Lluesty Hospital, located approximately 1km from the town centre, was constructed between 1838 and 1840, by Thomas Hughes of Liverpool. It was designed by John Welch, the architect of St. Asaph and Surveyor to the Guardians, and was originally built as a workhouse for the Union of 14 parishes. The Poor Law Commission sanctioned the expenditure of approximately £6,200 to have the buildings erected, with the intention that it would house over 400 inmates. Originating from the Poor Law Act of 1388, workhouses in England and Wales offered those who were unable to support themselves accommodation and employment. The layout of Lluesty conformed to a standard workhouse grid plan; a cruciform or ‘square’ layout with separate accommodation wings and courtyards for both men and women. To the rear of the site, a central three-story range connected to the central supervisory hub which had several observation windows that gave a clear view over each of the inmates’ yards. A number of other buildings were constructed on the site from the 1860s through to 1902, including a chapel.
Traditionally, any life inside a workhouse was harsh, and inmates would be employed on non-skilled tasks, such as breaking stones, crushing bones for fertilizer or picking oakum using a large metal nail. However, by 1930 these buildings were abolished by law, and the old workhouses became refuges for the elderly and sick. A year earlier, in 1929, legislation was passed which allowed local authorities to take over these sites, to convert them into municipal hospitals; so, after 1930, many of the former workhouses, including Lluesty, began to serve the public in a much different way.
By 1948, Lluesty, and a number of other Public Assistance Institutions became part of the National Health Service. Subsequently, Lluesty became known as Lluesty General Hospital. Unfortunately, disaster struck in the 1960s when a fire swept through an entire ward, killing twenty one immobile patients. Although the hospital recovered from this tragedy, it eventually closed in 2008 when the nearby Holywell Community Hospital opened. After its closure it was rumoured that the entire site would be redeveloped into eight three bedroom town houses, twenty six apartments and twelve three bedroom terrace houses, but such plans never went ahead. Lluesty Hospital was later sold at an auction in London for approximately £275,000, and subsequent proposals estimated that seventy houses could be constructed on the 7.4 acre site. Once again, however, no redevelopment was ever initiated. The last assessment of the site was conducted sometime in 2013, by the Archaeological Building Recording Services, to decide whether any historic research would be carried out. While there were some significant findings, concerns were raised over the rapidly deteriorating state of Lluesty’s buildings owing to years of neglect and vandalism.