Whitchurch Hospital / Cardiff City Asylum, Wales

Whitchurch Hospital / Cardiff City Asylum, Wales

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.

Visited September 2016 - August 2018 Whitchurch, Cardiff, Wales, UK Closed, Abandoned

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.

Whitchurch Hospital water tower and admin building
Whitchurch Hospital water tower and admin building

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

Whitchurch Hospital - Communal room in a day ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Communal room in a day ward
Whitchurch Hospital - Lots of items left in this day room
Whitchurch Hospital – Lots of items left in this day room
Whitchurch Hospital - Pool table and sofas in day room
Whitchurch Hospital – Pool table and sofas in day room
Whitchurch Hospital - Dated curtain hiding an examination bed
Whitchurch Hospital – Dated curtain hiding an examination bed
Whitchurch Hospital - Plenty of seating in this corridor
Whitchurch Hospital – Plenty of seating in this corridor
Whitchurch Hospital - Wooden cabinet and nice wood flooring
Whitchurch Hospital – Wooden cabinet and nice wood flooring
Whitchurch Hospital - The old asylum has a lot of big bay windows
Whitchurch Hospital – The old asylum has a lot of big bay windows
Whitchurch Hospital - One of the many day wards
Whitchurch Hospital – One of the many day wards
Whitchurch Hospital - Seats in a day ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Seats in a day ward
Whitchurch Hospital - Day room with pool table
Whitchurch Hospital – Day room with pool table

Corridors

Like many Victorian asylums, Whitchurch has a lot of corridors – one huge main corridor spans the entire hospital and connects all the wards together.

Whitchurch Hospital - A section of the main corridor with entrances to West 2 ward
Whitchurch Hospital – A section of the main corridor with entrances to West 2 ward
Whitchurch Hospital - Another section of the main corridor
Whitchurch Hospital – Another section of the main corridor
Whitchurch Hospital - The main corridor and a split leading elsewhere
Whitchurch Hospital – The main corridor and a split leading elsewhere
Whitchurch Hospital - Corridor in the physiotherapy ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Corridor in the physiotherapy ward
Whitchurch Hospital - A corridor of partitioned cubicles
Whitchurch Hospital – A corridor of partitioned cubicles
Whitchurch Hospital - A corridor on another ward
Whitchurch Hospital – A corridor on another ward
Whitchurch Hospital - Corridor of various hospital services
Whitchurch Hospital – Corridor of various hospital services
Whitchurch Hospital - Small waiting area in a corridor
Whitchurch Hospital – Small waiting area in a corridor
Whitchurch Hospital - Nature creeping in
Whitchurch Hospital – Nature creeping in
Whitchurch Hospital - Main corridor as it passes pathology and the pharmacy
Whitchurch Hospital – Main corridor as it passes pathology and the pharmacy

The Recreation Hall

Whitchurch Hospital - View down the recreation hall
Whitchurch Hospital – View down the recreation hall
Whitchurch Hospital - The hall's stage
Whitchurch Hospital – The hall’s stage

Medical and Overnight Wards

Whitchurch Hospital - Bed in a ward room
Whitchurch Hospital – Bed in a ward room
Whitchurch Hospital - This room has padded walls
Whitchurch Hospital – This room has padded walls
Whitchurch Hospital - Hospital bed in a private bedroom
Whitchurch Hospital – Hospital bed in a private bedroom
Whitchurch Hospital - A few remaining items in a ward side-room
Whitchurch Hospital – A few remaining items in a ward side-room
Whitchurch Hospital - Quite a few items remain in this room
Whitchurch Hospital – Quite a few items remain in this room
Whitchurch Hospital - Residential ward room
Whitchurch Hospital – Residential ward room
Whitchurch Hospital - The secure unit
Whitchurch Hospital – The secure unit
Whitchurch Hospital - Rooms in the high-security ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Rooms in the high-security ward
Whitchurch Hospital - One of the cell-like rooms
Whitchurch Hospital – One of the cell-like rooms
Whitchurch Hospital - Rooms off another ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Rooms off another ward
Curtain and Crutches at Whitchurch Hospital
Curtain and Crutches at Whitchurch Hospital
Whitchurch Hospital - Curtains on another ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Curtains on another ward
Whitchurch Hospital - Ward with beds
Whitchurch Hospital – Ward with beds
Whitchurch Hospital - Therapy bath
Whitchurch Hospital – Therapy bath
Whitchurch Hospital - Commode chair in a ward
Whitchurch Hospital – Commode chair in a ward
Whitchurch Hospital - Ivy growing in a room
Whitchurch Hospital – Ivy growing in a room

Admin Building

Whitchurch Hospital - Main entrance into the admin building
Whitchurch Hospital – Main entrance into the admin building
Whitchurch Hospital - The hospital front entrance
Whitchurch Hospital – The hospital front entrance
Whitchurch Hospital - Board room in the admin block
Whitchurch Hospital – Board room in the admin block
Whitchurch Hospital - Another grand admin room
Whitchurch Hospital – Another grand admin room
Whitchurch Hospital - Admin block staircase
Whitchurch Hospital – Admin block staircase

Old Pathology

The pathology department had clearly been closed for a long time and has suffered heavily from decay

Whitchurch Hospital - The old pathology department
Whitchurch Hospital – The old pathology department
Whitchurch Hospital - Metabolic Pathways 1968 poster in pathology
Whitchurch Hospital – Metabolic Pathways 1968 poster in pathology

Physiotherapy Department and Sports Hall

Whitchurch Hospital - Physiotherapy sports hall
Whitchurch Hospital – Physiotherapy sports hall
Whitchurch Hospital - Creative physiotherapy workshop
Whitchurch Hospital – Creative physiotherapy workshop
Whitchurch Hospital - One or two crutches in the physio store
Whitchurch Hospital – One or two crutches in the physio store
Whitchurch Hospital - One of the gymnasiums
Whitchurch Hospital – One of the gymnasiums
Whitchurch Hospital - Weights gym
Whitchurch Hospital – Weights gym

Therapeutic Baths

There were two sets of therapeutic baths – one for male patients and one for females. These have since been converted to a changing area.

Whitchurch Hospital - Therapeutic baths
Whitchurch Hospital – Therapeutic baths
Whitchurch Hospital - Since converted to showers for sports activities
Whitchurch Hospital – Since converted to showers for sports activities

Various other hospital services

The hospital had a plethora of services to support the day-to-day running. Here are a few of those….

Whitchurch Hospital - Dentist chair
Whitchurch Hospital – Dentist chair
Whitchurch Hospital - Hair dressers
Whitchurch Hospital – Hair dressers
Whitchurch Hospital - "Snack and Tack" the hospital shop
Whitchurch Hospital – “Snack and Tack” the hospital shop
Whitchurch Hospital - The main kitchen
Whitchurch Hospital – The main kitchen
Whitchurch Hospital - Room with nice ceiling
Whitchurch Hospital – Room with nice ceiling
Whitchurch Hospital - Main stores
Whitchurch Hospital – Main stores
Whitchurch Hospital - Switchroom and backup generators
Whitchurch Hospital – Switchroom and backup generators

Records Department

Amazingly the records department still had many of the patient records in storage

Whitchurch Hospital - Records department
Whitchurch Hospital – Records department
Whitchurch Hospital - Shelves of patient records
Whitchurch Hospital – Shelves of patient records

Workshops and Engineering

Whitchurch Hospital - Engineering stores
Whitchurch Hospital – Engineering stores
Whitchurch Hospital - Engineering workshop
Whitchurch Hospital – Engineering workshop
Whitchurch Hospital - Woodworking and carpentry shop
Whitchurch Hospital – Woodworking and carpentry shop

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

Whitchurch Hospital - West 5 still has that old-asylum feel to it
Whitchurch Hospital – West 5 still has that old-asylum feel to it
Whitchurch Hospital - Doors in West 5
Whitchurch Hospital – Doors in West 5
Whitchurch Hospital - Corridor in West 5
Whitchurch Hospital – Corridor in West 5
Whitchurch Hospital - Lots of decay in the wash room
Whitchurch Hospital – Lots of decay in the wash room

Exterior

The red bricked exterior of the buildings with yellow stripes is quite distinctive

Whitchurch Hospital - The admin building with the water tower behind
Whitchurch Hospital – The admin building with the water tower behind
Whitchurch Hospital - View from the west over the wards
Whitchurch Hospital – View from the west over the wards
Whitchurch Hospital - Aerial shot showing the "compact arrow" which was a popular asylum layout
Whitchurch Hospital – Aerial shot showing the “compact arrow” which was a popular asylum layout

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