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Abandoned wheelchair, dilapidated laboratories and an eerie skeleton are in this old mental asylum

Entering an abandoned asylum would strike fear into the bravest of hearts.

But a 27-year-old photographer from Worcester – known only as ‘Dab Hand’ – took a solo tour of the derelict Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff – armed with just a camera.

The abandoned site, formerly known as Cardiff City Mental Hospital, was opened in 1908 and stood for more than a century before it was officially closed in April 2016.

Dab Hand, a 27-year-old photographer from Worcester, took haunting pictures of the derelict Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff. Armed with just a camera, Dab Hand captured a creepy abandoned wheelchair in one of its corridors

Dab Hand said: 'In the pathology department there was a strung up bird, all you could see was its eerie skeleton. It looked like it had had enough of life and committed suicide, as it slowly twisted in the slight wind. It was a surreal moment looking at the innards of a bird in almost complete silence'

Dab Hand said: ‘In the pathology department there was a strung up bird, all you could see was its eerie skeleton. It looked like it had had enough of life and committed suicide, as it slowly twisted in the slight wind. It was a surreal moment looking at the innards of a bird in almost complete silence’

The hospital was cutting edge for its time and the man in charge did not want it referred to as a 'lunatic asylum' - a common term for it at the time. Mould and pigeon poo litters the benches of the old Pathology Department

The hospital was cutting edge for its time and the man in charge did not want it referred to as a ‘lunatic asylum’ – a common term for it at the time. Mould and pigeon poo litters the benches of the old Pathology Department

The impressive main hall still shows the remains of a charity variety show, with two Union Flags still drooping from the ceiling   

The impressive main hall still shows the remains of a charity variety show, with two Union Flags still drooping from the ceiling   

The five-acre site once catered for 750 patients across 10 wards and was formerly known as Cardiff City Mental Hospital. It opened in 1908 and stood for more than a century before it was officially closed in April 2016

The five-acre site once catered for 750 patients across 10 wards and was formerly known as Cardiff City Mental Hospital. It opened in 1908 and stood for more than a century before it was officially closed in April 2016

But while the patients have left, evidence of the asylum’s dark past remains for those brave enough to enter.

Revealing what it was like to be locked inside, urban explorer Dab Hand said: ‘When I walked around the hospital, it seemed like I was completely on my own, although the sheer size of the place, you never would know for sure.

‘The only noises were the wind blowing and pigeons flapping, which did give you the willies sometimes.

‘In the pathology department, where they would have looked into diseases, there was a strung up bird, all you could see was its eerie skeleton – it looked like it had had enough of life and committed suicide, as it slowly twisted in the slight wind.

‘It was a surreal moment looking at the innards of a bird in almost complete silence.’

During the Second World War, the self-contained institute - which includes this 150ft water tower - was given to the military to serve injured personnel

During the Second World War, the self-contained institute – which includes this 150ft water tower – was given to the military to serve injured personnel

Dab Hand continued: 'The only noises were the wind blowing and pigeons flapping, which did give you the willies sometimes'

Dab Hand continued: ‘The only noises were the wind blowing and pigeons flapping, which did give you the willies sometimes’

In the grounds is a dance hall, 800-seat church, bandstands (pictured) and summer houses. Employees often performed in the staff orchestra here

In the grounds is a dance hall, 800-seat church, bandstands (pictured) and summer houses. Employees often performed in the staff orchestra here

When the hospital was running it was self-contained and had all the amenities its patients and staff needed, including a hairdresser and pharmacy

An eerie poster of a smiley face is still on one of the walls in the abandoned building

The walls of the abandoned building still have placards and posters from its time as a running hospital. One, which says not to smoke, reads: ‘Be nice to yourself and others’

Paint has peeled away from the walls of a staircase down into a dark basement. It is not known where the door leads to

Paint has peeled away from the walls of a staircase down into a dark basement. It is not known where the door leads to

The five-acre site once catered for 750 patients across 10 wards.

During the Second World War, the self-contained institute – which includes a 150ft water tower – was given to the military to serve injured personnel.

By the mid-20th century, as the NHS came into being, the site returned to its original purpose.

Dab Hand said: 'When I walked around the hospital, it seemed like I was completely on my own, although the sheer size of the place, you never would know for sure'

Dab Hand said: ‘When I walked around the hospital, it seemed like I was completely on my own, although the sheer size of the place, you never would know for sure’

Ivy grows through a large window on the ground floor of the hospital, blocking out much of the natural light. The paint has begun to chip away as the asylum remains empty

Ivy grows through a large window on the ground floor of the hospital, blocking out much of the natural light. The paint has begun to chip away as the asylum remains empty

There are historic sit-down showers with wooden dividers between them. A shallow, open drain runs beneath the shower  

There are historic sit-down showers with wooden dividers between them. A shallow, open drain runs beneath the shower  

An old fire extinguisher was found in the hospital surrounded by plastic sheeting and the warning tape reading 'danger asbestos'

An old fire extinguisher was found in the hospital surrounded by plastic sheeting and the warning tape reading ‘danger asbestos’

Patients bedrooms inside a ward at the hospital. 'Seeing it totally empty of life was peaceful but you really do start to wonder what stories ex-patients could have told you from their time spent here'

Patients bedrooms inside a ward at the hospital. ‘Seeing it totally empty of life was peaceful but you really do start to wonder what stories ex-patients could have told you from their time spent here’

But by the early 2000s the phasing down of the hospital began.

Dab Hand added: ‘Seeing it totally empty of life was peaceful but you really do start to wonder what stories ex-patients could have told you from their time spent here.

‘I’m so happy to have been able to see it before it is lost forever, or trashed by the locals, which seems to be happening at a rather fast rate, almost as fast as the ivy growing through the windows.’ 

Feature areas of the main hall in the derelict hospital include a golden head and a stained glass window 

Feature areas of the main hall in the derelict hospital include a golden head and a stained glass window 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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