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Report - High Royds Lunatic Asylum, March 2012

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by True_British_Metal, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. True_British_Metal

    True_British_Metal 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    Visited with Badbatz, non-member Ryan and Andy the alcoholic. This report is dedicated to LowriJen, who unfortunately couldn't make this today and also to Millhouse and jST. Thank you 2 so much for helping me out with this beforehand, I'm really really really grateful for all the advice you've given me 'cause without you I wouldn't have done it! Also a massive thanks to Andy the alcoholic for actually pushing us to make that jump and get in!

    Blunders
    Also as you know I've been here a few times before and failed due to some really stupid errors, so for your entertainment I've decided to list the blunders.

    #1: We went on a weekday and the place was swarming with contractors making any exploring impossible. So we stuck to the TB unit.
    #2: This has to be the most idiotic mistake I've ever made whilst exploring, ever. We went back after dark, when it was essentially too dark to get decent shots (no P7 back then). We got in through a window (now boarded, as with most other windows now), which led through into a recreation room (?). And whilst we went on through to the kitchens, we were FEET away from getting into Admin when there was a door which would've led us right into the corridor. Completely ignored the way in. Unbelievable!
    #3: Went back in December, and I can't go into detail here without giving away access so I'll speak in terms that only those who have been here will understand. We knew it was a certain <access point> in a particular area, but we picked the wrong one! We could've got in, but it would've been FAR harder than needs be and chances are we'd have been spotted by the contractors for either being exposed or making too much noise. Or both. We wasted so much time running from contractors walking round, and when it was clear the point had been sealed when where we needed to be was wide open still!

    The visit
    I'd always gathered that High Royds was too good to miss, and I would stop at absolutely NOTHING to see it. So today was the day. I had the plans and BadBatz had the crew! We got to our access point but being so close to an area we'd rather not be (no comment), we nearly pulled out in fear of being caught by making too much noise. It was Andy the alcoholic that said "fuck this I'm going in!" that made us make that leap of faith. And that was that. We were in. But then from the intel I'd gathered from blunder #3 security I think still patrolled the inside, so before we'd waited for them to patrol and leave, but never appeared. When we were in we hid upstairs until we realized if they're not patrolling now, they never will. And I'm surprised, but they didn't inside at all! So off we went, with Ryan and I doing Admin first and BadBatz and Andy doing the main hall and that area.

    I couldn't believe my eyes. At long last I'd seen it in all its glory, and hell yes it was worth all the blunders I'd made to finally see it! Yes it's gone downhill but I've seen it and I'm chuffed to say the very least. So we got our shots of the crowning glory and made our way upstairs; jST said there was naff all and whilst I'm not going to say he was talking shit I'm not going to write off what I saw either. I saw some classic asylum features, like that stereotypical wallpaper you always see which was complimented by the carved wooden archways. Brilliant. As for the crowning glory itself, I've never seen anything like it. Stained glass, ornate mosaic and marble floors, oak doors, carved wooden staircases, intricately decorated ceilings, magnificent archways, natural decay, this is unbeatable. It's the closest an asylum will ever get to being on par with a manor when it comes to architecture. I can't see I've seen let alone been to many asylums so again the ballroom was just mindblowing to see in all its glory.

    Maybe my playboy boxers are blessed after all...

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    After this, I say we should go round and get a pic of us in front of admin, and there was security patrolling the grounds. So we being so happy we got in without a hitch we thought we should have a laugh, so we tooted at them. We got out for a team shot in front of admin, and they came round saying we've been spotted on camera on the flower beds! So we got our team shot and off we went to celebrate at the pub. And what better way to celebrate for me than to see my friend's rock n' roll band back in Manchester later! What a great day.

    On a final note, I suppose in retrospect it is a shame I didn't get to see the clocktower but it was a modern 60s mechanism so I'm not bothered really. Besides, it's been reactivated which is brilliant. And sure it would've been nice to have seen a ward or 2 but again they didn't offer me THAT much personally. In comparison to the other asylums I've done, Fairmile in particular doesn't compare at all. Yes it had its wood-panelled wards and it's solid oak doors covered in nail scratches but it was too carelessly modernized with fireproof wood nailed over them. Not to mention the main hall which was frankly rubbish. As for the Mid-Wales Asylum, this has to be my favourite Admin block externally, and had a very similar marble floor to the one inside High Royds as well as some brilliant wooden fireplaces but again HR was far better because it had far more attention to detail; stained glass, detailed ceilings, archways etc. Mid Wales' main hall was far nicer than Fairmile, but again High Royds was more lavish.

    In my opinion, (remember this does NOT make fact), as far as asylums go High Royds is a truly unique snowflake. Cane Hill and West Park had their merits and I won't deny that, but did they really have much in the way of architecture that High Royds does? Not that I've seen. They might have had loads of stuff in situ which I will not deny is damn cool, but to me it's the architecture that makes a place what it is and that leaves an imprint on your lasting memory. High Royds was stripped, but I will never forget seeing it. Other places like Hellingly may have had an atmosphere about them that you only knew when you were there, but for me it was too trashed to be of much merit anymore. High Royds compared is as fresh as a daisy. Not to mention, they've been done so much that like Pyestock I'm just bored of seeing the same stuff over and over again. Overall, it's the best asylum I've ever seen and if you want to see it, drop everything and do it NOW.

    Love as always,

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