Report - Cookridge hospital leeds (mental health wards) august 2015

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Lancashire lad

chief taster for costa coffee
28DL Full Member
Apr 22, 2015
colne , lancashire
Cookridge Hospital
is located near Horsforth and Cookridge in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Designed and built in a Gothic vernacular style in 1869. It has provided cutting edge cancer treatment since 1952 but has been replaced with a £220m cancer centre at St James Hospital, which is now one of the largest of its kind in Europe and has about 1,600 staff.

Originally known as Cookridge Convalescent Hospital it was built at a cost of £10,000 to provide care and to promote recovery for patients who had been treated at Leeds General Infirmary. The area of Cookridge was chosen as it was a remote location from Leeds, 'where patients could be cheered up among the bracken and pure air'. The urban sprawl of Leeds soon engulfed Cookridge. John Metcalfe Smith of Beckett's Bank in Leeds, donated much of the money towards the building of the convalescent hospital.

As it was built in the days before the NHS, the patients had to pay for their own care. It cost approximately eight shillings a week for a three week stay but there was some charity, benefactors provided free beds for the needy. This was not an easy stay for the patients, they had to abide by a list of rules which remained the same until 1934. One of the rules was to 'obey the Matron and to perform all services in the house and grounds as she may appoint'.

The hospital played an important role in the World Wars; the hospital was requisitioned for the care of wounded servicemen. It briefly housed the Leeds Maternity Hospital in 1939.

In 1929 small scale experiments using radiation started in the treatment of cancer at the Cookridge but it wasn't till after World War II that the hospital embraced cancer treatment and patients. Leeds Regional Hospital Board took over the hospital, redeveloping the original convalescent hospital and building a new complex during the 1950s and 1960s.

The hospital continued to be at the forefront of cancer research and developed new technology as well as pioneering better, more effective treatments which improved the chance of survival in patients.

Finally the hospital grew too small, the outdated buildings could not support further growth so the hospital was abandoned in 2008 and sold. It was replaced with a £220m cancer centre at St James Hospital, which is now one of the largest of its kind in Europe and has about 1,600 staff.

The Met Police used the hospital for training purposes for a while.

After the hospital closed it was used to film the series 'The Royal Today' but it only lasted one season

EXPLORED WITH @godgp78 @LancashireExplorations and a none member.
So found this as a last minute explore while I was out in the badlands that surround Lancashire (that would be the entire county of Yorkshire lol ;)) easy find and although it was surrounded by CCTV there didn't seem to be much security presence I mean we were literally walking about in the open right in front of the camera and nothing happened, access was found and In we went.
The lighting in here is fantastic due to the big sky lights at regular intervals along the roof but we went at sunset and some areas were a tad dark and i didn't bring a torch but we managed anyways, had a mooch round all the bottom floors and headed up got the obligatory stair case shots and headed up again, the view from up here was amazing looking over leeds and beyond shame we never made it into the main section of hospital that areas locked up tighter than a nuns chuff.


Lancashire lad

chief taster for costa coffee
28DL Full Member
Apr 22, 2015
colne , lancashire
must say this looks like a smashing day out ! top pics Lancashire Lad , you have persuaded me to pay this place a visit !
then my work is done , don't ignore the first staircase like we did we missed a few rooms on the back upper floor , the second staircase pictured above takes you to the front upper