A Timeline of The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh

1842    –    Dr Samuel Hitch writes to The Times about the plight of the Welsh Paupers
First meeting of the Denbigh Philanthropists
1843    –    £4,600 raised from public subscriptions for the construction if a purely Welsh Asylum
1844    –    Building of the Asylum Commences
1848    –    Hospital opens for its first patients
George Turner Jones appointed as Superintendent
1849    –    70 Patients
1852    –    First Annual Ball Held
1857    –    A Steam Engine was installed to pump water to the asylum
1860    –    First night attendants employed, only one per side
1862    –    Chapel Constructed towards the rear of the hospital, the original below the Clock Tower
1864    –    Increased entertainment throughout the hospital, weekly balls held.
1865    –    Further wards were constructed to house an extra 150 patients
1870    –    Brass Band formed
1871    –    Turkish Baths introduced to treat Insanity with Melancholia, Scrofula and Rhuematism
1874    –    Dr G. T. Jones Retires, Dr William Williams replaces him
1878    –    100 patients taken to town for entertainment
1881    –    Over Crowding.  Extension for a male ward, dining hall and chapel expansion started
1882    –    Dr llewelyn Cox replaces Dr Williams, over crowding still a problem
First training offered to Attendents, 42 staff passed the St Johns Ambulance exam
1895    –    After years of debate, the Secretary of State ordered another extension to the hospital,
the extension consisted of a complete new steam heating and water system, wards,
Staff accommodation, dining hall, kitchen, central bathroom, boiler & engine houses
and an isolation hospital.  The whole project cost £80,000
1897    –    Building of the extension commenced, temporary buildings erected to ease crowding
1902    –    Dr Frank Jones employed as Assistant Medical officer with Dr Herbert
1905    –    Extension works completed
1908    –    Two further ward blocks constructed, male and female
1910    –    Dr Cox replaced by Dr W. S. Hughes
1913    –    Dr Frank Jones replaced Dr Hughes.  Female work room converted to female ward
1915    –    First nurses passed their Preliminary Medico-Psychological exams
1916    –    Epileptics treated with a vegetarian diet
1919    –    Experimental Cerebral Galvanism carried out on Epileptics
1923    –    X-Ray installed
1924    –    First patients sent to Upton Hospital for malarial treatment for General Paralysis if the Insane
Dentist first visits hospital, Mr Charles.  These were weekly visits
Entertainment increased, a car was purchased to take patients on day trips
1926    –    Gwynfryn house brought to house 30 useful female patients
Pathologist, Dr Ceinwen Evans, employed to eradicate infectious dieseases
1927    –    Trefeirain house was used to accommodate 20 convalescent male patients
Lunacy Commission reported on the ‘Homely Nature’ of the hospital
1930    –    Malarial Treatment available at Denbigh
1934    –    Occupational Therapy introduced after Dr Roberts visited a demonstration in Holland
1937    –    First Occupational Nurse trained
1939    –    Patients won the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh, Occupational Therapy thriving
1940    –    Dr Frank Retires after 39 years of service, Dr Roberts appointed.
Wards reclassified to house similar patients together
1941    –    Electro-convulsive therapy introduced, along with other treatments such as Sleep Therapy
1942    –    First nurses passed their General Nursing Council finals
Mrs Chisholm employed as dispenser
1944    –    Psychologist employed, Dr Martha Vidor
1945    –    Psychiatric Social Worker employed, Miss Dorothy Thomas. Department grew quickly.
1946    –    Holistic approach adopted to treatment.
1948    –    Denbigh renamed to North Wales Mental Hospital
1953    –    First psychiatric drugs used, Largactil and Stelazine
1955    –    Patient population exceeds 1500.  Doors around the hospital unlocked to allow extra
Freedom.  Only chronic wards remained closed.  TV introduced to wards
1958    –    Hospital farm sold
Sports recreation officer employed
1960    –    Sports pavilion erected and annual events were organised, notably exchange holidays
The Right Honourable Enoch Powell visited Denbigh and announced his hospital plan
1963    –    Dr Roberts retired, being replaced by Dr T. Gwynne1968 Williams
Patient numbers began to decline, allowing for a major upgrade programme to begin
1967    –    New kitchen and Cafeteria for staff built
1968    –    First Community Psychiatric Nurse employed
1969    –    Nurse training school opened.  Employment of patients began to be wound down
1980    –    Activities for both staff and patients ceased
1987    –    Ten year strategy started
1995    –    Final closure of hospital
2004    –    Prince of Wales visits, hospital put into the Phoenix Trust
2008    –    Future Unknown, Main Hall burns to the ground, two weeks after a listing protest is made
2009    –    Demolition Commences

Modified: 23rd May 2022