Exhibition Week Events

February 26th, 2016 by Admin 4 comments »

Programme of Events during the Exhibition week

Monday 7th March – Whitchurch Hospital 1908 – 2016:
A General History
(A talk by Dr. Ian Beech, Academic Manager for Mental Health, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd).

At: 12:30 to 13.30pm. (Limited spaces. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Tuesday 8th March – Whitchurch Hospital 1915 – 1919:
The Hospital During WWI
(a talk by Dr. Ian Beech, Academic Manager for Mental Health , Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd).

At:  12:30 to 13:30 pm. (Limited spaces. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Both talks above will take place in the Lecture Theatre, opposite Ward East 2, Whitchurch Hospital

Monday 7th and Friday 11th March,
WWI Tablecloth Display
An opportunity to view another important artefact of the hospital’s long history.

The embroidered tablecloth, bought in Jacob’s Market, Cardiff, in 1981, and dated ‘1917’, was made by WWI military casualties recuperating at the hospital. It includes the names of numerous staff and soldiers there at the time. It is now preserved at St. Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life, who has kindly agreed to display the tablecloth).
(10:00 am to 1:00pm)

The End of an Era Exhibition

February 22nd, 2016 by Admin No comments »


Request for Photos, Documents and Artefacts

January 13th, 2016 by Admin No comments »
Appeal for Photos and Artefacts

Appeal for Photos and Artefacts

Rare artefacts unearthed by Swansea and Bridgend hospitals

October 3rd, 2015 by Admin 2 comments »

An interesting article from the BBC:


Rare finds – including works of art and a trolley used to transfer wounded soldiers in World War One – have been unearthed in Swansea and Bridgend hospitals.

The artefacts came to light after Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board embarked on a project to catalogue items held in storage.

Some have been stored away for more than a century.

Photo: Test tubes full of seeds from Glanrhyd Hospital

Test tubes full of seeds from Glanrhyd Hospital

Once a digital catalogue is completed, the board wants to put them on display.

It hopes to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the exhibition, which will tell the story of health care in Wales.

As project lead Martin Thomas explained, the idea came about through a chance conversation.

“My day job, so to speak, is manual handling advisor for the board and I was approached about what to do with an old wicker trolley which was getting in the way,” he said.

“When I started to investigate it, I realised that it had been used to transport wounded WW1 soldiers from Clydach train station up to the war memorial hospital.

“It soon became clear that we have hundreds of items like this.”

I wonder what will be unearthed during the search of Whitchurch Hospital?

Ely Hospital Memory Event

September 26th, 2015 by Admin No comments »

This event is hosted by Hidden Now Heard / Clywed y Cyn-Cuddiedig on the 23rd of October at 11:00 until 14:00 at the Cardiff Story Museum (The Old Library, The Hayes)

Have a look at their facebook page:


The Hidden Now Heard project invites former staff and residents from Ely or Hensol Castle Hospitals to Cardiff Story Museum to bring objects, pictures and stories from their time at Ely Hospital.

As well as hearing from you the team will explain the Hidden Now Heard project and explain the oral history interview process as we would like to conduct oral histories with former residents or their relatives and former staff from the hospital.

The oral histories, objects and images may appear at an exhibition about Ely and Hensol Hospitals on the Hayes in March 2016.

We will have some images from Ely on display along with researches who have been looking for documents and material from Glamorgan Archives and the National Archives in London.

Thanks to Paul Hunt for this post

Staff Party – 11th March 2016

July 8th, 2015 by Admin 2 comments »

Whitchurch party poster

Whitchurch Hospital Historical Society is on Twitter

June 19th, 2015 by Admin No comments »

As of earlier this week we now have a Twitter account:


Please follow and tweet

Thank you



Events to Mark the Closure of Whitchurch Hospital

June 11th, 2015 by Admin 2 comments »

Apologies for the lack of posts on the website for the last number of months.


As some of you may be aware, Whitchurch Hospital is due to close at the end of April 2016

There are a number of events planned to mark the closure of the Hospital:

 7th – 11th of March 2016 planned as a week of events similar to the week we had to mark the Centenary of the Hospital in 2008

As part of this week we would hope to have an exhibition in the main hall and a party for staff members both past and present.

On Friday the 11th of March a staff ticketed event is being planned, more information to follow.

Please keep an eye out for further details which will be posted as they are made available

If you have any ideas, suggestions or artifacts/photos for the exhibition please get in touch through this website

Thank you

Photopgraphs from WW1

November 8th, 2014 by Admin No comments »
Verandah at Whitchurch Hospital during WW1

Verandah at Whitchurch Hospital during WW1

Richard Berry during the 1920ies

Richard Berry during the 1920s

Whitchurch Hospital Chapel during WW1

Whitchurch Hospital Chapel during WW1

Back in August a comment was left on the website by Jon Langley:

I could not find a contact e-mail on your website but would you like a scanned picture of the Hospital taken I think around 1916? The shot is of the Verandah and is entitled M.I., Military Hospital, Whitchurch, Glam. I also have a shot of the Church.

Jon’s mother recently passed away and in her photo collection were a number of postcards that his grandfather, Richard Berry, had left to her.

Richard Herbert Berry was a solider in WW1 and was invalided out of the service at the end of 1915. Jon believes he may have spent some time recuperating at Whitchurch as there are 2 postcards of the hospital and 4 of the city. Richard was a Mancunian and a member of the 7th Bn Manchester Regiment:


It would seem logical that’s how he came to have the postcards, but they are not annotated.

Jon does not believe his grandfather is in any of the pictures.
According to his military records, he returned from Egypt on the 5th February 1916 and was discharged from the service on the 26th May 1916. If he spent time at
Whitchurch, it was possibly during that 3 month period.

Jon’s grandfather’s full name is Richard Herbert Berry, born 17th February 1879. See photo above of him taken around 1920.


If anyone has any information about Richard, we would be grateful to add it to his family history profile.

I wonder if the soldiers at Whitchurch and maybe other hospitals were given postcards as a memento of their time or possibly the Hospital sold them?

Does anyone have any further information?

Thank you so much to Jon for this post and photos and a special thank you to Richard Herbert Berry for keeping the photos




Book Launch

November 1st, 2014 by Admin No comments »

Behind Many Doors cover 300Behind Many Doors: Writing from Whitchurch Psychiatric Hospital
A vivid and revealing portrait of an Edwardian psychiatric hospital, created by those who know it most intimately
Tuesday 4 November, 7.00 pm on the Glanfa Stage, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Join Literature Wales on Tuesday 4 November for the launch of Behind Many Doors, an anthology of writing produced as part of The Whitchurch Project – a creative writing project marking the forthcoming closure of Whitchurch Psychiatric Hospital in north Cardiff. Sometimes shocking, often moving, always illuminating, this collection of writing will compel all those who turn its pages to think anew about the mental healthcare of the past and the future and to look again at a building that has impacted upon the lives of so many.
The Whitchurch Project was administered by Literature Wales, and led by writer and historian, Phil Carradice and writer and workshop facilitator, Briony Goffin. With Whitchurch Hospital’s closure on the horizon, the project was designed to give all those who have had a relationship with the hospital the opportunity to explore and express their experiences through creative writing.
Behind Many Doors is just a selection of the work that grew out of workshops, one-to-one writing sessions, interviews, as well as individual submissions. It is a vivid and revealing portrait of an Edwardian psychiatric hospital in Cardiff, created by those who know it most intimately. This unique anthology seeks to capture, preserve and shine a light on what Whitchurch Hospital has meant and still means to service users, staff members, visitors, carers and members of the local community across its long and complex history.
In her foreword to the anthology Briony Goffin said: “Sometimes psychiatric hospitals feel like secret worlds, enshrouded in mystery and rumour, regarded with trepidation; particularly those old redbrick institutions – the iconic gothic structure, beheld from afar, set alone amidst sweeping grounds and broad mature trees. The Whitchurch Creative Writing Project sought to shine light on that world… Together, these writers have produced a meaningful and moving legacy that not only offers intimate, historical insight into a particular world but could even assist in the way we think about the nature of hospitals, psychiatry, and the provision of holistic mental healthcare in the future.”

The anthology will be launched at a special event on Tuesday 4 November at 7.00 pm on the Glanfa Stage, Wales Millennium Centre, in the company of Phil Carradice and Briony Goffin and with readings from some of the contributors.
For further information, contact Literature Wales on: 029 2047 2266 / post@literaturewales.org.

Free event, all welcome.

Copies of Behind Many Doors will be available to buy at the launch event and afterwards from Literature Wales. All proceeds raised from the book with go back into literary projects in the fields of metal health and writing for wellbeing.

Thanks to Hollie from Llenyddiaeth Cymru/Literature Wales for this post