Hidden Now Heard, the voice of learning disability in Wales's picture


The Hidden Now Heard project was a three year oral history project funded by Heritage Lottery Wales and ran between 2014-2017

The first pan-Wales project of its kind captured a hidden and often painful part of Wales’ history. With the last long stay hospital for people with a  learning disability officially closing in 2016 there was a real risk of being this history being lost forever unless recorded.

The project focused on six long-stay hospitals across Wales with exhibitions happening across six regional museums and Galleries as well as two community pop up exhibitions. The long stay hospitals (often referred to as Institutions or Asylums) were home to tens of thousands of people with a learning disability across Wales. Living within the confines of the hospitals for decades. 

This work focuses on the stories of former staff, patients and relatives from Bryn Y Neuadd Hospital, Llanfairfechan, Ely Hospital, Cardiff, Hensol Castle Hospital, Pontyclun, St David’s Hospital, Carmarthen, The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh and Llanfrechfra Grange Hospital, Cwmbran.
The work allows a glimpse into what it was like to grow up and spend up to forty years living in an institution. It has been interpreted using oral history interviews, recreating parts of the hospital through institutions, displaying historical documents, images and artefacts donated by staff and patients.




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