Top Ten Endangered Buildings 2021: Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff, Grade 2 Listed, Oatley and Skinner, 1902-1908

The hospital first opened in 1908 as ‘Cardiff Lunatic Asylum', in the typical style for medical facilities – with a spine of central administrative blocks, and to each side, five-storey ward blocks.

The Whitchurch Hospital first opened in 1908 as ‘Cardiff Lunatic Asylum', in the typical style for medical facilities – with a spine of central administrative blocks, and to each side, five-storey ward blocks. It was amongst most modern of its period, designed as a self-contained community, with a farm, powerhouse, water supply and even its own fire station. Architects Oatley and Skinner of Bristol designed the hospital with its ornate interiors including the recreation hall with vaulted ceiling, and external red and yellow brick banding.

The expansive Whitchurch hospital has been falling into ruin since it closed its doors to patients in 2016. Plans were first submitted to convert the hospital and surrounding grounds to residential, commercial, and leisure uses back in 1995, but they have never come to fruition.
After constant renewal, the plans expired in 2020. The NHS are keen to sell before the site deteriorates further, with smaller, longer neglected buildings becoming a serious concern.


Griff Rhys Jones said: “Whitchurch hospital has so much potential for repurposing. It covers a site of five acres with a diverse range of buildings that could easily be re-opened as offices or converted into housing and commercial spaces... … Its prime location on the edge of Cardiff must surely make it very appealing to developers with big plans and a passion for heritage... … We hope that a buyer can be found soon who recognises the unique potential of this once self-contained community and bring it back to its former grandeur.”

Picture Credits: Scrappynw (www.flickr.com/photos/scrappynw/ and www.instagram.com/scrappynw/)



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