WHITCHURCH HOSPITAL (CARDIFF COUNTY ASYLUM)

ardiff was initially very reluctant to spend money from the rates on building its own lunatic asylum. The County Asylum in Bridgend. By the turn of the twentieth century Cardiff had continued with this leasing out arrangement but it had become problematic both for Glamorgan County and for Cardiff. During the nineteenth century Cardiff had expanded from a population of 1,870 in 1801 to 164,000 in 1901. The accompanying increase in the number of pauper lunatics was equally large. Thus, Bridgend asylum was overflowing to the extent that a second asylum had to be built. The source of the overcrowding was the high numbers of Cardiff paupers taking up beds. Indeed so great was the strain on the Bridgend asylum that Cardiff also sent people to Devon, Somerset and even Sussex. Cardiff council came under pressure from both Glamorgan County and the Lunacy Commissioners. This, combined with the increasing costs of sending people across the country led to a reluctant decision to build.

The hospital opened in 1908 to great fanfare in the Western Mail and with a charabanc procession of 200 dignitaries being driven from the centre of the city to the hospital for the occasion. In a very short period of time the hospital was being portrayed as a seat of great learning and was being lauded in guidebooks to the City as one of the signs that Cardiff had come of age as a metropolitan centre.

The hospital closed 1n 2016 and remains abandoned.


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