Urban explorers criticised after filming themselves climbing at North Wales Hospital

Reporter:

Josh Morris

A group of urban explorers and parkour enthusiasts have been criticised after filming themselves climbing at the former North Wales Hospital in Denbigh.

The Cheshire based group who call themselves Ariel Freerun filmed themselves walking around the site before climbing a gas tower for a view over the site.

The site has been victim to a number of arson attacks and is regularly frequented by urban explorers.

Denbighshire County Council, who are poised to take over the Grade II listed building from current owners Freemont (Denbigh) said the group are putting themselves at risk.

A Denbighshire Council spokesman said: “The council and its partners have made several public appeals recently for people to keep away from the site, as parts of the structure are dangerous and there have been a number of incidents of arson at the location.

“We also want to protect the buildings from further damage and deterioration and the fact that people enter the site and deliberately start fires is of extreme concern to us.

“They are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the future of this historic building.

However Ariel Freerun defended their actions: “It was actually very easy to get inside, as there are many entrances around.

“When I got there i didn’t know what i would find, as I’d never been there before. I hoped to find anything worthy of taking pictures and filming. When i got there i was amazed at how big it was, it was completely different to what i expected it to be.

“The whole place has clearly been falling apart for years, but I wasn’t worried about that in the slightest.

“I have had a lot of experience in judging whether things are safe, and in this circumstance I did this well. The actual structure of the towers is in very good condition.

“When climbing up things, such as the towers, the only thing you think about is getting to the top and looking at how good the view will be at the top. You don’t really think about if it’s safe until you get to the bottom.

“People should take extreme caution going in there, they shouldn’t be climbing things there that aren’t safe. The towers are safe but I recommend no one else tries this because they could get seriously hurt.

“For the time it’s been there the hospital is in very good condition, there are areas that are bad but that's understandable for the age and the amount of people that visit the site.

“I have previously researched about the hospital, looking at what it used to be and how it was run. I also met some people there and we had a chat about it, like what it I used to be and finding out some of the past about the hospital, which I found really interesting.”

See full story in the Free Press

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