The North Wales Hospital Denbigh,

The first custom built Lunatic Asylum in Wales

The hospital was built between 1846 and 1848 . The hospital was built due to poor publicity about the appalling treatment Welsh people suffering from serious mental illnesses who were forced to seek treatment in English asylums. Joseph Ablett, a local landowner, donated the original 20 acres of land for the hospital complex in about 1842. The buildings are now surrounded by 126 acres of wooded, landscaped grounds. Plans for it were laid in 1842 and building actually commenced in September 1844. It was the first mental hospital to be built in Wales.

A series of walled garden enclosures were constructed within the shelter of the U-shape, where gender-segregated inmates were required to take daily exercise.

An extension to the Hospital in 1867 closed the open rear of the U-shaped main building and provided two twin-bayed wards to either side. Further extensions and new building works were carried out between 1903 and 1908. Additional ward accommodation was built in 1956, when the Hospital reached its peak capacity of 1,500 patients and there were further additions, links and extensions constructed until the closure announcement in 1987.

The hospital finally closed in 1995.

Since its closure it has fallen into a state of severe dis-repair and now is almost beyond saving, almost every bit of brass, copper and lead has been stripped from the building,causing ingress of rainwater and flooding, to such an extent that the upper floors are now too dangerous to venture up, many of the ceilings and floors have collapsed onto those below.

I was fortunate to be allowed access to the building recently, I wish I could have photographed here a few years ago, when more of the character of the building still remained.

Nikon D200
Tamron 28-300 zoom



ruin, window, beer, mono, denbigh, bottlrs

I’m a strictly amateur photographer and have been practising my ‘art’ for 30 odd years on and off.

I am very often criticised for leaving short comments on other artists work, ( and in life generally) you have my apology in advance, Its just the way I am. I just don’t Gush
It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate your work

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  • Helen Martikainen
    Helen Martikainenover 4 years ago

    I like this shot as well Kelvin, great work

  • THank you Helen

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47over 4 years ago

    Nice work Kelvin. Is this duotone or black and white photo?

  • Thanks Eeva, it does have a very slight copper tone

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • kenmatcham
    kenmatchamover 4 years ago

    I really like this shot Kelvin, excellent, a fav.

  • Thanks Ken, appreciated

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • David's Photoshop
    David's Photoshopover 4 years ago

    Lunchtime eh Kelvin? LOL


  • You got it David!!!!

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • johnr
    johnrover 4 years ago

    youre pinching my tripod holes kel,, i like this a lot obviously—-my kind of image,,,,but it would look so much better if it were cropped down to just leaving the 2 pegs in the wall and just under the sill with the bottles skew whiff not full face on as it looks set up,you can still make it 35mm or better still square its agood image well done,,,,,,,,,one more thing i want to know where the hell it is.

  • Cheers John, Your input is greatly received ( I didn’t ‘pose’ the bottles though, tidy drinkers I’m afraid. take a look here – I’ve seen much better photos from about two years earlier, almost everything of value has now been stripped, -not as lucky as your Irish Farmhouse

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Kelvin Hughes
    Kelvin Hughesover 4 years ago

    Just for John, a tighter crop

  • johnr
    johnrover 4 years ago

    so much better than the first image i especially love the wedge of glass sticking out of the window,,yes the tighter crop is so much better ,,well done.super image.

  • Bob Wickham
    Bob Wickhamover 4 years ago

    Brilliant image Kelvin, I like your original, but then Johns crop is OK too. Matter of personal taste I guess.
    In fact I’d like to see a view from further back showing us more of the building

  • Thanks Bob, as you say personal taste, thank god there is no right and no wrong!

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • HG. QualityPhotography
    HG. QualityPho...over 4 years ago

    Awesome ! Wonderful work Foppe. Kelvin.

  • Thanks Hans

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Svetlana Sewell
    Svetlana Sewellover 4 years ago

    Doctor me, doctor!!!
    Great job!

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