Construction of this building started in 1889 and was officially opened on the 27th October 1890. The initial build cost £2000 and provided a total of 5 beds.
In 1987 an extension was added to provide a further 10 beds, this wing was named the Newstead Ward. By 1928 the number of beds available had grown to 108.
In 1950 another extension was built to help deal with demand, this increased the bed number by a further 60. Over a number of years Kings Mill took over the majority of the services and eventually in 1992 the hospital closed.
In recent years it has been claimed by the owners that the site would become luxury apartments, but nothing has come of this. Due to the site being in disrepair they are have been warned of legal action by the local council.
I made two visits to GT Manor a beautiful old house set in the English countryside. Although most of the house has been abandoned for some time a small part of the house had been sealed off and was being used as a home. Making an interesting explore as you can hear them moving around and listening to their television through the wall. On my first visit the owner was washing his car outside, so I had to sneak in around the back.
In 1780 and 1793 GT estate was bought by George Stratton, who had made a fortune in the East India Company. He died in March 1800 and was succeeded by his son George Frederick Stratton. The manor house had evidently fallen into disrepair, as the Strattons lived in a smaller Georgian dower house slightly to the south of it and had the manor house demolished in about 1803. In 1808 George Frederick Stratton engaged the Scots botanist and garden designer John Loudon, who laid out north and south drives in G T Park and planted ornamental trees in and around the village, which today enhance its picturesque appearance.
In 1815-1816 Matthew Robinson Boulton, the son of the manufacturer Matthew Boulton of Soho, Birmingham, bought GT Estate. In 1825 Boulton added a Gothic Revival library to the east end of the house, and in the middle of the 19th century the Boulton family added a large Tudor style section to the west end.GT Manor remained with the Boulton family until M.E. Boulton died without heirs in 1914.
Designed by architect Thomas Fulljames, the Denbighshire County Lunatic Asylum was opened in 1848 as the 1st Welsh asylum built as a refuge from the maltreatment in English asylums of Welsh speaking patients.
Amongst locals for many years the old Gothic institution has been referred to simply as ‘Denbigh Mental’. A small stripped chapel lies to the back of the site behind the maintenance shops and boiler house which was added to the site in 1862.
Various interesting and experimental treatments were tested and developed at Denbigh over the course of its history. In 1871 Turkish baths were installed to treat melancholia amongst other ilnesses and in 1916 all epileptic patients in the asylum were placed on a vegetarian diet since epilepsy during the early 1900’s was still at the centre of much speculative research.
Electro-convulsive shock therapy was also introduced at the hospital in 1941 as a means of managing the symptoms of madness, other ‘cures’ for delirium also included Sleep therapy and the widespread practice of the pre-frontal leucotomy. The asylum reached a maximum holding capacity in 1956 housing just over 1,500 patients.
This number however slowly decreased over the years as various parts of the hospital faced closure including the farms, workshops and various wards in order to cut costs until 1995 when the asylum shut down indefinitely.
The now derelict buildings featured most recently in a television series called ‘Most Haunted’. The administration block, although severely dilapidated is grade II listed but sadly in November of 2008 the main theatre was completely destroyed by an arson attack.
This incident occurred 2 weeks after a listing proposal was brought forward to the local council regarding the main halls status. Denbigh’s future looks bleak and as with most asylums, the land it lies on represents a redevelopment premium in location and so her beautiful old battered corridors may not survive for much longer.