HM Stanley Hospital, St.Asaph, Wales
After an earlier aborted trip, I returned to this hospital hospital the following week one crisp September morning. With the amber leaves swirling around my feet I made my way inside this grey uninspiring building. The impression one gets from seeing the plans on the internet make it seem better than it really is. With its dull battleship grey exterior I imagined the patients arriving here, probably feeling more miserable than they did anyway when confronted with this!
Unusually intact inside, I wandered around looking for signs of decay. Where were the dirty windows covered in ivy? Well, there wasn't really any decay so to speak of probably as it hasn't been closed for that long. Much of the equipment is still inside along with confidential medical reports and x rays surprisingly. Shouldn't these personal items be kept confidential?
Maybe I have got here to quick after it closed. maybe in 12 months time the roof will be leaking, the windows broken and ivy creeping in. maybe, maybe not. The last part of the day was the nicest when I finally arrived at the hospital Chapel. Dust covered ecclesiastical books left by an arched stained glass window. Adjacent to it, in this little room next to the Chapel an old book case, it too, a sea of dust. The Chapel itself had long been closed and the decay gave the feel of abandonment rather than mere closure.
For the history, St Asaph Union workhouse was erected in 1838-9 originally as a work house and later becoming a hospital with the formation of the NHS in 1948.
The Poor Law Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £5,499.16s.8d. on construction of the building which was intended to accommodate 200 inmates.
The workhouse design, by John Welch, followed the popular cruciform or "square" layout with separate accommodation wings for the different classes of inmate (male/female, infirm/able-bodied etc.) radiating from a central hub.
After 1930, the workhouse became St Asaph Public Assistance Institution. From 1910 until 1948, the St Asaph Infectious Diseases Hospital also operated on the site. The HM Stanley Hospital closed in around 2010 after it was not deemed fit for its intended purpose and redevelopment of the site is anticipated.