My last entry was about checking out the Denbigh Asylum, doing some Urban Exploring. I won’t lie, I’m a little bit hooked on the idea of seeing what’s been left behind by humans!
So the next expedition was the Pool Parc Asylum, which is an offshoot of the Denbigh Asylum. Apparently, Denbigh was so popular–for lack of a better term–that it needed an overflow house. That was located in Ruthin, some eight miles down the road. Apparently it was a house that was sold to the North Wales Counties Mental Hospital in the 1930’s, and for a little bit during WWII was used as a prisoners of war camp. However, in 1989, it was closed, as were most (all?) of the other mental hospitals in the UK.
My copilot and I actually went looking for this place a few weeks ago. We discovered it’s locations after my GPS sent us entirely the wrong direction, and so we just pulled over to get our bearings at a trail head. Oddly enough, that trail head turned out to run just below the Asylum. Our clue being that this location was called Pool Park (or Parc, using the original, Welsh spelling).
However, at the time that we initially found where this place was, it was already fairly late, before daylight savings time had kicked in (keep in mind, it comes into effect later in the UK than it does in the US), and it was getting dark. Me, being the wuss that I am, didn’t feel up to exploring a supposedly haunted, abandoned, derelict asylum. So we vowed to come back and make a day of it. That day was today! after patiently waiting for a working vehicle and a time in my work schedule to clear up, we finally found our window to set off early so we would have a day to explore the Pool Parc Asylum.
Of course, as Welsh springs would have it, the weather decided it was time to let fly the delayed April Showers. However, by the time we had found the place again, my GPS sending us an entirely different direction involving cutting through farms and their very tiny roads set at national speed limits (60 mph!), the rain had slowed to a near halt, making for a pleasant wandering atmosphere.
The sign at the trail head of course made no mentioned of the hospital above, beyond the trail. as we walked up scent of spring green and the harp of birds in the branches, we came upon an offshoot of the trail, going uphill at a sharper incline to the right. We took this, which led to a wire fence with a barbed top. Some very thoughtful individual thought to mat the sharp bits down with a large stick which allowed for us to easily hop over.
For the sake of discretion, we plodded along left, following the fence while sheep eyed us warily, guarding their lambs. The very green walk was pleasant, aside from the rumbling echo somewhere to our right. It sounded like several gunshots in a row, but in the same rhythm that thunder keeps. I haven’t a clue what it was, though would like to buy into my copilot’s suggestion that it was perhaps a sparrow gun (though he’s not 100% convinced on that one himself.
Nevertheless, we went on.
Once we reached the top of the hill, we could see the abandoned building, stoically challenging the wilderness. However, there was something that challenged us: scaffolding to the rear of it.
It could have been one of two things:
- It had been worked on in the past and, too, was abandoned along with the building.
- It was currently being restored or renovated.
The latter was no good to us. We had taken some liberties getting to the location and if someone saw the direction we were coming from, then it could end in some unwanted (minor) trouble for us.
However, on the chance that the explanation was the former, we pressed onward. This involved crossing back over the barbed fence, a feat which did manage to tear the last of my hole-less jeans–my reaction to which was to swear profusely (This was, as we found out on our return, necessary. One can come back by following along the fence on the outside, but the trail is thick with tree branches and it’s a pretty steep downhill incline which has a drop before going into a river. It’s safe to to over the barbed fence twice).
There was a second fence adjacent to the barbed one, though without anything spiky. It was very clearly recently put there, which only aided to our suspicions that there was work being done to the property. On the other side of that was a somewhat matted trail, which we happily followed.
But then we heard it. The very sound that stopped us in our tracks, a brief moment of panic exchanged between the two of us. It was the ominous sound of a beeping truck, reversing. And it was big. That was it. It was over. They were doing work on the old building. We ducked into the trees, trying to decide if they were in fact knocking the building down, or if they were just doing work to the grounds around it, possibly to the surrounding forestry.
We never reached a verdict between us, and thus, we conceded for the day, turned, and left.