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Description

Built from 1844-47 and opening to patients during 1848 in response to concerns for Welsh only speaking patients having to be treated in English hospitals as Wales didn’t have the facilities to accommodate them. A purpose built Victorian Asylum with additions and detached buildings. It was one of the most sophisticated and pioneering of the early Victorian asylums. The complex comprises;

1. Main Block

2. The Chapel

3. Gwynfryn Academic Unit and Wards

4. Lodge and gatepiers

5. Nurses Home

6. Pennant Farm

7. Pool Park

The cost of building such an institute in agricultural North Wales was too prohibitive for one County alone to shoulder and so through collaboration with neighbouring Counties and affluent businessmen and landowners the creation of the ‘North Wales Counties of Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merionethshire and Anglesey Asylum’ which provided the communities of North Wales the care they needed.

During its long and noteworthy life many different practices were used here, such as Insulin Shock Treatment, Electro-Convulsive Treatment (ECT) and Pre-frontal Leucotomies or Lobotomies as they’re better known.

The hospital was gradually closed down over a number of years and eventually put up for sale. Some interest in the property was displayed during 1996 which came to nothing. In 2001 thieves stripped the building of many of its original features which have ended up in architectural salvage yards before being sold off and lost forever. It was at this time that the clock above the main entrance was removed.

The buildings stand empty now suffering from neglect and being the target of a couple of arson attacks which have caused irreparable damage.

Recently Denbighshire County Council has agreed to Compulsory Purchase the building in order to halt its decline and hopefully open it up to re-development again.

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