Between 1923 and 1962, Ruthin Castle was used as a clinic/private hospital for the ‘scientific investigation and treatment of illness, and for the maintenance of health in those who had no disease’. The first instituition of this kind was opened in 1913 at Duff House, Banff, Scotland. After the success of Duff House, and demand from doctors and patients, a similar clinic opened at Ruthin Castle in 1923.
The former mansion of the Cornwallis West’s provided accommodation for reception, consultation, administration, with pathology and other laboratories and about twelve rooms for patients. Two new wings, designed on the basis of experience gleaned at Banff, provided 45 ensuite rooms for patients, with kitchens, X-ray and other facililties. Their advertising made much of the natural splendours of the local environment – the castle grounds, the scenery, the air and the opportunities for walks.
Infectious diseases or mental illnesses were not treated, the focus being on stomach complaints, emaciation, heart and arterial diseases, the nervous system, lung disease and anaemia. There is no doubt that the quality of the medical treatment, and pioneering research work arising from it, was of the best and its reputation attracted famous people of the day. The clinic survived for 40 years, closing on the 31st December, 1962.
Ruthin Castle: North Wales (1948) BPD/2250
Ruthin Castle: North Wales (1936) BPD/640
Rhuthun Local History Broadsheet, Issue No 69, March 2002 ‘Duff House Sanatorium’ by David Williams
Information on our holdings can be found at http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en-gb/DNAP-6ZQKTQ