- Jun 7, 2014
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"Dont bother going Talgarth its completely trashed" they say!
Got a point really Im about 10yr late on this one but my God its still photogenic & I dont believe its been done for a while so heres my recent visit.
Taking a discrete way in meant we had no angry encounters & spent a leisurely hour or so here, Iv had to try really hard to get this down to 30 pics though.
Iv looked at some past reports & the demise over 10 yr is quite astonishing, Im aware of the tile theft / sale that has been the main contributor to this but Im glad Iv seen it before it inevitably falls in on itself completely.
Originally called the Brecon and Radnor Joint Asylum on opening in 1903, the name was changed in 1921 to the Mid-Wales Hospital. The hospital consisted of the main building (12 wards, 6 male and 6 female) isolation ward, and farm ward, at the cost of o128, 710 12s 8d.
Two further wards were built at a later date. The hospital was built to cater for 352 patients and in addition to the farm, the service departments included a tailor, baker, shoe maker, printing shops, kitchen, laundry and church. There were market gardens which consisted of about 8 acres and an additional asset was a steam powered lorry, one of the first to be used in the area, which was mainly used to haul coal and other goods from the railway station. The water supply was drawn from the Pwll-y-Wrach waterfall and fed to the hospital by gravity.
The first patients at the hospital were admissions mainly from the Brecon area but numbers also arrived from towns further afield such as Swansea and Shrewsbury. Although initially intended to cater for 352 patients, at one point at the end of 1925 there were 455, stretching the resources to the limit. Some of this overcrowding was attributed to World War One and the effect that was to have on many men who served in the battles. Consequently Wards East 7 and 8, and an X-ray department were added to cope with the increased demands.
In April 1940, 315 beds were made available for military patients. Later during the war, the military section became a prisoner of war hospital. The war departments released most of their beds on 31 December 1946. In December 1955 the number of patients had reached 496. In 1994 the total number of patients averaged 140, but 179 could be catered for.
The working farm remained until 1955 and the hospital still generated its own electricity until 1961. Some 155 acres of farmland however were sold in 1957 and 27 acres of Pwll-y-Wrach dingle transferred to the Forestry Commission. A number of improvements were completed during the next twenty years such as a new treatment block in 1965, and an Occupational/Industrial Therapy Department in 1971.
In 1974 the Powys Health Authority came into being and assumed control, with matters changing again in 1993 with the formation of the Powys (NHS) Trust. Policy changes by the government in recent years have seen the return of patients with mental health problems to the community, thus the need for such institutions as the Mid-Wales Hospital has declined drastically.
The hospital will be closed for good in 2000 with some facilities being combined with nearby Bronllys.