Revisiting the Old Asylum…………

The North Wales Hospital Denbigh,

The first custom built Lunatic Asylum in Wales

The hospital was built between 1846 and 1848 and 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.

Technical Details
Nikon D200
Tamron 28-300 zoom
Available Light

Pseudo HDR in Photomatix Pro,
PP in CS4 and Tiffen



ruin, window, view, hospital, mental, asylum, 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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  • Sue Smith
    Sue Smithover 4 years ago

    Great capture, Kel. Love the detail in the panes of fancy glass. Even make out a cracked one along the row and quite a few missing panes.

  • Thank you Sue, and thank you too for the ‘Fav’

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Eeva47
    Eeva47over 4 years ago

    Excellent photo, love the textured window panes!

  • Thank you Eeva

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsover 4 years ago

    Excellent capture and perspective Kelvin!! it appears that no expense was spared on the building in it’s hayday, love the wood windows – nice processing!!

  • Dinni H
    Dinni Hover 4 years ago

    lovely Kelvin, love the lines and the tones here!

  • Thank you Dinni

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • Clive S
    Clive Sover 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your artwork with the Photomatix HDR Group!

  • No, Thank you for organising the group Clive!

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • kenmatcham
    kenmatchamover 4 years ago

    Excellent Kelvin, love the detail in the image.

  • Cheers Ken

    – Kelvin Hughes

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

    Great HDR work Kelvin.


  • Thanks David

    – Kelvin Hughes

  • John44
    John44over 4 years ago

    Just beautiful!

  • Thank You John

    – Kelvin Hughes

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