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St David's Hospital main building including walls to S gardens

A Grade II Listed Building in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire

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Latitude: 51.857 / 51°51'25"N

Longitude: -4.3323 / 4°19'56"W

OS Eastings: 239475

OS Northings: 220170

OS Grid: SN394201

Mapcode National: GBR DF.T225

Mapcode Global: VH3LG.VLJ9

Entry Name: St David's Hospital main building including walls to S gardens

Listing Date: 19 May 1981

Last Amended: 28 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9456

Building Class: Health and Welfare

Location: Situated some 1.5km W of town centre, on prominent hilltop site.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin)

Community: Carmarthen

Built-Up Area: Carmarthen

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Former Joint Counties Asylum built under provisions of 1857 Act to serve the 3 counties of SW Wales. The Job's Well estate was bought in 1857 and David Brandon chosen as architect as he had designed the Buckinghamshire asylum. Building began only in 1863, to the lowest tender, by G. Pollard of Taunton, of £24,950, for 305 patients. The buildings of local stone from Ystrad or Tygwyn quarry with Bath stone dressings, had a brick inner skin, an early cavity wall. Two wings were omitted for economy and the asylum opened in 1865 with space for 212. Major structural problems had to be corrected with litigation against the contractor in 1869-70, and repairs costing £5367 were estimated as needed in 1871. Two wings were added (possibly to original design) and roofs repaired 1870 by Martin & Chamberlain of Birmingham, with Barnsley & Co of Birmingham as contractors. A competition for additions in 1877 was won by Giles & Gough of London, built 1878-80 for £12,150, Appleby & Lawton, contractors.
Main hospital appears substantially as now on OS map of 1886. Additions of 1885-95 by E.V. Collier were mostly detached, including a new chapel (listed separately) 1884-9, female hospital linked to the main hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases (listed separately) and conversion of the old chapel to day rooms 1895. Major refurbishment in 1930s.
As built the entrance building had a hall with porter's room and office each side, committee room in right wing, offices in left and the big octagonal store beyond. Two receiving rooms for male and female patients were across the spine corridor. The first floor centre had the chapel for 200 46 ft (14m) x 40 ft (12m) with iron columns and brick and stone arches. The dining-hall, 50 ft (15.2m) x 40 ft (12m), was also to be used for entertainment. The centre front block had accommodation for the medical superintendent and matron, visiting-rooms and 2 day-rooms. The attic had rooms for attendants and the ''better-class'' of convalescents. The asylum proper had male and female sides each with wards to the front, separated by 30 ft (9m) by 20 ft (6m) day-rooms in the centre pavilions, and backed by attendants rooms, sleeping-rooms and closets. At the ends, in the base of each towers was a bathroom. The wings coming forward were infirmaries for aged, infirm and quiet patients, with day-room and dormitory in the end pavilions. The NE wing had accommodation for working males, and at the end had single-storey workshops for carpenters, cabinet-makers, turners, tailors, shoemakers and painters. The corresponding female side at the NW had a large wash-house and laundry complex.
There were walled ''airing-grounds'' for patients to the front, and a walled drying-ground to the W for laundry.


Former Joint Counties Asylum, massive complex of interlinked buildings in rock-faced grey-brown stone with painted Bath stone dressings, slate roofs, and stone chimneys. Mostly 3-storeys, plain in general style, with Italianate detail mostly applied to N administration block and pavilions of cross wings.
A very long S front (actually SE) overlooking Towy valley, with former superintendents house in centre, ward blocks each side, ventilation towers at intersections with cross ranges, also containing wards. A broad double range runs back behind the centre, containing dining-hall and kitchen court, to an entrance Italianate administration block (that also contained the first chapel). The E wards were for males and the W for females, the male wards linked to NE workshops and the female wards to NW laundries. The front walls each side enclosed exercise grounds for each sex. Subsequent modifications have somewhat altered this overall scheme. Windows in rusticated flush surrounds with keystones, originally with small-paned sash windows, the glazing now mostly 1930s metal casements. Band over ground floor, sill bands to upper floors and hipped roofs, the long ranges broken by hipped projections.
S FRONT: of three storeys, with basement to central block, of 3-5-3-bays, the 5 window centre with steeply-pitched bell-cast hipped roof flanked by large rendered stacks. Tripartite central window to upper floors, the first floor one with small pediment and corniced porch with Doric column paired with pilaster each side. Plain moulded surround to C20 double doors. The 3-window ranges each side have lower hipped roofs. The long 16-bay ward blocks each side are broken by a hipped 3-bay projection nearly in centre. giving a 7-3-6-bay range to left, mirror image to right, each with 2 large wall-face stacks. (C20 stair towers in inner angles). Each end has 2-storey crosswing running forward (corner porch to angle) to a cross-gabled 2-storey pavilion feature with Palladian window to first floors on 3 sides, canted bays to ends and 2 doors to S.
At intersection between main block and crosswings are prominent water TOWERS (in original design but possibly added later as in Green Castle stone like chapel - shown in 1874 engraving) with steep pyramid roofs with small gabled vents; eaves cornice and window dressings in brown terracotta. Large paired windows to each face of upper stages divided by column, in big square-headed rusticated frame with corbelling under head. Windows are blocked on SW tower, small-pane glazing to NE tower. Beyond each tower is a C20 flat-roofed block.
N ENTRANCE FRONT block screens kitchen and dining-hall behind rear of centre of main range. The ENTRANCE BLOCK is a hipped 3-storey, 1-2-1-window range with centre windows grouped as triplet. moulded eaves cornice with nogged lower course. Second floor has arched windows with pilasters, moulded heads and keystones. horned 12-pane sashes and fanlights with radiating bars. First floor has square-headed hornless 12-pane sashes, the central one of group of 3 with cornice and centre pediment, and ground floor has 8-16-8-pane tripartite sash each side of late C19 flat-roofed enclosed porch with parapet, in similar Green Castle stone to chapel. Originally there was an ornate corniced open porch with arches on Bath stone columns and pilasters. Projecting lower 2-storey gabled flank blocks with Palladian sash window to first floor (8-16-8-pane with blank tympanum) and tripartite sash below. Sides are 2-storey but with attic gable in S bay. Attached to left wing is big octagonal former STORES, with steep octagonal roof, triple window N, door and sidelights E and single lights in canted angles. Behind the entrance block is a 3-storey L-plan block backing onto kitchen court, which has single-storey E range and large W side DINING-HALL with steep half-hipped roof an large end-wall windows. A lean-to corridor along W side of dining-hall links to main block. At right angles is a single-storey rubble-stone corridor across service court to NW wing. Similar corridor across to NE wing, both partly open with iron columns by T. Bright on S.
REAR OF MAIN RANGE has centre of 4-5-4 windows with three hipped roofs, and long ward ranges each side have hipped projections to centre and each end. Windows are in pairs or singles, mostly metal C20.
N REAR WINGS have extensive buildings of 2-storey and single-storey form, some added, see changes in stone colour, the northernmost ranges single-storey. The NW single-storey range has double-gable N end of former laundry, the NE range has double-gable of former workshops.
On W side a link corridor is carried over service road on 2 segmental arches (smaller to right, larger to left) to a 2-storey WEST BLOCK, former female hospital c1898 with large sash-windows in painted stone frames, plinth course, first floor of band and sill course. Three projections, the centre hipped with canted angles, 3 close-set windows to front, one to each canted side, each floor, outer right gabled bay has 2 windows each floor, left gable is blank (rebuilt following destruction of an attached wing, by fire). Two windows each floor between centre an right [projections, one between centre and left. On left end is a C20 flat-roofed block behind which is further C19 wing, running W at right angles. Rear has gable to left, 3-winow range to centre and wing running back to right, to gable end of E-W rear wing.
S FORECOURT has damaged iron railings (listed separately), and to each side of forecourt, rubble stone walls surround AIRING COURTS, the walls with some iron slag cappings, partly replaced in concrete.


Interiors not completely inspected, entrance block thoroughly modernised. Former dining hall (now staff canteen) has feet of 5 timber roof trusses visible below suspended ceiling.

Reasons for Listing

Included as the major Victorian hospital building of the region, an architectural ensemble of note, incorporating the latest ideas on hospital planning and construction. Sited to be a landscape feature in the Towy valley.

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