Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Inside the abandoned Whitchurch mental health hospital

When Whitchurch Hospital opened in 1908, it was Cardiff's largest mental health hospital. As the population of the city had expanded greatly during the late 19th century, there was need for a large psychiatric hospital to treat patients that were until then held in other institutions around Wales. Named 'Cardiff City Asylum' it was built over a period of 10 years and with a cost of £350,000.

The main hospital covered 5 acres and consisted of 10 wards, 5 for men and 5 women, that could accommodate 750 patients. Like many Victorian institutes, it was designed as a self-contained facility, with its own farm, were patients could work, water tower and power house which contained two steam engines powering electric generators and was decommissioned only in the mid-1980s. 

During wartime, the hospital was converted into a military facility. It was called Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital during World War I and in World War II it became an emergency service hospital treating British, US Army and German personnel, while also offering early treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder

As Whitchurch Hospital had been constructed over a century ago, it wasn't suitable for the needs of modern psychiatric care. In the 2000s an ongoing programme to phase out and replace the old building took place. Some facilities were moved to other hospitals while other wards were replaced by community-based services. 

Whitchurch Hospital finally closed its doors in April 2016. Now a residential development with of 150 houses and 180 flats is being designed for the site of the former hospital. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned hospitals and health institutions // More abandoned places in the United Kingdom // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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