Constructed between 1844 and 1848, the hospital served as a refuge for Welsh-speaking mental patients. Originally designed to accommodate about 200 patients, it was expanded to alleviate overcrowding in 1899 and eventually was home to as many as 1,500 patients.
But as the hospital grew, patient welfare was increasingly set to the side. Tasks around the hospital were done largely by labor from the patients, and treatment consisted largely of sedation and time in Turkish baths.
Plans to close the hospital were put in motion in the late 1980s, and the main unit was shut down in 1995.
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