Hospital, St Asaph - June 2013 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - HM Stanley Hospital, St Asaph - June 2013


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member

HM Stanley Hospital, St Asaph


St Asaph Poor Law Union was formed on 10th April, 1837. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 24 in number, representing its 16 constituent parishes as listed below (figures in brackets indicate numbers of Guardians if more than one):

Denbigh: Abergele (2), Bettws yn Rhos, Bodfary (in the counties of Denbigh and Flint), Cwn or Combe, Denbigh (4), Dremeirchion, Dyserth, Henllan (2), Llandulas, Llanfair Talhaiarn, Llansannan, Llanyfydd, Meliden with Prestatyn, Rhuddlan and Rhyl (2), St Asaph (3), St George.

The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 22,017 with parishes ranging in size from Llandulas (population 307) to Denbigh (3,786). The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £11,431 or10s.5d. per head.

[3] & [4]


St Asaph Union workhouse was erected in 1838-9 to the south of St Asaph. The Poor Law Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £5,499.16s.8d. on construction of the building which was intended to accommodate 200 inmates.

The workhouse design, by John Welch, followed the popular cruciform or "square" layout with separate accommodation wings for the different classes of inmate (male/female, infirm/able-bodied etc.) radiating from a central hub.





[11] & [12] - Children's recovery room.
The animals were supposed to calm the children coming round from their operations (I found them quite disturbing!)

The entrance at the south-west comprised an entrance hall flanked by the Master's quarters to one side, and the porter's lodge and offices to the other.

Males were accommodated at the north and west of the site, with females at the south and east. The female side included a nursery and laundry

A vagrants' casual ward containing 13 cells was located at the northern corner of buildings. A small female casual ward lay at the southern corner. Kitchens were placed at the centre, with a dining hall and chapel at the north-east.

In 1903, work began on a new infirmary for the workhouse.
[13] & [14]



[17] - The Vagrants Casual Ward

In 1847, the five-year old orphan John Rowlands became an inmate of the workhouse. In later life in the USA, Rowlands adopted the name Henry Morton Stanley and, as a journalist for the New York Herald, tracked down the missing explorer Dr David Livingstone, greeting him with the famous words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"

Stanley had been placed in the workhouse by his foster parents Richard and Jeny Price after his uncles had refused to pay them an increase in the boy's maintenance. Stanley's autobiography vividly recalls his memories of St Asaph workhouse.

The scourge of the workhouse was a one-handed schoolmaster called James Francis whose cruelty seemed to know no bounds. Francis appeared to have been implicated in the death of a classmate of Stanley called Willie Roberts. On hearing of Willie's death, Stanley and several other boys sneaked into the workhouse mortuary and discovered his body covered in scores of weals. Stanley finally left the workhouse in 1856 after a violent showdown with Francis.

Terrified of the consequences of his actions, Stanley absconded over the workhouse wall and subsequently ran away to sea.
[18] & [19]



After 1930, the workhouse became St Asaph Public Assistance Institution. From 1910 until 1948, the St Asaph Infectious Diseases Hospital also operated on the site.

Services at the hospital ended in April 2012 and the site was sold for redevelopment in January 2013.
[22] - Artistic landscape paintings on the walls of one of the rooms.


[24] - The Attic



For some reason, this place seems to have been missed by the majority of people as reports are few and far between, not sure why as looking back the place looked to be stocked full of interesting things to keep people occupied. Seems we are all a few months too late and the place has gone down hill dramatically!

Thanks to Minxy for bringing this place to my attention again and being a superb host :thumb

Full gallery can be found Here

Apologies for the amount of photos, but its a 'lesser seen hosptipal' so thought I would add a few more than I normally would.

Visited with Minxy & Explorer62



Grey since 17'
28DL Full Member
its a shame this place is not around anymore it would be worth quite a mooch