North Wales Hospital

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Coordinates: 53°10′32″N 3°25′08″W / 53.175495°N 3.418976°W / 53.175495; -3.418976

The North Wales Hospital building in 1994

The North Wales Hospital (locally known as Denbigh Mental or Denbigh Asylum)[1] is a Grade II listed building. Designed by architect Thomas Fulljames, building started in 1844 and completed in 1848. Once a hospital for up to 200 people with psychiatric illness, by the early 1900s it housed 1537 patients (approx). It is located in Denbigh, Denbighshire, Wales.


Designed by architect Thomas Fulljames to originally accommodate between 60 and 200 patients,[2] the hospital originally had its own farm and gasworks. Planned for closure by Enoch Powell during the 1960s, it was closed in sections from 1991 to 1995.[3]

Notable patients[edit]

George Maitland Lloyd Davies, nonconformist minister and Christian Pacifist politician, died there 1949.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

On 25–31 October 2008, the satellite and cable channel Living TV presented a week of live broadcasts from the by then derelict North Wales Hospital under the title The Village of the Damned as part of the paranormal series Most Haunted.


On 22 November 2008, during work to renovate the building site and convert it to apartments and residential properties, the building caught fire; it was later confirmed that the main hall of the hospital was destroyed. Arson was suspected at the time.[5] Fire crews went to the scene of a blaze at the site of the former North Wales Hospital.[6] The fire service was called out at 8.12 pm on Saturday, May 7, with one pump from Ruthin and one pump form Rhyl going to the incident. Crews used two CO2 extinguishers and a hose reel to tackle the fire. A spokesperson for the fire service said: “Two seats were on fire and for that reason we have deemed it to be a deliberate ignition.”[6]

Currently on the buildings at risk register, the 2006 planning permission has lapsed. In 2011 the building was at risk of collapsing and no action was taken by the owners after an urgent works notice was issued, Denbighshire Council had no choice but to carry out repairs on the building which reached £939,000.[7] In 2013, Denbighshire Council voted to press ahead with a compulsory purchase order on the building. A three-week Public Inquiry on the challenge to the CPO by the owner completed on 20 March 2015. A new application for planning permission has been submitted by the Princes Regeneration Trust and would be implemented by the North Wales Building Preservation Trust once the CPO is confirmed and the site has been transferred. However it is yet to be disclosed if the application will follow through due to lack of funding and initiative behind the trust.

Following fires in February 2017[8] and July 2017, Sections of the hospital will be demolished due to being beyond repair.[9] The council still intends to purchase the site.[9]

On the 4th of April 2018 at around 12:30pm fire fighters rushed to the scene of a huge blaze at a noticeable section of the hospital, just weeks after new plans to rescue the building and turn it into a luxury hotel were unveiled to the public.[10]


  1. ^ Dunn, Elle (2008). "Denbigh County Asylum, North Wales". Contamination Zone. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  2. ^ B. G. Carne, Thomas Fulljames, 1808-74: Surveyor, Architect, and Civil Engineer, Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Vol. 113 (1995), pp.7-20
  3. ^ Evening Leader (2008-10-06), "Denbigh's Victorian asylum ready for demolition"
  4. ^ Jen Llywelyn and Paul O'Leary, ‘Davies, George Maitland Lloyd (1880–1949)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, May 2011 accessed 12 Dec 2015
  5. ^ Kelly Fenna (2008-11-25). "Denbigh hospital fire puts luxury homes on hold". The Daily Post. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  6. ^ a b "Fire at North Wales Hospital site". Denbighshire Free Press. 2016-05-09. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  7. ^ "Old Denbigh Victorian hospital repairs bill at £930,000". BBC News. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Firefighters put out large blaze at derelict Denbigh hospital". BBC News. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Denbigh hospital: Fire-ravaged building to be demolished". BBC News. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Derelict Denbigh Hospital fire thought to be deliberate". BBC News. Retrieved 29 April 2018.

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