AdamX is an urban explorer living in the UK.
In 2017, he ventured into the abandoned St Brigid's Hospital, which opened in in 1833 and has sat abandoned since 2013.
He saw old hospital beds, wheelchairs sitting in empty hallways, and what was once an isolation room.
"It's impossible not to think, 'Gosh, who's been here?'" AdamX said. "If these walls could talk."
Between 1810 and 1870, 22 mental-health facilities, were built in Ireland. One of them was the Connacht District Lunatic Asylum, also known as St. Brigid's Hospital.
Built in Ballinasloe in County Galway in 1833, the hospital closed in 2013 and has sat abandoned ever since.
An urban explorer who goes by the alias AdamX ventured inside to photograph the empty structure. Here's what he found.
AdamX's interest in photography led him to urban exploration in 2013.
"I'd always been into photography, and I'd always go on holidays and photograph crumbling old walls or bits of rusty iron, wrought iron railings, or banisters and things," he told Insider. "And I always liked that aesthetic of decay, but I didn't know that there was this whole world out there of these different buildings, and this whole subculture of people that would share information and that would actually be as into it as me."
He chooses to remain anonymous because of his day job in what he calls "quite a conservative industry."
"I have plenty of colleagues that if I told them I spend my weekends poking around in crumbling old buildings and technically trespassing, they'd think that'd be really interesting, but equally there's always the risk that some people might think, 'Well, that's technically not really very [legal],'" he said.
AdamX heard about the abandoned St. Brigid's Hospital through word of mouth in the urban explorer community.
"I don't profess to be the first person to have been there," he said. "There's been plenty of people who have been there years before me, and there's plenty that have been since."
The hospital is located in Ballinasloe, in County Galway, Ireland.
Originally called Connacht District Lunatic Asylum, the hospital opened in 1833.
St. Brigid's was designed to hold 840 patients, but held as many as 1,165 in 1900, according to History Ireland.
The facility was dedicated to treating "curable lunatics."
AdamX captured a few photos of the hospital's layout from above using a drone.
"The drone photos had set on this 'X' layout, and this was because they'd have the staff in the middle, so you can go out to each of the wards really easily without having to do big loops," he explained.
Inside, he began to walk the empty halls.
AdamX prefers to first walk around an abandoned building before taking out his camera, just to get a feel for the layout.
"What I did on this occasion and I tend to do, is rather than the moment you're in, get the camera out and start shooting the first room you're in, it's nice just to spend half an hour, 45 minutes to actually walk all the way around whilst you still got your backpack on and actually see what the building is," he said.
"The aesthetic of the decay is really nice," he said of exploring abandoned facilities. "You have a lot of peeling paint and things like old wheelchairs."
"I think they're quite atmospheric without having necessarily a lot of individuals' items left behind," he said.
People often assume that exploring abandoned buildings is creepy or unsettling, but AdamX finds them to be relaxing, quiet escapes.
"It is quite peaceful," he said. "People say, 'Oh, is it really scary and creepy?' It's like, 'No, it's actually quite calm and enjoyable. It's like being in your own little bubble really, sort of in a little time capsule.'"
AdamX found one of the isolation rooms containing nothing but a small bench particularly thought-provoking.
"When you're stood in that room, it's impossible not to think, 'Gosh, who's been here?' If these walls could talk," he said.
When he shares photos of his explorations on his blog, he enjoys when people find personal connections with the places he's been.
"I thought it'd be just for me as my own diary and a record of the places that I'd been, and a place that I could just record the history as I found out about things, so it was primarily for me," he said of his blog. "But then it is nice when people see it."
He's even connected with former patients of the mental-health facilities he's visited.
"You get people that say, 'Oh I had a family member that was a patient there once,' or some of these buildings that are old factories and they say, 'Oh gosh, I worked there. I'm 85 now and I worked there for 30 years, and haven't seen it since 1970 ... So it's always a nice surprise."
The hospital and its 120 acres are considered ripe for development for use by the community. In 2019, officials with the Health Service Executive, which owns the hospital, said it would be selling sections of the property, local station Shannonside reported.
Read the original article on Insider