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Thread: Mid Wales Asylum, Talgarth - June 2009

  1. #1
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    Arrow Mid Wales Asylum, Talgarth - June 2009


    Well, I thought it was about time Da-Mop learnt what an old asylum smelt like, so I dragged him out of bed and off we went to Talgarth. He was in sleep mode and said he would rather have a ten minute lie in than come out exploring, but after a bit of nagging he agreed, and what a day we had.

    The hospital was designed by John Giles and opened on February 18th 1903, originally under the name Brecon and Radnor Joint Asylum. In 1921, it changed its name to the Mid Wales Asylum. It was designed to cater for only 352 patients, but by the end of 1925 455 were present. In 1994 the number averaged around 140. It closed on April 7th 2000 but because it was under used at this point parts of it had been left empty for years and this has left parts of the building in a very sorry state.

    The site was sold off to its previous chief medical officer for pittance, which was somewhat controversial in the local area.

    From a report by the Auditor General for Wales compiled in 2002;

    Regarding the sale of the hospital to one of it's chief medical officers and his wife, the 43 acre site with 200,000 square feet of hospital buildings and floor space, plus 5 large family sized houses, a chapel, tennis court and cricket pitch, was bought for a cost of only 227,000 (two hundred and twenty seven thousand pounds). The slate tiles alone are valued at two million pounds.
    Recently, the slate roof tiles have been stripped of all buildings excluding the main hall and the admin block, so I expect the sites owner has been laughing all the way to the bank.

    Anyway, looking at older reports from before the tiles were removed, decay looks to have sped up rapidly and water is getting in, fast.



    Much of the corridor network has been demolished or cut up; however, certain setions such as this still remain standing...





    Stumbling across the asylum's ballroom was an incredible experience; I have seen so many photos of this room but standing in it seemed completely different.



    It's not as big or as fancy as Hellingly's main hall, but it is in much, much better condition. The windows and light fixtures aren't broken for a start.



    Some props and curtains were left behind the stage, which was a nice feature.



    Like other asylums, the main hall was the centre for all leisure activities. Nearby was this bar. Somehow, even if it wasn't in a horrific condition, I doubt it could ever look nice. I mean, look at that wallpaper!



    We then found our way into the ward network. This is where the asylum lacks - the wards are stripped out, fairly modern and lack any history. However, the solid wooden doors are fantastic in there own right.







    These wards are seemingly some of the last to have closed, as they are in the best condition. Despite this, the smell is foul; I've gradually learned to love the smell of decay but in places it was overpowering.



    Each ward seemed to have a corridor running it's length with a staircase at each end.



    Coming off this corridor, there was another corridor that led to the toilets.



    We soon got bored of the wards and returned to the corridor network. But before we left, I stumbled across the mural room - a photo opportunity too good to miss.



    After a bit of wandering we stumbled across the nurses accomodation block at the back of the site. It contains this beautiful staircase - it's such a shame it's going to be demolished and the lack of a proper roof is causing it to quickly rot.





    It turns out there's not one but two of these staircases in the nurses block - I swear most of the building is taken up by them. Not like today, when everything has to be tightly packed in to save space.



    The actual nurses rooms were by and large empty and dull, but this one room glowed pink because of these curtains, which fluttered eerily in the wind.



    In recent years, some demolition work has taken place in the centre of the site and, although this ceased for a few years, it seems to have slowly restarted again and so soon the asylum may be no more. It's very sad - it seems such a waste of a very beautiful building, and although it's not the worlds most interesting explore it will be a shame when it has gone.
    Last edited by clebby; 27th Jun 09 at 13:22.

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  3. #2
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    Nice one there Clebby...never been to this one myself,looks worth it for the Hall alone.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by klempner69 View Post
    Nice one there Clebby...never been to this one myself,looks worth it for the Hall alone.
    Cheers. Yeah the halls amazing, get down there before it's too late.

  5. #4
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    good to see you made it to mid wales mate not a bad explore but if anyones planing a trip id hurry up due to demo


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