Planning and Design of the building

The brief for the architect Thomas Full James, appointed to design the building was complicated and required a great deal of thought and ingenuity. He had to, first of all separate, males and females and within each gender he had to separate First class patients with superior accommodation from Second class with less comfortable accommodation and from Pauper or Parish patients with basic accommodation. Also in each gender he had to keep epileptic patients and violent patients separate from the rest. He also had to provide separate airing courts for them all. He needed to find rooms for Officers and Attendants who were all expected to live in and a Chapel and other important services such as Kitchen, Laundry and Stores.

Not only that, but the committee could not decide how many patients they would need to cater for so he had to make it possible to extend to accommodate from 60 to 200 patients.

The following are his actual notes describing how the above could be achieved which were presented to the Committee of Visitors in Denbigh Town Hall (now the town Library) in 1844



Notes from report by Thomas Full James 22 June 1843

Plan for 60 male/female patients in equal numbers and perfectly separated

Building planned so that it could be increased by raising height of part of the building

Building forms a complete square enclosing and surrounded by airing grounds

Essential offices under the front of the building

Half of the building to the south for females

Front of square – Basement – Entrance, Servant’s hall, Kitchen, Scullery, Larder, Dairy, Pantries, Stores, cellars

Ground – Public Entrance, and vestibule, Right - Office and dispensary, Superintendent’s sitting room and store room, Attendants room, and corridor leading to angular house containing 1st class male sitting and sleeping room.

Left- Committee room, Matron’s sitting room and storeroom and similar arrangements for patients and attendants.

Beyond the vestibule are corridors leading right and left to male and female patients and attendants on opposite side of which is the general staircase from basement to upper floors communicating with more remote parts of the building.

First floor- Chapel, to right and left of which are large rooms for either Matron and Medical Superintendent or for first class patients.

2ND floor – Upper part of Chapel rooms, rooms for domestics and chambers for 1st class patients. Either side of square accommodation for 2nd and 3rd class patients.

Ground Floor – Day room, sleeping rooms, associated sleeping rooms, corridor, attendants room, laboratory, WC, Bath and clothes room for 2nd class patients.

First floor – Similar accommodation for pauper patients.

Back – 2 houses for noisy and refractory patients containing on the two first floors padded rooms and rooms for the security of the most violent and on the upper floor is an associated sleeping room for pauper patients.

Between the houses are buildings for epileptic patients consisting of Day room, sleeping rooms, WC and Bath and attendants room supervising this class and the more violent.

A central passage dividing the sexes from the front of the building to these classes and leading on to the laundry, drying room, wash house and usual arrangement of out buildings.

Portion of land within the walls for the use of all patients at all times consists of an airing ground for 1st, 2nd, 3rd classes and one for epileptics of each sex and two for drying grounds.

Rest of land for exercise and occupation.

Lateral wings parallel to the front from either angle of the building could be erected without detriment to existing arrangements in the future to make the building capable of containing 200 patients.

Abstract of estimates of first design for 60 and 120 Patients only and showing cost of amended design for 120, 160 and 200 Patients with further power of enlargement North Wales Asylum.

                                                                First Design                                   Amended Design






Estimate expense of the

 whole of the building






The expense of fixtures fittings

Furniture, Architects expenses

And contingencies






                          Total             £






Add if warming and ventilating

is used






1844   Thomas Full James  Architect


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