History of the North Wales Hospital

1842 (September) Dr Samuel Hitch, Medical Superintendent of Gloucester Lunatic Asylum wrote a letter to the Times about the poor treatment of Welsh Pauper Lunatics in English Asylums.

1842 (October) The first meeting of interested local people was held in the Denbigh Infirmary.

1844 (September) Building started.

1847 (June) First staff appointed.

1848 (October) Hospital completed and opened

1850 Ablett Fund set up to assist discharged patients to re-establish themselves in the community.

1851 First cows bought.

1852 December First Annual Ball for patients held.

1853 Gas works installed to replace candle and oil lighting.

1862 Chapel built for 200 people.

1865 Extension to main building for 150 patients.

1867 First hospital band formed.

1868 Bakery and Brewery built.

1870 First hospital choir formed

1871 Turkish baths installed.

1881 Extention to main building for 160 patients plus dining hall for 400 patients and Chapel extended to hold 440 patients.

1890 New Lunacy Act

1897 Work commenced on major extension.

1900 New water supply from Llyn Llymbran (Brân) in use.

1902 Laundry, Boiler House and Engine room and Isolation Hospital completed.

1903 Female epileptic and chronic wards (Female 7 and 8) for 243 patients completed.

1904 Male attendants accommodation, Kitchens and Dining/Recreation Hall completed.

1905 Female attendants accommodation and administrative block completed.

1908 Extension for 78 male patients (Male 8&9) and 74 female patients (Female 6&9) completed.

1913 Old workroom converted into a ward (Female 5).

1915 First formal training in mental illness for nursing staff.

1923 X Ray Equipment installed.

1926 Gwynfryn house bought to accommodate 25 - 30 'useful female patients'.

1927 Trefeirian used to accommodate 20 male convalescent patients.

1930 Mental Treatment Act allowed voluntary admissions for first time.

1933 Bryn Golau and Convalescent Villa (Tal y Fan) built.

1934 Extension to Gwynfryn for Reception wards completed and Nurse Home for Female staff opened.

1935 First Out patient clinics in Bangor, Wrexham and Dolgellau.

1937 Pool Park near Ruthin bought and opened for 80 patients.

1937 First qualified Occupational Therapist appointed.

1920's/30's Many physical treatments developed including Malarial treatment, Insulin Shock treatment, Sulphur based drugs, Cardiazol.

1941 Electro-Convulsive Treatment (ECT) first used.

1942 Pre-frontal leucotomy operations carried out in hospital theatre.

1942 First qualified Dispenser appointed.

1944 First Psychologist appointed

1945 First Psychiatric Social Worker appointed.

1946 Holistic approach to treatment introduced including physical, medical, psychological and rehabilitation treatments.

1948 With the introduction of the National Health Service Act the hospital was transferred to the National Health Service. The management committee was given responsibility for Coed Du, Broughton, Llwyn View, Fronfraith, Garth Angharad and Oakwood Park.

1953 Largactil and Stelazine introduced as effective treatments for Schizophrenia.

1956 Brynhyfryd Villa opened.

1958 Hospital Farm sold.

1958 Sports and recreation Officer appointed.

1959 Mental Health Act gave improved rights to patients.

1959 Many Hospital and ward doors were permanently unlocked.

1960 Enoch Powell visited the hospital and announced its eventual demise with the Hospital plan for England and Wales which proposed Psychiatric units attached to General Hospitals and more community care.

1967 New Kitchen and Staff Cafeteria opened.

1968 First Community Psychiatric Nurse appointed.

1969 New Nurse Training School opened.

1987 10 year strategy for closure devised.

1991 Pool Park hospital closed.

1995 Main Hospital closed.

2002 Gwynfryn closed.