North Wales Hospital (Denbigh Asylum)

North Wales Hospital (Denbigh Asylum) one year on from The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum aka High Royeds we find ourself walking round Denbigh Asylum, if what is said the Chapel had a floor in 2007 now in 2009 it has gone, we move onto the small outbuildings, the mortuary slab lays smashed in the overgrown grass, as the flora of mother earth creeps inside this ruin.


We move to main part of this wonderful place, there is no ghost but a peace, an armchair is just there, inside we walk, we was not going up any floors, in part demolition the place is left here the structure of a grand old lady is left to the elimants, chavs and who ever desires to come along and give her a good kick, this might be justice for the injustice the place has seen on those who had the misfortune to find there selves there..

I would very much like to go back, who knows it might happen, there was parts I did not get to see and it might be I will never, those who knock urban exploration need to understand one fact the old hall set alight and burned to the ground 2007, has been documented along with other parts of the former North Wales Hospital (Denbigh Asylum) due to the fact people have gone taken a risk if it was not for them this place would have gone in silence, like so much of our heritage and history, as an anarchist I neither like what this place stood for, but the fucking architecture is something else it will no doubt be demolished but I along with others have the privalge of seeing her alas in a very fucked up sorry state but I like that side of urban exploration.


The North Wales Lunatic Asylum was the first psychiatric institution built in Wales; construction began in 1844 and completed in 1848 in the
town of Denbigh. The U-shaped Tudorbethain style hospital was built due to the spreading word of mistreatment of Welsh people in English asylums; The North Wales Hospital would be a haven for welsh speaking residents to seek treatment without prejudice or a language barrier.


Renovations and extensions were made at the hospital from 1867 until 1956, when the hospital reached its maximum capacity at 1,500 patients living inside her walls and 1,000 staff at hand. Physical treatments such as Cardiazol, malarial treatment, insulin shock treatment, and sulphur
based drugs were used and developed in the 1920s and 1930s, and 1941-1942 saw the advent of electro convulsive therapy (ECT) and
prefrontal leucotomy (lobotomy) treatments.

In 1960, Enoch Powell visited the North Wales Hospital, and later announced the “Hospital Plan” for England and Wales, which proposed that psychiatric care facilities be attached to general hospitals and favored community care over institutional settings. This was the beginning of the end for the North Wales Hospital and others like it; in 1987 a ten year strategy to close the hospital was formed.


The North Wales Hospital was closed in sections from 1991 to 2002; most notable was the closure of the main hospital building in 1995.

On July 12, 2004, The Prince of Wales visited the hospital and administered a speech detailing his Phoenix Trust, a historic building trust that prevented the structure from being demolished.


The hospital is currently slated to be converted into private homes. Asbestos abatement has started October 2008.A book called Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill in North Wales, 1800-2000, by Pamela Michael (2003, ISBN 0-7083-1740-5) describes the rise and
fall of the North Wales Hospital from its origins in 1848 to its closure in 1995.


The author uses patient case notes to discuss life in an asylum, to look at changing diagnostic and treatment patterns, and to explore the ways in which ordinary people understood and experienced mental illness. Through an examination of the ways in which disruptive behavior has been contained, she also considers the social and cultural meanings of mental illness in Wales over the past two hundred years.

The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh 1842-1995, by Clwyd Wynne (2006, ISBN 0-9550338-4-5) also documents the hospital from its beginnings to

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