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Report - High Royds Psychiatric Hospital, Menston. March 2011

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by vwdirtboy, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. vwdirtboy

    vwdirtboy Keeuunnntt!
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    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.
    In its final years of operation, High Royds had been become outdated and unsuited to modern psychiatric practice.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.

    Since its closure, the site has been used as a film set for the film Asylum, as well as for the successful television series No Angels and Bodies.
    The drama Diamond Geezer starring David Jason which aired on ITV1 in March 2005 was also partly shot at High Royds.
    Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs have written a song ("Highroyds") about the former hospital. Three of the band (Nick Hodgson, Nick 'Peanut' Baines and Simon Rix) used to attend St Mary's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, the school that faces High Royds Hospital.
    The band Kasabian named their third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, after the hospital after hearing about it on a TV documentary.

    These days the former asylum is currently under conversion to luxury flats and apartments. Finished units have been sold and are inhabited.. the clock tower section has been finished and will be next on the market.

    Last visit of the Sheffield weekend for Adders and myself and well worth the extra few miles!

    Navigation once inside is a proper nutcracker as most of the internal walkways have breezeblock walls at each end.. the majority of internal and connecting doors are nailed shut ala 'west park style' looks like they have their own 'hammer' on board! Luckily our ninja skills and some conveniently loose window boarding facilitated our meandering route around site :D




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    girtrood likes this.

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