Report - - Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff - January 2019 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff - January 2019


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Visited with @Humpa, @tumbles and @Lenston

I have a previous report on here from August 2017, during that visit we had really been limited in what we saw due to the place being fairly tight, so I'd wanted to come back ever since really.
We made a brief flying visit last year on the way back from Cefn Coed but we just had a bit of a mooch around the outside for half an hour or so.

Things are vastly different now, back in 2017 the place still looked pretty fresh with very little decay. Now it's almost the other extreme; it's hard to find a window that hasn't been put through and the same goes for most of the doors, it's also practically empty. That being said, it's still very much worth doing. Places like this are going to be few and far between in the future.

As has been said by many, it seems almost an inevitability that there will be some sort of catastrophic fire at some point that will probably destroy the hall. The outline proposals look good, I just hope they get cracking with it before the place get's too knackered.

It was nice to finally get up the tower and enjoy the view. The best bits were probably those that had long been closed like the Pathology Department and West 5 (despite most of it being a wreck). The Engineering Workshops were cool too, we spent quite a while mooching around there and having a good rummage. It was a shame that the stores were now empty, all of the racking was nice to look at though.

The population of Cardiff had expanded greatly, from under 20,000 in 1851 to over 40,000 less than 20 years later. By 1890 there were 476 Cardiff residents "boarded out" in the Glamorgan Asylum, and a further 500 to 600 being held in hospitals as far away as Chester and Carmarthen.

Whitchurch Hospital, with the 150 feet (46 m) water tower, built over the power house
Costing £350,000 and ten years to build, the Cardiff City Asylum opened on 15 April 1908. The main hospital building covered 5 acres (2.0 ha), designed to accommodate 750 patients across 10 wards, 5 each for men and women. Like many Victorian institutes, it was designed as a self-contained institute, with its own 150 feet (46 m) water tower atop a power house containing two Belliss and Morcom steam engine powered electric generator sets, which were only removed from standby in the mid-1980s. The site also contained a farm, which provided both food supplies and therapeutic work for the patients.

The first medical superintendent was Dr Edwin Goodhall, whose then advanced approaches and therapies resulted in the hospital acquiring a reputation at the forefront of mental health care. Patients were also encouraged to take work and supervised tours outside the institute.

During World War I, the facility was called the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital.

During World War II, part of the hospital was turned over to the military, becoming the largest emergency service hospital in South Wales, treating British, US Army and German personnel. 200 beds were retained for civilian use, which enabled early treatment of post traumatic stress disorder of military patients.

On 5 July 1948, the hospital was taken over by the Ministry of Health as the National Health Service came into existence. It continued to be used through to the mid-1980s, when care in the community began to reduce the number of resident patients.

With the current facilities considered unsuitable for the requirements of 21st century psychiatry, in the 2000s an ongoing programme to phase out and replace the old building took place. Some facilities were moved to newly built units elsewhere, such as the acute psychiatric wards at the Llanfair Unit, Llandough Hospital. Other wards have been replaced by community-based services such as Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams.

In November 2010 the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board decided that it was preferable to centralise all adult mental health care services at Llandough. Plans for a residential development of 150 houses and 180 flats on the Whitchurch site had first been raised in 1996 and provisionally agreed in 2001. Outline planning permission for the scheme was renewed in February 2012 for a further 4 years.

Thanks for looking!


A life backwards
28DL Full Member
I got a pretty awful snap of the plate on it, I should have taken another as the one I did I can hardly ready.

Think it says "Manufactured in 1960"

Also says "Ministry of Works, Air Ministry, War Department".

The thing should be in a museum not in a rotting building.
Sure it will come in handy the way things are going there :(


Bally up!
Regular User
You guys are quick off the mark with your reports! Brilliant set though mate - you've done the place justice I reckon. Shame it's all so bare now, still worth the trip however!