Elliot Cooper — Wales based adventure & lifestyle photographer.
Towards this time last year, myself & my fellow photography buddy @m.visuals got wind that there was an abandoned mental asylum which sat at the very edge of the Brecon Beacons... of course we went to go & take a look.
We set off at around 9am with absolutely no clue of how to find this place. We knew only one thing, the asylum was in a town named Talgarth. With that in mind we head into the town itself after failed attempts to locate the asylum. We happened to stumble into the local tourist information centre. The information centre itself was quaint, subtle and certainly in need of some TLC. Inside were 3 charming elderly locals, each over 70 years old. Each of them sharing a look of bemusement as to why 2 twenty something's had ended up in Talgarth's Information Centre.
The Psychiatric Ward
We simply told them that we had heard about the asylum and were very keen to take a look for ourselves which fell on unwelcomed ears. To our surprise two of the proprietors revealed to us that they in fact worked inside the asylum when it was functional, as did most of the town, with the asylum providing somewhat a backbone of jobs to the community. The asylum was opened in 1903 but shut due to lack of funding, but was part of 100 lunatic asylums in the UK.
The Treatment Room
They told us some tales of what used to happen within the walls of the asylum, even down to the use of controversial psycho therapies such as electroshock therapy etc. However they warned us not to go near the asylum due to the danger it imposes. They told us thieves had stripped the buildings of anything of worth, gypsies has stolen all metal and copper and urban explorers had trashed the asylum. They went onto reveal that the floors weren't safe to be walked on and that it is possible that if you were to visit the asylum it could be deemed trespassing. We simply told them we were interested in viewing the outside of the asylum and taking some photo's nothing more, they happily wrote out how to find it. So we set off.
Within 8 minutes we'd reached the driveway of the asylum, which we'd actually drove past twice previously! As we approached the intimidating building the excitement was all too real, neither of us had ever seen anything like this.
The Asylum Corridor
To our left was the abandoned chapel & staff quarters. To our right stood the Victorian front of the asylum itself. However it quickly became apparent that we were by no means the first to visit. All doors were boarded up, all holes coated with anti vandal paint, windows smashed and walls overgrown. So we grabbed our camera's and spent the next half an hour scoping the area. Mike having urban explored before had a savvy mind and miraculously discovered a way in, so we entered.
The Staff Room
What I'll share with you next is the series of photo's I took on the day, I can't emphasise to you enough how eery this place is. In situations such as this your mind certainly will play tricks on you. I can only imagine the stories these walls could tell.