Welcome to the WHHS. We are a small band of individuals who meet on a monthly basis with the aim of preserving and publishing information and artefacts relating to Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff. It is a unique place, with a very exciting history. If you would like to be involved, or if you have memories/memorabilia then we would be delighted to hear from you.



  1. Tim Goosey says:


    Looking good so far! We really need to put some more stuff on there. Do you want me to email you my Medical Superintendant stuff?

  2. Admin says:


    Yes please that would be great


  3. John Hendry says:

    I have two silver rather posh medals inscribed “Cardiff City Mental Hospital for proficiency in Mental Nursing 1909”. I suspect that they belonged to my grandfather Herbert Dart and my grandmother Elizabeth Young Rutherford Mathieson (before they were married). I can supply pictures if you feel they would be of interest.
    John Hendry

  4. Admin says:

    Hi John
    Thanks for contacting us, pictures of the medals and of your grandparents would be great. I can post them on the site then. Any more information you have would also be of great interest.


  5. Lisa Holland says:


    Great website! I was very excited to find it as I am trying to find out as much as I can about the old Whitchurch Hospital – my mum was a patient here in early 1967.

    When is your next meeting? I would love to come and pick your brains 🙂

    My email is superspacemonkey66@yahoo.com.au if you’d like to get in touch.

    Thanks in advance for your help –

    Lisa Holland

  6. greg says:

    Hi Gwawr only just discovered your may 14th message , too bad about this friday . looked at site . how wonderful to have been a LUNACY COMMISSIONER ! i’d LOVE to be able to commission lunacy! , greg

  7. carl debruyne says:

    hello, I am a member of the ‘memorial 1914-1918’ in Nieuwpoort,Flanders, Belgium. In 2014 we have a theme at the memorial ‘people of Nieuwpoort escaped the front’.
    My grandmother LABYT Jeannette Barbara was a nurse in Whitchurch hospital during WWI, but I do not find any documents to prove that. My father remembers that in the 1930’s former doctors and collegues came to visit her at their home, Recollettenstraat 27 at Nieuwpoort.Is it possible to find records about my grandmother?
    Thank you very much , kind regards, carl debruyne – Nieuwpoort

  8. Lisa says:

    I would just like to thank you for the tour and presentation on Wednesday for us Cardiff University students. It was extremely interesting and enjoyable. Thank you all for you time.
    Regards Lisa

  9. Admin says:

    Hello Carl
    Thank you ever so much for your comment and question regarding your grandmother, it is a very interesting question and we will try our best to get some information for you. Have you got a photograph of your grandmother that you could email to me?



  10. Admin says:

    Hi Lisa

    Thanks for your comment, you are more than welcome, so glad that you enjoyed


  11. Admin says:


    Just to let you know that our members have not been able to find any records regarding your grandmother as yet. The surname LABYT you mentioned was this her married name or her maiden name? Do you know how long she worked at Whitchurch, was it only during the WW1 or did she stay on?
    Also of interest Ian one of our members mentions that during WW1, there were a number of people working at the hospital but for other organisations. For example, the army nursing service known as the Queen Alexandra Imperial Nursing Service (QAINS) and the voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) provided staff. These were not recorded by the hospital. The QAINS have a website – http://www.qaranc.co.uk/ for further information – I have had a look but they do not mention Whitchurch Hospital.

    Thank you


  12. David Friend says:

    I recently visited the new Glamorgan Archives where I established that my grandfather was admitted to Whitchurch Hospital in 1933 and remained there, for 2,973 days, until his death in 1959.

    The register states that the type of admission was ‘voluntary’. I do not know the various categories of admission. Could anyone tell me the significance of this? Thank you.

  13. Admin says:

    Hi David

    Thank you for your inquiry. We are more than happy to answer questions – I have asked members of the Historical Society to help with yours and will let you know when I get some information. Can I just clarify how long he was in the Whitchurch?



  14. Admin says:

    Hi David

    I have had an excellent response to your question, here is the most comprehensive one, have a look at the website as I am planning on doing a post giving more details about the Mental Treatment Act of 1930.

    Your grandfather was admitted under the 1930 Mental Treatment Act which was the first piece of legislation in this country to introduce the idea of voluntary status for patients with a mental disorder. Before this a person would have to have been admitted on a compulsory basis. Voluntary status meant that a person had the same status as someone entering a general hospital for something like removal of appendix. That was the theory. However, once in hospital, a person had to give three days’ notice of intention to discharge him or herself and this could be blocked by the doctor, hence the possibility of a stay of nearly 3,000 days.

    Thanks to Ian Beech for this response.

  15. Steve Harris says:

    I once lived on the pig farm in the grounds of the hospital. I was very young at the time, perhaps about 4/5 yrs old but I have quite a few vivid memories about staff (my “aunties and uncles” ), the extensive grounds, the farm and the hospital. My father worked in the hospital as a male nurse and he thinks there may be a photo or plaque of him hanging somewhere! We lived in the bottom flat of the farmhouse and the farmer and his wife lived upstairs ,Bryn and Sylvia Price.
    I would love the opportunity to share some memories with anybody who would care to listen.
    Many thanks,
    Steve Harris

  16. Admin says:

    Hi Steve

    Thank you for your comment. We would love to hear and share in your memories of the farm and the hospital. How would you feel about coming along and talking to one of our members who has been recording people’s memories?
    Let me know what you think


  17. Jon Morgan says:

    Hello, I am looking for information about my Grandfather. His name was Fredrick Charles Morgan, he was born in Swansea in1904 and died in Whitchurch Hospital in May/June 1963.I was born in April 1963 so obviously did not get to know him.
    I would be greatful for any information, thank you.
    Jon morgan.

  18. Admin says:

    Hi Jon
    Thank you for your comment.
    Unfortunately we can’t give further information because it is held at the Glamorgan Record Office and we do not have their permission to provide information about individuals within 99 years of their stay in hospital. It would be well worth getting in touch with the record office and asking for further information, their website is:

    Hope that is of help

  19. Laura Humphreys says:

    Hi there,

    This is a great website! I’m a postgraduate student at the Ironbridge Institute (www.ironbridge.bham.ac.uk) and I’m currently doing some research into the preservation of historic asylums, and I’m using Whitchurch as a bit of a case study. Could I send you an e-mail about my research to find out a bit more?

    Many thanks,


  20. Admin says:

    Hi Laura

    Thank you for your comment. Of course you can send an email about your research, we would be very interested in hearing about it.


  21. Paula says:

    Hello, I am researching my family tree. My great uncle Frederick John Wall was admitted to the Whitchurch Hospital after WWI. We have found letters that he and his sister wrote regarding his army pension and it refers to Frederick living at the hospital. He died in 1936 in E. Glamorgan and we assume that is the Whitchurch area but we are not sure if it was in the hospital or not. Are there any records of patients available. He was an officer and from what I can gather there weren’t too many officers admitted please? Do you know where I can find out any more information on Frederick and his time at Whitchurch? Thank you for reading. Kind Regards, Paula (Australia)

  22. Admin says:

    Hi Paula

    Thank you ever so much for your comment. I have contacted the members of the historical society to see if they can provide further information for you regarding your great uncle.
    I will email you directly with any information that I have.


  23. David Blake says:

    i am researching my great granfather Private Richard Homo Blake welsh regiment 240659 he died on the 16/11/1918 and i believe it was at whitchurch is there any way i can gain any further info on his passing

  24. Admin says:

    Hello David

    Thank you ever so much for your comment. I have contacted the members of the historical society to see if they can provide further information for you regarding your great grandfather.
    I will email you directly with any information that I have.
    It is also well worth getting in touch with the Glamorgan Record Office, the their website is: http://www.glamro.gov.uk/


  25. Martin Morris says:

    I have two group photographs of W8/72 Emergency Medical Services at Whitchurch Hospital during the Second World War. If you are interested I would be happy to send copies via e-mail

  26. Admin says:

    Hi Martin

    Thank you for your comment and offer to send your photos by email. I would be very intereested in seeing your photos and would be greatful if you could send copies via email. I have sent you an email so that you have my address.
    What is your connection to Whitchurch Hospital?



  27. Bethan Mair says:

    Dear Admin at Whitchurch Hospital Group.
    Barn is a Welsh-language current affairs monthly magazine. One of our regular features writers, Andrew Misell, has written a review of Tights and Toupees show in Newport, in which he also “looked at the show in the context of how the way we support people with learning disabilities has changed since I first worked in a long-stay hospital in the 1980s.” As well as a poster of the show, and an image of the Riverside Theatre in Newport, we would love to be able to reproduce one of the image of Ely Hospital seen on your website,

    Could you be so kind as to contact me to discuss this?

    Diolch yn fawr

    Bethan Mair

  28. Admin says:

    Helo Bethan

    Gest ti fy ebost o 11/5/12?



  29. Perry Dobbins says:


    Are you still meeting as a group?



  30. Admin says:


    We do indeed!



  31. Hello, great website – so much content! I’m a filmmaker and I’m looking for an abandoned asylum location to film a book trailer for an author. Do you think Whitchurch would be good for this?

    Kind Regards,

    Ryan, fireclawfilms.com

  32. Admin says:

    Hello Ryan

    Whitchurch Hospital is still very much a working hospital but the building and grounds have been used in the past for filming.
    If you are still interested please contact me on my work email:




  33. Andrew Hull says:

    Hi there,
    I have begun working on the biochemical lab/neuropsychiatric centre c. 1920-70. I wonder if anyone knows anything published on this or whether anyone who worked there (eg with Quastel or Richter etc) is stilll with us and might be approached to talk to?

    All the very best, yours, Andrew Hull Swansea Uni

  34. Admin says:

    Hi Andrew

    Thank you for your comment and many apologies for a slow reply. I will ask our members and let you know if we can provide you with further information



  35. Roger Julien says:

    Hi, I have traced my great Aunt to Whitchurch hospital & believe she had been there from aged 21 c 1894 & died in there around 1954 aged 84 an incredible 60 years! I live in Spain & have been researching our ‘Julier’ family. My g Aunt was Laura Julier b 1873. Can you tell me why she was admitted & why she never came out as it’s not possible at present to make a visit! Also, did she have any visitors during those years? Thanks, Roger Julien

  36. Admin says:

    Hi Roger

    Thank you so much for your comment. Whitchurch Hospital did not open until 1908, could you confirm your great aunt’s admission date?
    Did she live in Cardiff? If you could give any further information that would be helpful. I have also passed your comment to our members to see if they can provide any further information.


  37. Matthew Lock says:

    Hi Gwawr, I think we have met previously though I fail to remember where. Is this the Whitchurch hospital league of friends and do you have regular meetings that I might be able to attend one?


  38. Admin says:

    Hi Matthew
    I do remember meeting you too, it was in a blog awards event at Chapter.
    This is not the Whitchurch hospital league of friends but the hospital’s historical society. Unfortunately I do not have a contact number or email for them.
    Sorry for the delay in responding

  39. Jacqui Ross says:

    Hi there,

    I recently discovered that my grandmother, Patricia Mary Lamb, was a patient at Whitchurch Hospital from 1977-1979. Unfortunately I never got the chance to meet her before her death some years ago. I am seeking any nurses or other staff who may have known her. I would be very pleased with even the smallest snippet of information! Thanks for your time. Jacqui

  40. Admin says:

    Hi Jacqui,

    Thank you so much for your comments, unfortunately we are unable to share information about your grandmother because of confidentiality issues.
    I am sorry that we are unable to help on this occasion


  41. Jacqui Ross says:

    Many thanks for your reply Gwawr,

    That is a shame. Unfortunately we never got to meet her and it feels like quite a loss. I did get some information from the records office but very little has been kept.
    I wasn’t wanting any personal information about her medical condition but just small details that might help me to know her better – what did she look like? What activities did she enjoy? (etc) No detail would be considered too small!

    All the best,

  42. Brian Clifford says:


    I have been doing family research and am investigating the possibility that my grandmother was a nurse at Welsh during WWI. Are any staff records from that period extant? Her name was Enid Armstrong Fisher. She would have come from Ireland. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  43. Admin says:

    Hello Brian

    Thank you so much for your question. I will ask members of the historical society about your grandmother working as a nurse in Whitchurch during WW1 and let you know about any information we find.

    Thanks again


  44. hello, Here in the Archie Cochrane Library at Llandough we have had an enquiry about the General Rules of Whitchurch, from a clinical psychologist ex-Whitchurch now based in New Zealand. Gaynor found your website which was very useful. Another colleague has suggested that Glamorgan Archives has a lot of material from the hospital which you might find relevant. Best wishes, Rosemary.

  45. Admin says:

    Hello Rosemary & Gaynor

    Thank you for your comments, please let the staff member in new Zealand know about the website – we love to hear from people connected to Whitchurch.
    Glamorgan Archives have indeed a lot of material which some of us have been to see, very interesting indeed.



  46. Hollie Aldridge says:


    I am contacting you on behalf of Literature Wales as I am currently working on an anthology of creative writing about Whitchurch Hospital. The anthology entitled, Behind Many Doors, will be launched later this autumn and is a not-for-profit endeavour. As part of the publication I am hoping to include some images of the hospital. We have a number from recent years but it would be nice to include some older ones too. Does anyone in this group have any historical images of the hospital which we could use within the anthology or know where I could source some? Ideally they would need to be high resolution digital images or in original print format which we could then scan. Our timetable is very tight I’m afraid to say and I need to sort this within the next couple of weeks. I would appreciate any assistance you’re able to offer in this matter. You can contact me via email or on 029 2047 2266. Thank you, Hollie Aldridge

  47. Admin says:

    Hello Hollie

    Thank you for getting in touch, the publication sounds very interesting indeed, looking forward to seeing it.
    We do have a number of old photos of Whitchurch hospital, I have been in touch with one of the members to see if we can arrange for you to visit the hospital to see them.
    I will be in touch again soon with further details


  48. Martin Liss says:

    Can anyone in your group help me re the hospital’s farm. I often walk round the area and wondered where the farm (farms?) was actually located. I have a copy of OS 1915 6″ map which has excellent detail and I can see Ty Clyd farm next to the hospital (was this connected?) but no other indication of agriculture

    Also, is there ever any guided access to historical parts of the hospital that aren’t in medical use?


  49. Admin says:

    Hello Martin

    Thank you so much for your comments. Sorry for the delay in responding.
    Your questions about the hospital’s farm has prompted me to think about a post giving some details on the farms – there were two farms – Ty Clyd and Llwyn Mallt. Keep an eye out on the website for the farm post in the next few months.
    With regard to guided access to historical parts of the hospital that are not in medical use – I do not think we have been asked this before – nothing in place at the moment but it would really depend on interest. Do you think many people would be interested?


  50. Beatrice says:

    A family history question- I have the marriage certificate of my Great-Uncle and Aunt in 1927. Under Residence at the time of Marriage my Great-Aunt has Whitchurch Mental Hospital. The Rank or Profession box has a line through it. Did staff live on site? If she was a patient then she would have been admitted under the 1890 Lunacy Act so could someone still resident at the hospital get married? The marriage was at Cardiff Register Office. She was aged 30 and didn’t live at the hospital because of any relative’s occupation. I am intrigued and any help would be gratefully received.


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