Costing £350,000 and ten years to build, the Cardiff City Asylum opened on 15 April 1908. The main hospital building covered 5 acres (2.0 ha), designed to accommodate 750 patients across 10 wards, 5 each for men and women. Like many Victorian institutes, it was designed as a self-contained institute, with its own 150 feet (46 m) water tower atop a power house containing two Belliss and Morcomsteam engine powered electric generator sets, which were only removed from standby in the mid-1980s. The site also contained a farm, which provided both food supplies and therapeutic work for the patients.
During World War II, part of the hospital was turned over to the military, becoming the largest emergency service hospital in South Wales, treating British, US Army and German personnel. 200 beds were retained for civilian use, which enabled early treatment of post traumatic stress disorder of military patients.
The hospital closed its doors for the final time in mid 2016.
Well it’s safe to say it’s been a long time coming. We were not the first in here by a long shot, and certainly won’t be the last.
This place has been teasing us for a while so when we actually managed to get in and have a wander around it was a damn good feeling!
^^ This was the first time we tried it – in early 2016. Drove the car to almost touching the back door, got out and just walked in guns blazing. Predictably this did not go to plan and we’d been stopped after, at a guess, five minutes tops. Some lovely nursing staff talked to us about the building’s history for a bit whilst escorting us back to the door.
^^ This was the next time. Didn’t even make it inside this time… Made out way around the entire perimeter and were just weighing up some possible options when these friendly chaps found us. Again, nicest of people, but made sure we were bound for the exit.
This was another time forward a few months again. We made it into various out buildings but nothing into the real deal. Made do with taking photos – well – exactly as above. Befriended some local kids (chavs) who showed us round the external again but when they started smashing windows in broad daylight we thought it time to bolt as wanted nothing to do with that!
SO fast forward more months still and it’s been cropping up here and there on various sites. This seems like a good time to give it another shot so a day is set aside and off we go for try #xx. Cue another criminally expensive bridge toll and a McBreakfast. Naturally, we arrived later than planned *insert Bristol joke here*
It turns out @tumbles is also headed there so after a heads up (cheers mate) and some hand gestures up to the top of the tower, we’re in.
About half way through the day we do end up bumping into tumbles and his group (albeit scaring the hell out of each other) so then there were 7 of us. That is… until we then bump into another group later on, meaning all in all by the end there were around 10 of us running around the place! Always the best way, and good to meet a few new faces as well as catch up with old ones.
The water tower:
And lastly – it seemed appropriate to decorate the place for Christmas 2018.
You’re welcome, Whitchurch!