Opening in 1908 the Cardiff City Asylum had space for 750 psychiatric patients. The hospital closed in 2016 after being deemed unsuitable for modern services.
Opening on 15th April 1908 after 10 years of construction, the Cardiff City Asylum covered 5 acres and cost £350,000. The hospital had a capacity of 750 patients across 5 male and 5 female wards. Like most of the Victorian asylums, it was designed from out outset to be a fully self contained institute. As such, it had its own 46m water tower and a farm providing food supplies and work for the patients. The asylum also had two Belliss and Morcom steam engine powered electric generator sets which were removed from standby service in the mid-1980s.
During the First World War, Whitchurch Hospital was used by the military and became known as the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital and was used to treat injured soldiers requiring orthopaedic treatment. The psychiatric patients were moved to other institutions.
The hospital was absorbed into the National Health Service in 948. The hospital’s role began to change in the mid-1980 when care in the community began to reduce the number of resident patients. By the early 2000s the hospital was considered unsuitable for the requirements of 21st century psychiatry. Services were gradually moved out to either new purpose built facilities or into the community. Whitchurch Hospital finally closed its doors in April 2016.
Day Wards and Communal Areas
Like many Victorian asylums, Whitchurch has a lot of corridors – one huge main corridor spans the entire hospital and connects all the wards together.
The Recreation Hall
Medical and Overnight Wards
The pathology department had clearly been closed for a long time and has suffered heavily from decay
Physiotherapy Department and Sports Hall
There were two sets of therapeutic baths – one for male patients and one for females. These have since been converted to a changing area.
Various other hospital services
The hospital had a plethora of services to support the day-to-day running. Here are a few of those….
Amazingly the records department still had many of the patient records in storage
Workshops and Engineering
Ward West 5
The West 5 ward was closed down in the early 1980 and has remained disused ever since. The ward is now derelict and retains some original features
The red bricked exterior of the buildings with yellow stripes is quite distinctive