Collapsed roofs, mangled cages and sunken floors - these are the eerie pictures taken inside an abandoned psychiatric hospital where patients were once locked up and given lobotomies. The abandoned site in north Wales, known as Denbigh Asylum, has been partially devastated by fire while there are still cages intact that were used to prevent patients escaping from their designated areas.
More than 20 patients were selected for prefrontal lobotomy treatments between 1942 and 1944 at the hospital, with one patient dying from the controversial procedure. Lobotomies, which consisted of the removal of parts of the brain, began to be routinely carried out in the 1930s as a supposed treatment for those considered insane - but the barbaric practice was stopped two decades later with the introduction of antipsychotic medicines.
The once eloquent and imposing building was built in 1848 and designed by architect Thomas Full James. It was designated for closure by MP Enoch Powell in 1960 and was finally shut for good in 1995. Photographer Mathew Growcoot described the scene: 'It was by far the creepiest place I have ever been into. There were so many strange noises emanating from the buildings that I really didn't want to wander too far from my companion. 'At one point we both heard what sounded like a groan and just stopped and stared at each other. I don't believe in ghosts but I didn't want to hang around.' The site has been subject to a compulsory purchase order by Denbighshire council. But that is being appealed by the site's current owners. The front facade is Grade II listed and a proposal to build homes around the entrance has been put forward. However, the restoration cost is set to be close to a million pounds.
Mr Growcoot added: 'It was in a really poor state. It looked as thought a bomb had tore through the site, everything was damaged. There was nothing to stop you entering the site and as a result the vandalism and fire damage was plain to see. 'I wonder how far a million pounds would go to restoring the hospital. Seems as though it would make more sense to flatten the site and start over.'
The exterior of the Denbigh hospital (pictured) is partially destroyed after years of neglect and a fire that tore through large parts of the complex.