Wellcome Funding for North Wales Hospital, Denbigh

June 23, 2017

Denbighshire Archive Service has recently been awarded £130,000 by Wellcome to catalogue and preserve historic hospital records.

The Research Resources Award will fund the cataloguing of the largest hospital collection held at Denbighshire Archives; the records of The North Wales Hospital. The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh, was the main institution in North Wales for the care of the mentally ill. The institution opened in October 1848 serving the whole of North Wales and the borders.  A century later, its patients numbered in excess of 1,500.  It was by far the biggest employer in the area and activities recorded in its voluminous archives reflect its importance in the social and economic life of the area, with its farm, sporting activities, community events and cultural festivals.

The hospital finally closed its doors in 1995.  The resulting archive is unique in its completeness including: patient records; annual reports and committee minutes; financial records; plans; and staff records.

Although most of the collection is closed to researchers to adhere to data protection legislation and respect patient confidentiality it is important the collection is preserved to enable access to those interested in tracing developments in treatments of mental health patients in the future.

Past projects relating to this collection have included considerable conservation and repair, various lectures and the creation of the patient index (1848-1914).

The project will run over the next two years (Oct 2017-Oct 2019) and we will be recruiting for the project over the next few months. The completion of the project will see:

  • An itemised catalogue of the existing accessions re-catalogued to current standards.
  • An itemised catalogue of later accessions of administration records.
  • The later accession of patient case files will be listed and repackaged.
  • The collection will be assessed for conservation needs and preventive preservation measures highlighted and put in place.
  • The collection will be assessed for potential digitisation projects/digital resources.

We will be posting regular project updates and document highlights on our blog and Facebook pages.We are looking forward to making a start on the project!

For further details please contact us.


Wellcome  is an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. Their Research Resources Awards aid research by supporting projects to catalogue and preserve significant primary source collections in libraries and archives across the UK and Ireland.

Lecture: “Rent capons, silver plate and church pews promoting status, honour and authority in North East Wales, c. 1500-1700”

March 10, 2017

We will be hosting a lecture in partnership with the Friends of Clwyd Archives. Details as follows-

Lecture Summary:

From the late medieval period through to the early part of the twentieth century, estates such as Chirk, Hanmer, Kinmel, Lleweni, Plas-y-Ward, Trevalyn and Wynnstay dominated the landscape of North East Wales.  During the course of their existence most of these estates built up extensive collections of records, detailing the immense influences they exerted on areas ranging from politics, religion, warfare and industry, through to architecture, culture, farming and literature.  Most of these collections are now housed in public archives and provide an outstanding resource for exploring the history of Wales.  This lecture will draw upon records from the Mostyn archive to showcase some of the more innovative ways in which the gentry of North East Wales attempted to promote their status, honour and authority across the 16th and 17th century.

Speaker: Dr. Shaun Evans is Director of the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates at Bangor University and Chair of the North East Wales Heritage Forum.

Date: Tuesday 25th April

Time: 6pm-7pm

Location: Denbighshire Archives, The Old Gaol, Ruthin, LL15 1HP

Booking essential: to make a booking please call 01824 708250 or email archives@denbighshire.gov.uk. Parking during event is available at nearby pay and display car parks. Limited spaces available onsite for blue badge holders.

Charge of £2 for non-members. Tea and coffee provided.

See attached poster, feel free to circulate to anyone who may be interested in attending.