High Royds - West Yorkshire | 01/15
Opened in the Autumn of 1888 under the name of the "West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum" the estate served as an institute for the mentally ill for well over a century before being deemed unfit for purpose and closed in 2003.
Designed to be as self sufficient as possible High Royds was provided with it's own library, surgery, dispensary, butchery, dairies, and bakery amongst other facilities that would allow the expenses of the asylum to be kept as low as possible in the long run. Patients that were deemed fit to earn their keep were put to work in various areas of the estate, including but not limited to the kitchen, laundrette and farm.
During the 1920s the name was changed from "West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum" to the "Menston Mental Hospital" and with the name change came a new era, an era in which doctors used techniques such as shock therapy in an attempt to "cure" the mentally ill rather than contain them. Many of the patients that were institutionalised during the asylum's lifespan were done so because of a lack of understanding, during a time where sufferers of phobias and disabilities alike were all grouped under the banner of "mentally ill" and hidden away from the rest of society.
During 1963 the asylum's name was changed for a second time, but this was to be it's third and final name, High Royds, a much less severe sounding name that would remain it's label for the rest of it's operating years.
As mentioned earlier in the post, High Royds was deemed unfit for purpose and between the late 1990s and 2003 no new patients were taken in, because of this plans were made and before long the development of a residential estate began. Luckily, the administration building (The site we had the pleasure of visiting) achieved Grade II listed status before the this all began due the presence of it's clock tower and the Italian mosaic flooring which meant this building was exempt had to remain the centre piece of the development.
There seems to be a certain atmosphere given off by a property based on it's origins, and even though you're fully aware that all of this is in the past it feels to linger, putting you on edge with every corner you turn. It's this extraordinary experience that attracted us to Urban Exploration and I have a feeling that it's this that will keep us hooked for years to come.
This was our first post so feedback would be appreciated, please see below for images/video content from our second visit to High Royds.
I'll be the first to admit some of the photos aren't my best work, but we were more focused on filming the entire experience in all honesty, the photographs were a bit of a byproduct!
Side note: A big thanks to ZerO81 for being so patient/helpful with me during the first posting of this report, hopefully this revised version will pass the test!