- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Pool Park Asylum
This abandoned asylum in Wales might look haunted, but it's still beautiful.
The estate of Pool Park (spelled Parc in Welsh) began as a deer park for the nearby Ruthin Castle. Following its time as a hunting ground, the property was passed between a series of wealthy landowners. The elegant mock-Tudor style manor house that still stands today was constructed in 1862 for the second Lord Bagot.
In 1937, the house was sold to the North Wales Counties Mental Hospital, which was in need of a second location to house overflow patients from the nearby Denbigh Insane Asylum (the super haunted one with all the cages and lobotomies). Pool Park held 87 patients at capacity, but in times of need had as many as 120. For a brief stint of time during World War II, the grounds also held a prisoner of war camp.
Today, the solid wooden floors and intricate wood paneling have rotted due to water damage. The house has been looted for lead and copper, and its ceilings are dripping water and shedding plaster. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an intact window. However, a beautiful old staircase still remains, spilling down two flights of stairs into a grand entrance hall - a real pleasure, despite the debris.