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

Help Support Derelict Places:

The Archivist

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
280
Reaction score
522
Location
Bristol, Mid-Wales & Sussex
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.

20.jpg

Main Buildings

25A.jpg

Brick-built annexe, c.1930s.

37.jpg

Oil tanks

39.jpg

Chapel

38.jpg

Workshop or mortuary

31.jpg

Villas

32.jpg

Ward interior

33.jpg


35.jpg


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):

3.jpg
3a.jpg

'Gwendawy in the beautiful Llywynhendy? Thanks to God'

4.jpg
4a.jpg

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

5.jpg
5a.jpg


6.jpg
6a.jpg

Card suits and more place-names

7.jpg
7a.jpg

Mouser. I found this one rather creepy.

8.jpg
8a.jpg


9.jpg
9a.jpg

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.
 

banshee

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
105
Reaction score
69
Location
london
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.
 

highcannons

Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
552
Reaction score
457
Thanks for that. I found the writing well interesting. :) Never thought to look out for something like that.
 

MD

Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
1,534
Reaction score
1,485
Location
leicestershire
nice one on finding the patient graffiti
i found some craved into the bricks at St Crispins ages ago
 

urbex13

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
148
Reaction score
303
Location
Sheffield, U.K
Good stuff there mate, dead impressed with the transcriptions and it's good to see that the buildings haven't gone to waste :)
 

Cuban B.

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
315
Reaction score
178
Location
Struan
Good report from a place you hardly ever hear about.
 

Em_Ux

Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
703
Reaction score
354
Location
Cambridge
That's really interesting.

Thanks for posting!
 

welshowen

Regular Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
8
Reaction score
5
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.
 

Pincheck

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
1,066
Reaction score
990
Location
scotland
yeh the markings are really interesting mate well done :)
 

Msmezza

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
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.

View attachment 111180
Main Buildings

View attachment 111181
Brick-built annexe, c.1930s.

View attachment 111182
Oil tanks

View attachment 111183
Chapel

View attachment 111184
Workshop or mortuary

View attachment 111185
Villas

View attachment 111186
Ward interior

View attachment 111187

View attachment 111188

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):

View attachment 111189View attachment 111190
'Gwendawy in the beautiful Llywynhendy? Thanks to God'

View attachment 111191View attachment 111192
W.S. Jones. A series of numbers. Looks a bit like the date 1866 at the top, possibly 1871 at the bottom.

View attachment 111193View attachment 111194

View attachment 111195View attachment 111196
Card suits and more place-names

View attachment 111197View attachment 111198
Mouser. I found this one rather creepy.

View attachment 111199View attachment 111200

View attachment 111201View attachment 111202
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.
Anyone know if you can still explore this place?
 

Msmezza

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
Hi we went there yesterday, we couldn’t find the carvings. I love the place and grounds. I used to go there as a child for summer fairs on the grounds and for whist drives with my grandmother. There is a big hall, with a stage in the main building with a circular hall that goes right around it. I went to Christmas parties there and they put on shows on the stage. I was quite young as can I barely remember. When my grandmother played whist I ran around the hallway or roller skated. I saw a few patients wondering about. Yesterday I mainly walked around the boiler room. My uncle worked there for many years. Huge furnaces inside. He used to pick me up to look at the flames and he held a special piece of glass in front of my eyes to protect them. What I would do to look inside that building one more time. I miss him so much. He died over 30 years ago. I still remember it being very hot and humid in there and it smelled of oil. Not the best place to let me roam about by my self but that’s what I did!
 

Latest posts

Top