This started as a stop by explore when me & Vixxie were visiting friends in Cardiff, & has evolved into something of a project for us. We were going to go do CWM Coke, but we thought it would be worth having a look at this place instead. We arrived during the day, & tried to make our way over to the back of the site from a rough route I had worked out from Google maps. So far so good, & soon enough we were on the grounds looking for a way in. If you’ve ever been here you’ll know that to get to where you need to be you have to cross a large open space, which is more than a bit obvious. As we were making our way we got spotted by a patrolling Secca, so as soon as we got out of sight we darted. Luck happened to be on our side though, as we managed to sniff out an entry quickly. After a bit of contortion & “to me to you” we were in.
Not wanting to have our fun cut short, we decided to play it safe & hide out in a nearby toilets. We waited patiently, listening out for the slightest noise that would alert us to the presence of someone in the building, but it seemed like we were on our own. We proceeded cautiously, checking all of the doors in the immediate area. Unfortunately most of them were locked tight, with only a few exceptions. One of the open rooms contained boxes of meds, Vixxie told me that these were an extreme sedative, really nasty stuff. It amazes me what gets left behind in these places, I know that this is a newly abandoned site, but still……
After gathering a few shots here & there we made our way down the connecting hallway & into the main part of the hospital. Before leaving I made sure I propped the door open, as I feared getting cut off from our only known exit point. From here we got a real sense of the scale of the place, with long corridors spanning off in different directions & what seemed like an endless amount of windows & doors……where to start? After a quick Google maps check we familiarized ourselves with the layout. We started on an area that looked like it went to a dead end, checking all doors along the way. Again, it was mostly fruitless, with only the odd door open leading to a rather mundane storage room. The windows in this area were a particular pain, as they were designed to stop the mentals from opening them up & running free. This also meant that we two semi sane people couldn’t fit through them either, with slats at the top stopping you from opening them up more than about six inches.
After exhausting all known options around the complex, we decided to take a look at the front of the building. This was a risk, as I’d heard there was surveillance, but we decided to throw caution to the wind in the hope that no one was watching. We got into the foyer, & immediately spotted a couple of domes. We ignored them & got set up to take some shots of the ornate features, but were soon halted by the presence of the old Secca with his nose pressed up against the glass of the front door! We didn’t muck around & within a moment we were high tailing it back down the corridors. We got to one of the main junctions, looked across to the end & spotted another Secca on approach to the door. We legged it back to our entry & made our way out to safety. We waited it out at one of the gazebos on the grounds, hoping that they would lose the scent & get bored. After about an hour had past, & having caught a bite to eat & being concerned with the day getting on, we decided to take another stab at it.
We agreed it would a good idea to try & find a way to one of the “key” rooms we had come across in the main corridor. But in order to do so we were going to have to get creative. I won’t go into any details here, but through the use of GM on my tablet & a bit of cross checking the room locations, we were able to work out where we needed to go. Luck would have it that the doors to the “in between” spaces in the building were open, & after a bit of trial & error we found ourselves a way in. We weren’t entirely sure if we had hit the right room at first, but when we got out of the storage area, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in the Dental suite.
Knowing that this was obviously quite a sensitive place to be, we set about taking all of our shots. After Vixxie took a look into the diary there, she realized that they were appointments that were ahead of the date that we were exploring, meaning that it was still live! Moments after this, we hear the Secca walking past & we both freeze stiff. They seemed to stop right outside the door in the corridor, chatting either to someone else or talking into a talkie…..it was difficult to make out. As soon as they left, we quickly & quietly retreated back the way we came to safety. We agreed that we’d pushed our luck far enough for one day & decided to make tracks.
Fast forward a month & we were back for another explore of the place. Between our last explore & this time it seemed like things had been tightened up a fair amount. A lot of the areas that we were able to get into before were sealed off. But we had come armed with a bit of knowledge. Previously we had taken note of the different combo locks around, & we set about finding a particular type so that we could hopefully get into some of the wards. After locating a promising looking one, we started code breaking it. Cut a long story short, we were there for about an hour punching in over 1000 combinations before we struck the winner.
Having a rather overbearing sense of accomplishment we made our way up the stairs, only to be greeted by another fucking lock!! Another hour past & we eventually made it inside. Our joy was quickly thwarted again when we realized that it wasn’t a ward, but a live admin department. Feeling rather annoyed at our wasted efforts, we decided to cheer ourselves up by messing about with the staff member’s personal effects. Nothing major of course, just enough to wind someone up a little. We found a map that had some labeled push pins in, which I’m guessing showed all of the mental health institutions across the country. So we started to move one or two around, notably with one of the London locations getting moved up to Blackpool & vice versa (I couldn’t help myself). We also found one desk that had a lot of ornaments on it, including a little wooden mouse. We laughed realizing that we had both come up with the same idea, & set about hiding the PC mouse under the desk & replacing it with the wooden one, on the mouse mat of course! Rather childish I know, but it made us chuckle!
We headed back down & tried to get a few more of them opened up, but to no avail. With time once again slipping away fast, we decided to make tracks. But the day wasn’t going to come to a close just yet. We had been hearing Secca walking about all day, & we were ducking & diving away to avoid him. We were concerned that he was aware of our presence, which was confirmed later on. All of a sudden we heard the loud bang of a door down the corridor, & we turned to each other, realizing what it was. We went to investigate & found that the bugger had only gone & closed the door we came in from…….our only way out of the place! Panic began to set in, as we paced the halls trying to find an alternative exit. After about 45 minutes we managed to find a window, which was lucky to say the least. We gathered our things together & made our way quickly off the site. We got back to the car, & after a bite to eat we set off for home. On the way out of the town we happened to pass the front entrance to the hospital. As we were on approach I spotted a cop car coming up behind us, with it’s indicator on to turn in. I kept watching as they went off, & immediately told Vixxie what I’d just witnessed. Her response was a long “Shhhhiiiiiiiiittttt” as we gave each other a stone cold look, realizing that we’d both just got away by the skin of our teeth!
This place holds a lot of promise, & clearly in it’s infancy as a derp. With us being explorers for only a couple of years, we’ve never seen the natural progression/degradation of a location before. It’s mostly been very early, or late in it’s stage of decay. I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to offer in the coming months & years.
Thanks for looking