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.


  • JLorian Young, March 18, 2022 @ 11:32

    Catherine… I wish you peace.

    Is it me or is it simply outrageous that the patients were too often left homeless and destitute while the buildings stood empty as the affluent decided what to do with them. I suppose cleaning them up and housing the homeless and destitute never entered their minds.

  • Jet, December 17, 2020 @ 23:29

    Hello Catherine,
    You can also search the Lunacy Patients Admission Registers on Ancestry specifying MENSTON as the institution & that should give you date of admission & date of discharge or death

  • David Hinchliffe, October 4, 2020 @ 19:59

    Had great memories of working there very much retired now after finishing in a low secure unit in Somerset there for 9 years miss high royds part of my youth loved charge Nurse Norman Waterson prob no longer with us

  • tumbles, May 12, 2020 @ 20:25

    HI Catherine,

    Maybe look at and contact Mark – he has written a few books on the site and what it was like to be a patient. He also did some work with the graveyard there and maybe able to point you in the right direction

  • CATHERINE HETHERINGTON, May 10, 2020 @ 13:22

    my ancestor died in (Maria) Holroyd at the age of 35 (around 1941). My I note the records stated imbecile from birth. My dad gave an anecdotal account of how beautiful his sister was when he visited with his mum – they brought her some fruit (as tthe family owned a small fruit & veg shop and would sell deliver to community on horse & cart too ). My dad said that she could not eat the fruit fast enough – just quickly pushing it in her mouth. I note that my ancestor was still at home on the census at age 5 – I do not know when she was admitted to the hospital – it was called West Riding Mental Hospital, I understand it was also called this name, along with other names.

    Could anyone tell me what her life would have been like as a permanent patient at Holroyd ? – I know she lived there all her life until age 35 (I do not know what the youngest age they would have had admitted her. The first her mother knew about her death was seemingly she received a letter from Holroyd. I do not know if she was bueried at Holroyd as I cannot seem to find a grave.

    I hope someone can give me some insight into what her life may have been like, or knows any stories that have been passes on to you during this era. Thank you in anticipation.

  • Shirley, May 19, 2018 @ 17:49

    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!

  • Peter, January 3, 2014 @ 14:13

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

  • Abdool Farook Rajbally, August 7, 2012 @ 20:11

    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 care all of you. Farook

  • tumbles, July 8, 2012 @ 20:14

    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)

  • Michael, July 8, 2012 @ 11:06

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

  • tumbles, August 15, 2011 @ 10:39

    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.

  • sarah, August 14, 2011 @ 02:09

    OMG what is the body on the table! photoshop?

  • june green, September 5, 2008 @ 14:09

    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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