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High Royds Asylum, Menston

Visited primarily to see the excellent ‘Reflecting on High Royds’ exhibition, held by fellow friend & explorer ‘Silverstealth’ at the still functional social club within the former hospital grounds.

High Royds hospital is a now-closed psychiatric hospital in the village of Menston, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. It was first opened on 8 October 1888, as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, and was closed on 25 February 2003.

A truly magnificent example of Vickers Edwards architecture, it is arguably the finest example of the broad arrow layout.

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 site at the foot of Rombalds Moor.

Since its closure, the site has been used as a film set for the film Asylum, as well as for the television series No Angels and Bodies.

While the site is now in the process of development into houses it is still possible to see some areas.  The wonderful administration block is finally getting some tender loving care after a year of neglect which saw many people outraged by blatant lead theft and subsequent water damage to such a beautiful building.

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8 comments

  1. Staff are so sad to see these places closed down, but they were the very folk that inflicted so much suffering on folk that were sick, not mad!
    I was sent to an asylum aged just 11 years old, declared insane … I grew up there, and now in my 70’s, the abuse I suffered at the hands of the so called caring staff haunts me today. In m7y 30’s i went on to train as a RMN and SRN, my aim being to stop this physical and sexual abuse.
    I struggle with life today, I remember how staff laughed at our suffering, how abusing us was a form of entertainment, we were robbed of our identity, disempowered, humiliated … the nightmares go on.
    I have no respect fro any of these so called ‘caring’ staff, they followed rules to ensure we ‘obeyed’, drugged iu sot control us, and ‘care’ was the last thing found on any ward.
    Instead of asking staff what is was like to work there, ask the patients how they felt, what was it like for us, how many great times did we have as they abused us?
    I am a survivor of asylum life 63 years in the system and believe me, not much has changed!

  2. I worked there for 20 years from 1978. Still miss the friendliness of the old days

  3. Abdool Farook Rajbally

    So sad to see the state of High Royds now. High Royds was a great place to work and the people were all nice. I wish all my friends from High Royds would write to me. My email is abdoolrajbally20at o2.co.uk..Take care all of you. Farook

  4. That’s not a bed, its a marble mortuary slab. It has since been removed and you will find it at the Stephen Beaumont museum in Wakefield (the old Stanley Royd/Pindersfield site)

  5. Beautiful images and composition. Where abouts is the bed located please?

  6. No it was a long exposure, about 30 seconds from memory. Of which 10 seconds of the photo had a body on the slab, hence the ghostly appearance. Same with the body fridge if you look carefully.

  7. OMG what is the body on the table! photoshop?

  8. so sad to see the old hospital in this state. my family and i all worked here for many years and had some very happy times and made many friends both patients and staff.

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