Archive for November, 2010


November 25th, 2010

THE provincial meeting of the Association was held on Thursday, February 23rd, at the Cardiff City Mental Hospital, by the courtesy of Dr. Edwin Goodall and the Committee of Visitors, under the presidency of Dr. JOHN MACPEERSON. There was a good attendance of members and visitors.

The PRESIDENT, replying on behalf of the association, expressed gratitude for tle city’s kind hospitality, and remarked that the function of the members being the care and treatment of the insane, it was necessary continually to educate themselves, and it was in pursuance of that aim that the opportunity of the, visit to the Cardiff Mental Hospital was welcomed.
The PRESIDENT proposed the toast of ” The Lord Mayor and the Corporation,” and expressed a high opinion of the new mental hospital, which was well worthy of emulation. In replying, the LORD MAYOR said that in constructing the hospital the aim had been to have an institution which should be worthy of the city and of the cause, one in which patients could be properly housed and cared for, and yield a fair proportion of cures. That fair degree of success he could claim had been achieved. A further aim had been to make the hospital, by means of an efficient staff and adequate laboratory accommodation, a centre of investigation, and already distinct scientific advances had been made. He hoped one result of the visit of the association would be to encourage the workers at the hospital, and to show the ratepayers of Cardiff the wisdom of the course which had been pursued.

Full text can be found at:

Thanks to Tim Goosey for finding this information.

The opening Ceremony – 15th of April 1908

November 11th, 2010

Below is a photograph of  the main people involved in the opening ceremony, Dr Goodall, Alderman Jacobs and Mr Brace MP


Why Whitchurch Hospital was built?

November 11th, 2010

Land within the City of Cardiff was at a premium. The majority of the land was owned by three estates: Bute, Tredegar and Windsor and much of this had been used for housing stock. When it came to building an asylum the Visiting Committee tried to find land outside of the city boundary. Land from the Velindre Estate was offered by Mrs Caroline Booker and 120 acres were purchased by the Corporation at two hundred pounds per acre. Thus Cardiff had a site for its asylum outside of the city at a not inconsiderable cost yet cheaper than land within the city boundary would have allowed.  The land was originally farm land and some of the farm buildings were incorporated into the hospital grounds and became the hospital farm. county boroughs of Wales were slowest of all to respond to the need of asylum provision. Newport (1906), Cardiff (1908) and Swansea (1932) were the last places in Wales to build asylums: each preferring to save on capital expenditure and board lunatics in the local county asylum. Cardiff, in particular, had experienced massive urban growth in the nineteenth century. In spite of the city having entered into an arrangement with Glamorgan County Lunatic Asylum in Bridgend to house the city’s pauper lunatics in return for a certain level of payment per head, by the end of the nineteenth century the situation was becoming untenable. Cardiff was pushed into opening its own asylum by concerted pressure from the Lunacy Commission who expressed great dissatisfaction at the overcrowding in Bridgend. Indeed, by the time Cardiff opened, the arrangement with Bridgend had become so stretched that other supplementary arrangements had been brokered and patients returned to the city from Brighton, Chichester, Bridgend, Plymouth, Carmarthen and Talgarth.

Thanks to Ian Beech for this post

Visit to Whitchurch Hospital

November 5th, 2010

Yesterday afternoon (3rd of November) we had a group visit by Tracey Loughran, lecturer in History at Cardiff University and runs an undergraduate module called ‘Managing the Mind: Psychiatry and Psychology in British Culture, 1800-2000’. We started with a tour of the outside of the Hospital followed by some areas inside – the lovely main hall and one of the closed wards. We then had a talk that Tim had prepared, see photo, which was an overview of the history of the Hospital since 1908 and an opportunity for questions.

It was a great afternoon and such a pleasure to welcome the group to Whitchurch Hospital. Thanks to all who helped.