I wanted to share this travel adventure with you all since there's a whole lot of new followers here and you probably never seen this post before! During this lockdown, I can't really go anywhere so I thought I might re-post some of my previous adventures for new hive users and some new followers! It's a bit of a funny one... I mean, have you ever sneaked into the wrong abandoned building before? Keep reading to find out what I mean hehe
So today was a bit of an adventure! With company I decided to head to Talgarth to explore an abandoned mental asylum. (I haven’t explored any abandoned buildings in a few weeks and was getting withdrawals).
Having no clue to expect, we set on a journey which ultimately ended up being a massive fail, with a bit of a plot twist. Basically, we set off the explore the infamous Talgarth Mental Asylum, we drove to the area, spent a few hours figuring out how to get inside the building, managed to squeeze to some places, then managed to get kicked out, only to find we were at the WRONG PLACE. Yup. Fail of the year. I would make the worst burglar in the world. But, it ended being a blessing at the end of the day, as by accident we managed to discover another abandoned place, with the official one being 8 minutes away from us!
Black Mountains are one of my favorite places to travel to in Wales. I never travelled there intentionally, always as a by-route. So, my hunger for exploring there is still not satisfied. I am already planning a return trip to explore even more of the place.
As mentioned before, we ended up at the wrong place to start with. But after further research I found about the building and history which is still fascinating!
We drove in through an entrance which seemed like something out of a horror movie. The forest consumed path, with gothic building revealing itself when you drive through depths of it. We parked on the side of the road, and ignored all the no-entry signs there were…. Oops.
The place was actually formed from a great complex of buildings, a park, a garden stretching over to the bottom of a hill. It was a TB Sanatorium.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which affects the lungs but could also affect other parts of the body, ultimately leading to death if left untreated. After TB was determined to be contagious in the year 1880, campaigns were formed to stop people spitting in public places and the infected were encouraged to enter sanatoria.
The sanatoria varied based on the class of an individual. The low classes sanatoria resembled prisons, while the middle and upper classes sanatoria resembled a holiday-resort like place where a constant medical care was offered. In the pre-antibiotic era, people believed that the best way to treat the disease is with fresh air, right nutrition and relaxation. Ultimately though, 50% of those who entered died within 5 years.
The sanatoria seem like an ideal retreat places (at least the upper class ones). But the truth of what it was like to stay in one is very daunting. I’ve read some articles of people who stayed in such places, and how the stigma of death hung around them, with the constant coughing of patients and separation from the loved ones. The sanatoria treated the patients if their situation or disease got worse, which sometimes would end up to be a bloody procedure of removing lung tissue and up to 8 ribs if the lung began collapsing.
After antibiotics were introduced, there was a great decline in sanatoria and many of them shut down, including this one.
Scouting the area, the grounds of this place were massive and involved many buildings. Some were taken over, refurbished and re-opened to serve different purposes, this one however, remains closed – but I did read that there are some development plans sparking up for it also.
I walked around the building to find any possible access points. The place was so tightly sealed. Even the windows in the upper parts of the building were boarded. I was like a mouse looking for any crack I could squeeze through. Finally, I found a small crack between the metal fence. Boy, I wish I took a photo of it now actually, so people could congratulate me on my super bendy- ninja skills.
Once through, I started looking into ways to the main building, sadly no luck. Every door, every window was sealed. The place looked run down but had some enchantment to it. Like in a dark fairytale. It was like a castle, among beautiful hills, surrounded by forest paths and apple trees.
I did take some photos through windows and of the surrounding area. The only entrance point I found led to an office area, where files, rubbish, folders were piled up. The place was so badly decayed, I didn’t want to stay too long in the rooms. The walls were peeling off, some of the ceilings were collapsing.
Dust and decay were spread throughout the place. In one room, there was some old-curtains which caught my eye. And also, a coffee station with milk and microwave…… I love coffee but this one looked like a death wish. hehe
The rooms included boiler rooms, electricity rooms, storage rooms, bathrooms. It was quite interesting. After leaving the building I went through the forest path to admire the remaining of the area. The apple trees were what stroke me. The idea of people picking apples and living among these mountains seemed like a dream, although the reality was much different.
Shortly after that…. I got caught. And rushed off the property… it happens. I understand people who do that, they try to keep the troublers away, they have no idea I mean no harm and just admire abandoned places…. Giving them some more life and purpose in their existence!
After getting into the car and having some lunch, I discovered that the Mental Asylum was in fact 8 minutes away (the place I originally planned out for). Doh!
So, there I went. I plan upon coming back to gather more photos of the sanatorium though. Maybe will manage to get into more buildings next time also.