St David's Hospital (Cardiff)

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The Grade II listed entrance building of the previous St David's Hospital, now converted into apartments

St David's Hospital is a new hospital in Canton, Cardiff, Wales, opened in 2002. It replaces an earlier hospital on the same site that was originally the Cardiff Union Workhouse dating back to 1839.


Workhouse and infirmary (1839)[edit]

Cardiff created its own Poor Law Union in 1836 and, in 1839, a new Cardiff Union Workhouse was built on Cowbridge Road, Canton, at a cost of £7,500. [1] Because of the growing population of the area, in 1862 child inmates were relocated to the Ely Industrial Schools. In 1872 an infirmary for the sick was added to the northwest of the workhouse, with 164 beds.[2]

The building was expanded in 1881, including a new entrance building on the Cowbridge Road frontage with a 3-storey tower and clock face.[3] New accommodation included a committee room, waiting rooms and attendants' offices.[2] The architects were James, Seward & Thomas and the exterior design had similarities to Seward's 1883 Cardiff Infirmary, though using cheaper materials.[4]

The buildings were further expanded in 1890 and, by 1908, the workhouse had a capacity for over 1000 inmates.[2]

St Davids Hospital (1948)[edit]

With the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948, St David's Hospital came into public ownership on 5 July, funded by the state.[5]

Notable people born in the maternity unit at St David's Hospital include Wales footballer, Ryan Giggs (1973).[6]

The hospital building became Grade II listed in 1976.[3]

Closure and redevelopment[edit]

St David's Hospital closed in the early 1990s and the majority of the old buildings were demolished, leaving the Victorian entrance building and clock tower. This fell into disrepair and was the target of vandalism, but in 2002 was refurbished and converted into apartments.[7]

New hospital (2002)[edit]

A new modern PFI hospital building (the first new hospital in Cardiff for 30 years) was built to the rear of the previous site. It opened on St David's Day 2002.[8] Facilities included 100 beds, initially for mental health patients (from Royal Hamadryad Hospital) and the elderly (from Lansdowne Hospital) but also including children's services, therapies and dental services.[8]


  1. ^ Shepley, Nick (2014), The Story of Cardiff, The History Press, p. 155, ISBN 978-0-750954471
  2. ^ a b c "Cardiff, Glamorgan". Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Surviving Block of former St David's Hospital, Riverside". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  4. ^ Newman, John (1995), The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan, Penguin Books, p. 279, ISBN 0-14-071056-6
  5. ^ "Happy 60th birthday, NHS". The Independent. London. 29 June 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  6. ^ Giggs, Ryan (2005), "Cardiff born", Giggs: The Autobiography, Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-14-191166-3
  7. ^ Jones, Robert (1 September 2001). "Clocktower converts to luxury". Western Mail. Wales. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  8. ^ a b "New hospital opens doors". BBC News. 2 March 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2014.

Coordinates: 51°28′51″N 3°11′29″W / 51.4808°N 3.1914°W / 51.4808; -3.1914