The Doctors Library by Kelvin Hughes

One of the more opulent rooms!!

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

The texture is taken from the peeling wallpaper in one of the other rooms


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ruin, window, texture, wood, denbigh

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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  • Bob Culshaw
    Bob Culshawalmost 5 years ago

    Absolutely superb Kelvin – I love these old broken down interiors – so much to tell!

  • Many thanks Bob, I’ve enough ‘stock’ to keep me going for a while

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Rafferty-Evans
    Rafferty-Evansalmost 5 years ago

    Stunning work, awesome colours and detail

  • Thank you Lee Anne

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Helen Martikainen
    Helen Martikainenalmost 5 years ago

    Kelvin this is great. I love photos like these and the colour and detail. Interesting reading about the history as well

  • Thank you Helen

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsalmost 5 years ago

    Superb capture Kelvin!! lovely detail and colour, so much to see – well done!!!

  • Thank you Kate

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Sue Smith
    Sue Smithalmost 5 years ago

    Kel, this is wonderful capture and great idea to use the texture you did. Very interesting reading the history of this place. I imagine in the early years of its life most of the ‘treatment’ would have been straightjackets or cold water baths. Then towards it’s demise it would have been the electric shock ‘treatment’. How the human mind can suffer.

  • Thanks Sue, I used to work in the Town, I have always thought that the townsfolk were the most tolerant to those less well off than themselves that I have ever met

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47almost 5 years ago

    It certainly has fallen into a state of severe dis-repair. Great photo.

  • Thanks Eeva

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • David's Photoshop
    David's Photoshopalmost 5 years ago

    Great composition Kelvin.


  • Thanks David

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • kenmatcham
    kenmatchamalmost 5 years ago

    Really great finish Kelvin love the textures, a fav

  • Much obliged Ken, and for the ‘fav’ also

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Firesands
    Firesandsalmost 5 years ago

    Brilliant capture, Kelvin! A great record of this establishment in both photography and description! Superb!

  • Thank You Kenton

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • nadine henley
    nadine henleyover 3 years ago

    what a great place to photograph! the grandeur of this room still shows through those windows and that fallen bookcase – the poignancy is very well captured, kelvin

  • Hi Nadine, thaks for your comment,there is a move afoot to try and rescue the building, butI fear the water damage to the upper floors (caused by the theft of lead and tiles) is going to make it too expensive

    – Kelvin Hughes

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