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Report - - High Royds Asylum Sept 07 | Asylums and Hospitals |

Report - High Royds Asylum Sept 07

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well here goes. My THIRD ever report for 28DL. Trust me thats not too bad after a years membership. And what better place to write about than High Royds? There has been plenty written on the history of the place so I wont go into that.

I must admit that since visiting some asylums in the US I have developed a real soft spot for them. The architecture, the history. It's clichéd I know, but "if these walls could talk". Unfortunately there are none of any significance where I come from and so you can imagine how happy I was when I found out that the UK still had some of these wonders. Sadly they are disappearing fast, but I was recently able to add another to my list of "FARK AM I GLAD I DIDN'T MISS THAT" In fact I was as happy as a pig on a kibbutz to be able to visit High Royds.

High Royds must have been astonishingly good in the days between when the NHS moved out and the developers moved in. It is amazingly well preserved despite the recent pikie activity. Do not go there expecting a Cherry Knowle or Wittingham. Go there expecting a Grand Old Lady who like me in my advancing years has only got sexier and more attractive. But go there with love in your heart. Not malice. That's for chavs and pikies. She needs to be cared for and respected.

I marvelled at the beautiful fireplaces in the main hall. The stunning woodwork and tiling in the main corridors of the admin block. The cornices, the decorative plasterwork in some rooms and the polished stone floors are all fantastic!

When I was wandering around outside the main hall, I could hear someone walking up on the roof. I told the others and at first we thought it might be fellow explorers. Within minutes it became obvious that his intentions towards this beautiful lady were not honourable. Far from it. This pikie filth was plundering her. Violating her in her most vulnerable place-her roof. Already we had seen the puddles which had not been there before. We discussed our options. We could see his knee against the roof; a shotgun would have been handy right now. Instead I called out to see what happened and we heard him run off to cover. But the lure of wads of easy cash was strong and he was soon back raping her again.

We decided to get to a higher floor so we could look down on him. This meant we would end up finding the clock tower, but unfortunately meant I think we missed a lot of the admin block and any of her intimate secrets she might have revealed to us. Another trip is required me thinks...

Her clock tower is incredible. The others pictures (while excellent) do not do her justice; so pristine inside. No sign of pigeons, no damage, clean and clear of all that would sully this great old lady. Mini and Damon erected their tripods and made sweet sweet love to her most private parts with their cameras. Snappel and I headed for the roof. What I saw astounded me. She was spread out before us reclining in all her glory. We were very impressed with how the conversion was in tandem with the original style and layout. The main spine corridor off to the left had been destroyed, but in keeping with the theme looked like it was going to become a road. Over to the left the buildings were largely untouched and the Royds Social Club premises served to protect from those who would do that section harm. Down below us was another matter. We could see the damage from the pikie. He'd been coming for a while now and we could see the results of his evil toil. There should be a special place for his kind in hell where explorers peel his skin and flesh from his bones...

Sated, Mini and Damon joined us and then Damon caught sight of him. He was talking on a mobile and when he saw us put on a high vis to look "official". Yeah right mate. It would have been cool if we had a snipers rifle and it was legal to shoot pikies. This was not some idle "what if" fantasy like the time I was on an ostrich farm and wondered "What if I had a samurai sword right now?" This was full blown loathing. I would have gladly shot the bastard and then sat down and had a well earned cup of tea.

We knew we had lots to see so we moved on. Down through the building rubble we stopped off at a stripped ward.



It was completely bare, yet it still had a mystique about it. It was still intact and would soon make a great apartment block. For it is better to be that than road fill. It was better that our grand lady be sent as the mistress of the rich than to slowly rot on a street corner as the years and beatings from her tricks took their toll on her body and soul.

We visited the morgue and saw the famous marble slab. There was also a nice note on the blackboard next to the fridges. Perhaps written by one of the staff before they left?


We also found some of the steam tunnels that connected the buildings and like veins and arteries gave her buildings life.

We moved on, searching for a ward that was in more or less original condition. We soon found one. It was mint and looked just as if the NHS had moved out.


Unbroken windows protected curtains and carpets from the elements. Notice and white boards contained snapshots of the last days here.


Strangely it was more eerie than it would have been had it been ruined. When I am in a ruined building I feel little real connection to its past. The cells in a ruinous asylum like Cherry Knowel or Danvers for example are just little rooms with doors on them. There is no real connection with the occupant. Yet here it was different. It was not a bad feeling mind you, just a feeling. You got it when you walked into a cell and looked in the mirror that still hung undamaged on the pristine wall.


It was easy to imagine the previous occupant getting dressed in front of it before eating breakfast then sitting in the solarium, watching the birds fly by as they relaxed and read.


Safe and secure from a world which on one hand felt guilty that they were shut away and on the other would spurn and marginalise them when they were released into community care. Tales of abuse aside, one of the greatest tragedies of mental health care in the western world was the shift from these self sufficient institutions to the under funded community care facilities in streets where the locals did not want them and or worse, where the ill ended up on the streets begging for change and talking to telegraph poles. These institutions provided a protected environment for them. No more. Now in their dying days they belong to us. They are ours now to explore and record.

Outside again we ventured into another courtyard and were able to gain access to another marvellous section-the other end of the left hand spine corridor. Alas all exits bar one which lead into a low security ward, were inaccessible.


Nonetheless like 20 year olds who can't get enough we made sweet love to her with our cameras yet again.


It was time to leave. We had been in there 5-6 hours. Farewell Beautiful Lady. I hope to see you one more time before you go.

PS Do not waste your time or money on the Harry Ramsdens takeaway across the road. It just aint worth it. Also I am not too happy about the photos, but if I kept trying to get them perfect then I would still be doing this report in three years time. Will post up more (including the pikie) when I get them uploaded to PB. For some reason I cant do that here at work.
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: High Royds Asylum Sept 07 Report

Thanks for the encouraging comments guys. As promised here are some more photos.

The pikie

Damon in the clocktower

Damon and Snappel

A cool window in admin

Air raid siren on admin roof

A mint ward

A water tower in one of the wards



Obligatory Admin shot