More High Royds

Another early morning, another blast up the A1 to meet up with jSt at High Royds, one of the former asylums for the West Riding of Yorkshire.


High Royds Hospital is a former psychiatric hospital south of the village of Menston, West Yorkshire, England. The hospital is located in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough as the border with the City of Bradford metropolitan borough passes between the hospital and the village. It was first opened on 8 October, 1888 as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, and was closed in stages between 25 February, 2003 and June of the same year.

A truly magnificent example of Vickers Edwards architecture, it is arguably the finest example of the “broad arrow” layout of asylum design.

The administration building, which is Grade II listed, is now considered something of a show piece at the former hospital, which is situated on a 300-acre (1.2 km2) site at the foot of Rombalds Moor.

It features an Italian mosaic floor in the main corridor which is intricately decorated with the Yorkshire Rose and black daisies – the latter of which provided inspiration for the title of a television screenplay, filmed at High Royds, as a tribute to sufferers of Alzheimers disease.

The hospital once contained a library, a surgery, a dispensary, butcher’s, dairies, baker’s, a sweetshop, an upholster’s, a cobbler’s, spacious grounds, a ballroom and even a railway. The patients lived in Nightingale wards (named after Florence Nightingale), rather than the individual accommodation found in more recent mental health units. The hospital was formerly connected to the Wharfedale railway line by its own small railway system, the High Royds Hospital Railway.[1]

In its final years of operation, High Royds had been become outdated and unsuited to modern psychiatric practice. As part of Leeds Mental Health’s £47 million reprovision process it was closed, with the wards being relocated to various community mental health units within the city of Leeds in the three years leading up to its closure. These include the Becklin Centre in St James’ Hospital and the Mount in the city centre.

There are now plans to convert the site into a new village, also called High Royds, retaining some features of the hospital, such as the ballroom and the clock tower.

Target: Admin

This didn’t get off to a good start, had a good wander round and it looked like they’d done a good job of sealing up most of the usual suspects.

But we’re nothing if not resourceful and suddenly without a hop, skip or even a jump we somehow stumbled into the Main Hall

(Behind the breezeblocks are fireplaces…thought I had a shot but can’t find it now)


Beyond the Main Hall are a number of Dining Rooms and kitchens

Including the usual beautiful features hidden behind the suspended ceilings

Then we got a bit of corridor action…

…and went to the shop, but the cupboards were bare…

Then things got interesting…there was the sound of locks being unlocked, doors being opened, voices…game’s up we thought, nowhere to run (and no clock tower ) so we did the only thing we could do in the circumstances…make like a tree!

Danger passed…then danger passed again. Sound of doors locking again. Two minutes to let the heartbeat settle then up the clock tower.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s