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Thread: St. David's Hospital, Carmarthen & patient graffiti (pic heavy), '11

  1. #1
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    Default St. David's Hospital, Carmarthen & patient graffiti (pic heavy), '11


    Took a trip to the old St. David's Mental Hospital earlier this year to see what the state of things was there. As it turns out, apart from some outlying villas, the chapel and a possible mortuary, all of the buildings are in use as local authority offices. The hospital is surprisingly complete, apparently retaining all of its original buildings.

    Originally the Carmarthenshire, Cardigan and Pembrokeshire Joint Counties Asylum, St David's was originally planned as the United Lunatic Asylum for Cardigan, Carmarthen, Glamorgan & Pembroke. Building work started in 1863 and completed in 1865 when it opened with 212 beds. It was known as the Joint Counties Mental Hospital by 1929, underwent a major refit in the 1930s and became St David's Hospital under the NHS in 1948. The hospital closed around 2002 and in 2003 Carmarthenshire Council bid 3m for the site to prevent it from being used to process and house asylum seekers. It is now used by the council for a variety of administrative purposes.


    Main Buildings


    Brick-built annexe, c.1930s.


    Oil tanks




    Chapel


    Workshop or mortuary


    Villas


    Ward interior





    Anyway, on my circuit of the main buildings I noticed a series of scratch marks on one of the window surrounds which on closer inspection turned out to be one of the most extensive collections of patient graffiti I've ever seen. Much of it is unintelligable but what little can be deciphered relates to place and personal names, probably of the patient or patients themselves. There are about 14 panels on either side of 7 windows, all surrounding one airing court on the male side.

    On enquiry with the body that deals with historic buildings in Wales, (RCAHMW) it turned out that these hadn't been recorded before, so I submitted my photographs and accompanying drawings to the commission and I believe they have now been included in their file on the hospital buildings. These are a very unusual survival and I thought some of you may be interested to see them so I've reproduced some of them here (unfortunately, all of the details don't show in the compressed images below, but the marks are there and I transcribed them as best I could):


    'Gwendawy in the beautiful Llywynhendy? Thanks to God'


    W.S. Jones. A series of numbers. Looks a bit like the date 1866 at the top, possibly 1871 at the bottom.




    Card suits and more place-names


    Mouser. I found this one rather creepy.




    A germanic name and a cross together with the Three Feathers, and the legend HICH [sic] DIEN, the motto and crest of the Princes of Wales.

    Thanks for reading,
    A.

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  4. #2
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    love the carvings.i remember seeing some on the top of an old church i was converting iin harrow years ago.pity i didn't think of taking pictures like i would now.
    'one step away from you'

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  6. #3
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    Thanks for that. I found the writing well interesting. :) Never thought to look out for something like that.

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  8. #4
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    nice one on finding the patient graffiti
    i found some craved into the bricks at St Crispins ages ago

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  10. #5
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    Thumbs up


    Good stuff there mate, dead impressed with the transcriptions and it's good to see that the buildings haven't gone to waste :)
    "Nothing beside remains. Round the decay,
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away."


    urbex13@hotmail.co.uk

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  12. #6
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    Brilliant! It's also great to see an intact asylum. Well done.
    Veni, Vidi suum custos canis admorsus meus culus...

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  14. #7
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    That's some impressive work there Arch.
    Really interesting report.
    Thanks for the effort and well done.
    When she smiles it looks like an exploding pig... Erotic.

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  16. #8
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    Good report from a place you hardly ever hear about.

  17. #9
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    That's really interesting.

    Thanks for posting!

  18. #10
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    Really interesting photo's. I've been there many times in a professional capacity, obviously to the bits still in use. Lots of the site is still used by the NHS, doing very important work, great to see bits of the site not used though. The graffiti is fantastic.

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