The County Lunatic Asylum, on Lancaster Moor, opened in 1816, and since enlarged, is a stately quadrangular building of stone, with a handsome front, relieved by pillars of the Doric order, and could hold up to 2,400 patients.

The annexe completed in 1882 at a cost of £125,000, occupies a site comprising an area of about 41 acres. The buildings are constructed of stone; in the centre of the block over the main entrance is a clock tower about 100 feet in height, and there are smaller ones at the front extremity of each wing.

The building also includes a fine dining hall 120 feet long by 60 feet wide and 60 feet high.


  • Stephen W, October 18, 2022 @ 19:32

    Hi, I posted on here in the past. My post is the one about the medications we were given (thioridazine). I was in touch with Stephen Sanderson about 8 years ago. I’d wanted to offer him some advice to help him to get his head around the experiences he’d had, but we lost contact. It now occurs to me that I should post what I was going to say here so it can hopefully help as many people as possible. You can apply to the NHS for your medical records. The NHS keeps everything. And I really do mean everything. I obtained mine in the mid-90s. They contain the medication charts, your interview notes with Dr Ross and social services records. He spent more time doodling than writing. Overall, mine told me how clueless they were. Ross had drugged me for 3 years when the problem was an abusive home life. No medication can fix an abuser unless it’s given to the abuser directly. All they did was drug the person with the fallout from the abuse, i.e. me. Having somewhere along the line decided that the medication was the wrong option, Ross decided that I needed to return home and attend a normal school. I floundered. I simply couldn’t cope. I recently saw my deputy head teacher from that time. She was someone I always admired and respected. It’s hard to admire and respect people when you have the sense of self-loathing that I had. I tried to explain what had happened and couldn’t find the words, so I did the second best thing, which was to thank her for being so patient and to tell her (quite rightly) that she was the reason why I was able to get out. I didn’t spell out what I was trying to get away from. I mention this because the sense of shame, guilt and confusion that I can see many of the men on here clearly still feel is striking. It doesn’t have to be like that. I am married, I have a career, and I lead a secure life. Yes, there is a huge hole where my childhood and my innocence from that time should have been. But the point is that it’s never too late to confront these things. If you have found the person you were meant to be with for the rest of your life, honestly, they will understand. You don’t have to keep secrets. If you are still doing hospital corners when you make the bed, they will get it. The same goes for those odd rituals, the places you avoid … I call my experiences in Lancaster Moor ‘punitive psychiatry’. It wasn’t treatment, it was punishment. I saw and experienced things in Lancaster Moor, at home, and in care that no child should ever have to deal with. No adult, if I’m honest. Lancaster Moor and Donald Ross knew. There was one episode where Margaret Hurst or Ms Beare had tried to ‘reason’ with me about my step-father. I apparently screamed at her that he was evil. She really struggled to calm me down and wrote it all up. No-one acted on it. It just sat there on my notes. A social worker noted that my mother tended to ‘put me on display’ and that it was ‘hard to gauge the real nature of our relationship’. Oh, it was hard. Pretty f*cking complicated, if you ask me. And why not? I was there. She herself was an abuse survivor but incredibly bright and well-educated. The point I’m making is that the system had nothing to offer any of us. Think of it in terms of the management heuristic: the purpose of the system is what it does. Don’t look at what the system intends, look at what it actually produces over and over again. That is its real purpose. I find that thought helps me to make sense of just about any nightmarish situation. But the way you take back power and control from the assorted perverts and abusers is to strip them of their aura of mystery. For me, that process started with my medical records. Two minutes in and I knew Dr Ross was a clown. Oh, and as someone has pointed out on here already, a total weirdo. So, I still have nights when I can’t sleep, and days when I can’t face getting out of bed, or going to bed for that matter, but life does get better, I promise.

  • Phill Patterson, August 15, 2022 @ 01:44

    Stephen Sanderson I remember you from the unit around 1973 maybe able to jog your memory if you are interested as it’s come back to me recently stay strong Phillip as I was known as a child on Facebook as phill Patterson from Lancaster

  • Phill Patterson, August 14, 2022 @ 04:19

    I’m sat her at 3:46 am going through all the very interesting experiences of everyone who’s mainly been through the childrens unit at the old moor hospital from the early 1960s onwards there is still a red oak lodge in Lancaster which is near scotforth cemetery and is run by the nhs for children and adolescents with mental health problems which to be honest makes me wonder one thing that really just doesn’t sit right with me is the sleeping therapy or regression that I witnessed at the unit I never went through this myself personally but one of the nurses a female took two of us up to that room at the back of the below that was the visitors entrance if that makes sense it scared the life out of me they were being nappy changed whilst they were drugged up I’ll never forget that either who was prescribing this treatment and why ?im now 60 yrs old and like other people on this thread can’t make sense of the treatment and drugs given to us as children who were already in some cases damaged through various types of abuse or suffering mental illness I would also like to know how dr Rodger’s was allowed to taken children to his home I remember him aswell very large black ford car has he been investigated for abuse on children that stayed at his home? Everyone struggles to remember stuff that went on at that unit which is due to drugs given to them sometimes by force if anyone would like to get in touch with me personally my email is I’m a survivor and still here to speak the truth stay strong all of you respect phill

  • brendan Lawson, July 5, 2022 @ 08:18

    can remember my brother being in there in the 70s mum and me visiting him ….going for walks round the grounds …he told my mum he could hear a door close and and something sound of books being thrown on the floor and foot steps going upstairs….sadly brother I passed away 3 years ago Michael Lawson

  • Daniel Thompson, December 15, 2021 @ 23:09

    Matt sorry I’ve not replied my email

  • Matt, August 16, 2021 @ 22:31

    Danny Thompson I think we could have been there at the same time. I’ve tried messaging you on your email address below but it comes back with email address not recognised. Please repost it and I’ll message you. Matt

  • Danny T, February 25, 2021 @ 23:22

    I was there in the Late 80s you have just worked my brain I have so many more memories now mr barclough used to give sweets when doing school top man a lot were cunts but he was a descent man we used to run away in pjs and he’d always sort me out because I’d loose all privileges.

  • Phillip Patterson, February 21, 2021 @ 09:24

    Just come across this item today regarding the children’s unit in Lancaster moor hospital I was a resident there in 1973 for a short spell to give my parents a rest from my behaviour running away from home my psychiatrist was dr Ross proper weird guy definitely remember the regression ward at the unit kids wearing nappy’s and put to sleep for weeks days out at the cinema on Saturday mornings at the cinema in Dalton square with nurse beer other residents I can remember we’re Trevor normington / mattew ormston/ Steven Dixon / ceril davanport/ and others who were there arriving daily. Going for sweets every night to the moor hospital cabin shop and cafe from what I understand alligations of sexual abuse/ physical abuse were alleged to have happened with dr Rogers clients definitely some strange ways of supporting children with problems in the 1970s and certainly didn’t help me as for the teachers mr Sanderson he canned me at another school before starting as a teacher at the unit wolf in sheep’s clothing I’m now 59 years old and still remember that place vividly

  • Andrew David Mcgeown, February 3, 2021 @ 09:35

    Hi , I was wondering there in the 80’s . I remember the classrooms & 2 of the Teachers names Mr Sanderson he had the classroom that looked out onto the playground & Mr Barraclough he had a class room that looked out on to the front where there was a small car park
    I remember the gym room downstairs where they had wellingtons & coats , cramped dining room , the Tv room with a tv up high in the corner, no chairs just beanbags .
    I remember meditation sessions in the room next to the Tv room
    I remember the staff office (it was also where they did hand over & had meetings about you) & when you got a phone call you went in
    I remember the cockroaches on the floor in kitchen
    I remember the big wooden stair case to go upstairs
    I remember the single room upstairs that was a medical room
    I remember getting tonsillitis & a visit from the dr
    I remember the male dormitory upstairs & having shampoo thrown at me .
    I think it came from another boy , i remember how much it stung my eyes
    I remover the net outside with the wood stumps to hold it up , the goats & goat shed .
    I remember the church building that was so very cold
    I remember the smell from the abattoir that knocked you sick
    I remember football on a Tuesday afternoon at st Martins college, I remember going to kings way swimming baths
    I remember Mick Dunn , Mick Atkinson , Karen Poole , Roz Huddleston, Janice Clarke

  • Tobias, January 2, 2021 @ 14:12

    I would assume that the “Ross”childrens centre in morecambe is the same doctor ross from moor hospital childrens unit?

  • Danny, October 11, 2020 @ 00:10

    Sorry I’ve just released my email is wrong Dan 4 u 1981@ m I’d love to hear from anyone else who went there

  • Danny Thompson, September 23, 2020 @ 00:19

    If anyone does have time my email is dan4 I 1981@aol. Com I’ll gladly reply and listen to whatever your
    Memory’s are

  • Danny Thompson, September 20, 2020 @ 21:53

    I was their just before Lancaster farms was getting built i think late 80s I’d love to hear from anyone that was there then it was full of cockroaches when I was their big old damp house always got put in PJs if you were bad so you couldn’t run of.sad place with kids that just wanted some attention I will never get why I was there and so many other kids shouldn’t of been ❤️

  • PaulM, September 14, 2020 @ 00:10

    There is something that feels concerning about a lot of the vague memories that many have about their experience in LMH children’s unit. I was from Blackpool when admitted to the unit when I was 9-10 yrs old around 1970. Now 58 yrs old. I was suffering anxiety attacks and night terrors at the time. I also trained as a mental health nurse and still work in the NHS. Family, kids and doing very well apart from a nagging feeling about not remembering much about my stay for 4-6mths. I do have a few very clear memories, not particularly bad, like playing in garden and tree, long walks in countryside and round the monument in the park, picking up horse chestnuts which we roasted back at the unit. I remember what seemed like tons of bacon in the mornings. I do remember one young boy who was wound up a lot and would end up self harming, punching himself or smashing his head against the wall. Strange thing is that in many ways, my memories of the stay were ok apart from desperately not wanting to go back after w/e home visits. Don’t remember staff names but again don’t have bad memories of them or memories I can recall. It’s really weird because it always feels like there was another side to it but it all feels so vague. I do ask myself the question, ‘did something happen to me or others there’. I remember a male staff member, big guy, must have been 18st plus. Used to get many of us wrestling him to the ground, he wasn’t gentle with us either but it felt good fun at the time. Looking back, not so appropriate. He would also take kids in his car, say to morecambe. I took that trip once with a couple of other boys. Remember he stopped and parked up at back of a house saying he just had to do something but took one of the others with him into the house. These memories have surfaced at different times in my life and I always have a sense of foreboding without really knowing why. More worryingly, they used to provide a deep sleep therapy, although can’t find any info on this. I remember in the dining on the day it was announced to all that I was going for my sleep treatment. The silence in response was palpable. I was petrified but none the less was pumped full of drugs and put to sleep for what seemed like a whole week. A period of my life which has never left me but refuses to completely show itself to me either.

  • Paul Morris, September 13, 2020 @ 21:29

    I was put to sleep for a week

  • Paul Morris, September 13, 2020 @ 21:27

    I want to talk to people who experienced deep sleep therapy in the early 70swhere young people were given high doses of drugs and put to sleep for a week.

  • Sue, September 12, 2020 @ 19:35

    My husband told me today that he was there in the early 1970s, He told me about a staff member who used to play rough with the lads and take them off on their own. He also told me he was given drugs and put to sleep for a week. I can’t find any formal record of deep sleep therapy for adolescents there and wondered if anyone else had that experience as he says people were told that other patents were going to be put to sleep for a week.

  • Danny Thompson, September 8, 2020 @ 21:53

    Red Oak House wow the time I spent their as a 9/10 year old boy I’ll never forget till the day I die some times I wonder what everyone else ended up doing in life in them days just having loads of energy was classed as bad behaviour now you just get a lable. It made me as strong as the man I am today. Speak to kids don’t just lock them up. ❤️

  • tumbles, August 17, 2020 @ 10:06

    Long since redeveloped

  • holly, August 16, 2020 @ 20:23

    Hello i was wondering the part of the hospital that is not made into appartments? How would a paranormal team gain access to do a small investigation for 4-6 hours tops? maybe help some spirits that are trapped there and don’t want to be there anymore? if anyone knows how to get in touch please contact me on thank you

  • tumbles, July 31, 2020 @ 09:21

    Thank you for your comments. My wife studied at LU so enjoyed visits up there. I though the conversion of the original hospital was really good, equally the annex looks impressive when I’ve passed on the M6 recently.

  • Phil S, July 30, 2020 @ 01:21

    I actually live in one half of what was known as Red Oak House. We moved here in 2011 and it’s been our family home ever since. Strangely I worked in the Moor Hospital as a ward cleaner during my student years in the early 90s, I remember the large rooms filled with rows upon rows of beds accommodating dozens of dementia sufferers. It wasn’t a pleasant place. It’s easy to forget how the treatment of the elderly and people suffering mental health issues has changed so dramatically in only the past three decades. I remember visiting entire wards filled with heavily drugged and deeply unhappy patients.

    Red Oak House is now a rather nice residential property. It’s Grade II listed, the oak staircase still acts as the centrepiece for our house, our living room has an ornate moulded ceiling, the kitchen has a wooden ornate ceiling. To be honest, I’ve no idea what parts of the house are original and what parts have been added by modern designers, there’s nothing left of its former self other than the exterior of the building (which looks much the same) and (I think) the general room layout.

    Some of the rooms are oddly grand, I don’t quite know why, I’m guessing at some point it was designed as home for a wealthy individual and these rooms were meant for entertaining.

    Fairly sure there are no ghosts or ghouls and we don’t get strange noises in the night – my wife and children have always loved their home and I’m happy to say much of the sad past seems to have been washed away from the old building during the refurbishment in 2001.

  • John Heywood, June 21, 2020 @ 21:20

    I am doing some research into a marble memorial tablet I found in an antique shop in Morecambe in January 2020. It’s to the Rev David Umpleby, the first chaplain of the Asylum, who died in 1845. Originally, it would have been in the Chapel of 1842 that still survives in the middle of the Piazza now converted into two houses. It might at some stage been moved to the later St Michael’s Chapel on the hill. I’ve discovered that Umpleby and his daughter were buried on the Asylum Old Side site, but the gravestone has disappeared. There are some small stones to patients that have survived that were in a little graveyard surrounded by an iron fence. Has anybody out there any memories of seeing these stones, or even – chance would be a fine thing – a photo of them? If so, please email me to

  • joe, January 25, 2020 @ 03:46

    I am sorry to read some of the above messages, my experience was different.
    I was placed here in 1981 after some issues at home. I was 9 yrs old back then.
    I stayed here for 3 years and for me it was a respite from my home life, I was placed here by Lancaster City Council under advice from my child psychology(?) team.
    I only have good memories of the place. Much better than the other stuff I had experienced up to being placed here. My memories of the care and medical teams here are good.
    At 12 yrs I was moved within the care system up to 16yrs and after leaving school and being expected to move back home it was the team at the Moor unit that prepared a report for the social service to have me a secure place in an aftercare center, payed for by the dole.. no one got dole at 16yrs without these safeguards back in 88.
    It sorrows me to read that so many were let down or worse for somewhere that I have always considered protected me from abuse.
    During the time I was there I can only praise the staff that helped me both during my stay and at 16 when I needed their help to escape my abusive situation.
    I am so sorry that those apparently of the generation before me have such a different story to tell here. It was not my experience from 81 to late 83 when I was moved.

    i wish you all every success in your endeavours.

  • Colin, December 12, 2019 @ 22:25

    like others, I have no idea why but I’ve also been having flashbacks to my time in the children’s unit. I thought I was there around ’77-’79 but I’ve just realised, with the help of some music release dates, that I was there in 1980 for about 2 years.
    I was there when they had a huge cage in the big room near the classrooms. I think there were birds in it. And I remember them removing that and getting a couple of guys in to paint a big woodland mural on the wall. It could have been shit but I seem to remember it was amazing, it was in the local paper anyway.
    I remember being given antidepressants on my first night there – because that’s what a sad kid needs when he’s just been taken away from his family. And I remember a kid called Michael (or Mathew) who would rock, quietly saying “arsehole” until one of the staff would start winding him up until he got so agitated that the only solution would be to get a load of people to pin him down, stick him with a needle and cart him off to not be seen for what seemed like days.
    There was a member of staff, can’t remember his job but I’m sure it wasn’t to bully kids but he did it so regularly that the other staff had to have known. I also remember a little bastard called Glenn who robbed some stuff out of a teacher’s bag and when he got caught, told them that I was his accomplice. I had nothing to do with it but as a 9 year old kid with nobody on your side and being questioned by the police, many times, they were pretty bad times. Even the fluke accident of pissing in his face didn’t make me feel any better.
    There were good times though, and I’ve possibly been fortunate enough to remember these as well – going to the Duke’s playhouse on a Saturday morning, the funhouse in Morecambe, going out on trips with the staff on the weekends. There was one guy that used to take us up a hill called something like Clougher – I used to love that.

    Anyway, if anybody can find any photos of the inside as it was, please post them. I know it is now 2 separate houses and the church is now flats so I doubt the insides will look anything like they used to.

  • james lee, November 13, 2019 @ 20:53

    i was at red oak in late in 80’s think later end in the childrens unit there i got out at weekends to see my mum i liked the place

  • Steve S, July 11, 2019 @ 20:29

    Kristine Robinson, Thank You so much for your very interesting update.

  • Steve Sanderson, July 4, 2019 @ 20:06

    Kristine Robinson Thank You for you update it was a very interesting read, i was their in late 1972/3. im getting to old to remember things or maybe my brain has chosen to forget as i am 58yrs old now, but i do find my past interesting when comments like yours jog my memories Thanks Again from
    Steve S.

  • Steve S, June 26, 2019 @ 12:41

    Kristine R. Thank you for your interesting comments.

  • Kristine Robinson, May 30, 2019 @ 19:12

    Steve S it was called Red Oak House The Children’s Unit. I was there for 3 years from 1970 to 1973 aged 8 to 11. My name is Kristine. I was bullied at school and ran away all the time, I never ever told anyone why I wouldn’t go to school my parents I think didn’t know how to handle me because I would scream and cry most nights about school I remember wanting to die fortunately I was a day pupil at Red Oak but I saw the other kids being injected if they were playing up and you never saw them for days. My shrink was Dr Ross I hated him. He would draw doodles and try to get me to draw something. I never participated and never opened up to any one. My nurse was I think nurse Rose Beer. We Al went for walks in the grounds and I remember therwas a water tower and we thought it was Cat weasels. The layout downstairs was two classrooms a TV room a large staircase through the corridor was the small dining room. Didn’t like the food and remember “medication time” fat pale chips and milky tea with sugar in yuk! Down some stairs to the basement remember some guenea pigs coats were hung and then into the playground. Not many girls there one call Tina Clifton. A boy called Gregory very quiet got bullied he would sit on his own reading books. A boy called Darryl. A boy called Simon I think when he left I missed him and my parents drove to Cleveleys Blackpool for me to see him. I had a brain test one day where I went across the road to a big building, rollers were put in my head and I was wired to a machine I had to lie on a bed while they asked me questions. I was a very sad child and have grown up living with depression etc. I hated my time there and am convinced it has contributed to how I feel today.

  • Peter pink, February 21, 2019 @ 02:20

    Don’t know how to deal with this memories was there 1970 age 10 nurse window or winder only nurse i remember female sounds mad bathed me regular always dropping false teeth in Bath and hands in to retrieve them i am 60 years old but now wonder what went on. Given medicine to drink remember well this is causing me upset was paralized from neck down there were two men and a woman in the room .why would I make this up help

  • Tracey Hills, January 26, 2019 @ 19:45

    Hi, I did work experience there for a couple of weeks. It was horrible, I still remember it well. I got slapped and chased by a couple of patients on my way to get lunch. It was really chaotic.i remember seeing the padded cells, it really freaked me out.

  • Jeannie Leake, September 3, 2018 @ 23:25

    My grandad was here in the early 80s he died in here 86 he apparently had epilepsy my mum would go and visit him and he would be full of bruises his name was James leake people called him Jimmy x

  • Adrian, August 1, 2018 @ 12:55

    Hi I work here in1986 on the garden it only short time 6months i move away send
    When I came it had turn on house the main building was still being worked on

  • David Hardie, May 28, 2018 @ 13:27

    Hi I was admitted early 70 s remember sister bell ,quinn and walks in Williamson park and the school bully at the time was Michael savage I think. Remember having fights and staff turning a blind eye and having to eat a plate of cabbage because I didn’t like it.

  • Helen Roberts, April 7, 2018 @ 15:05

    Not a reply, a query. My aunt Katie Gee was in the hospital for a long time and later lived in one of the ‘House ‘ that existed. She was probably there from the mid 40s until she died. ANY information from anyone who might remember her – nursing staff maybe would be great. Suggestions on where else I can find information would be gratefully received.

  • nick, August 9, 2017 @ 13:43

    thanks david, yes my email is . i found your comments very interesting especially declining to stay at the doctor’s house. i wasn’t so lucky, and perhaps you can help me understand what happened to me ! thankyou.nick.

  • David Gibson, August 4, 2017 @ 12:32

    nick an email address would help

  • nick, July 28, 2017 @ 21:19

    Would like to speak to David Gibson for information on Dr.Rodgers ! I lived in his house for two weeks in 73. Nick.

  • Amanda harris, January 9, 2017 @ 19:29

    Hi. I’m trying to do an ancestry thing and my Nan seems to think her Dad was sent to Lancaster Memorial Hospital (a mental hospital) during the 1940’s due to trauma. She has never been told anything about him and as far as she is aware he died in there.
    Does anyone know how I would find out further information … it’s a mind field and all I have is his name and his birth certificate!
    Please . Email me if you can be of any help.

  • Steve Goode, December 29, 2016 @ 12:50

    I was in the Lancaster Moor Hospital (LMH) about the same time as previous contributor Carol Lund. (Incidentally, docs now acknowledge that I didn’t have a psychiatric disorder, but a mis-diagnosed non-psychiatric condition).

    Sadly, the LMH could be a disagreable place for many patients. Former staff are apt to reminisce that it was a cosy haven where inmates were kindly tended by compassionate Florence Nightingales, but many inmates found it otherwise.

    While some staff -a minority- were kind, considerate and tried to help, others treated patients with undisguised disdain. Another group -again a small minority- engaged in gratuitious violence, threatening behaviour, thefts from patients -the hospital itself, etc

    (There was an enquiry into abuse in the early 1980s, but was a typical whitewash). The Moor Hospital was by no means unusual or unrepresentative in its malpractices. In fact researchers have commented on how similar were the many scandals in psychiatric and learning disability hospitals throughout the country. Anyone curious about conditions in these often dreadful places as prevailed circa 1950s -1980 should read the shocking 1981 Social Audit report, Conscientious Objectors at Work’

    Beardshaw, A (1981) Conscientious Objectors at Work. Social Audit.

    ISBN 13 9780950339269 (The full text may be available via the Internet).

  • Nicky, December 28, 2016 @ 23:37

    I was in the children’s unit too in the late 70’s. It was a sad time. I remember dr ross and a few other members of staff. There was an occupational therapist called Ann Milstone and I remember David quinn too. Thank god it doesn’t exist any more. I remember a little girl called Denise who was mute. I work in mental health now. I think my bad experiences motivated me to work in mental health and to do a better job. What was the regression therapy?

  • Steve S, December 6, 2016 @ 10:40

    This thread is getting more interesting as time passes David R you ring a bell with me, I have the same issues with the years 72/73 its the music that jogs my memories from time to time, and remembering the weekend visits from my Mum and Dad, although I can honestly say i feared my Dad every weekend, i need to update my website with more info, feel free to have a look

  • Dave R, November 28, 2016 @ 21:27


    I last posted over 3 years ago and don’t really have anything to add but do feel their are memories inside my head somewhere and reading other peoples comments certainly helps me in recalling.
    I was in their in the very early 70’s for several months at least .

  • David, October 27, 2016 @ 21:44

    This will be a long post so feel free to doze off…
    Hi I too was at this place – Childrens Ward in around 1972 I can only date it to that because I remember the song Claire by Gilbert O Sullivan. But by working back I keep coming up with 1973 I can only remember vague bits being taken fishing the cinema though no idea what we saw. Does anyone remember the TV with the radio built into it (Black and White too) Do any lads remember lights out in the dorm room and sort of fighting under the beds you used part of aglow in the dark model kit to locate your opponent ? Do you remember the walks on the “terraces”
    Does anyone remember the doctors room with the ribbed or frosted glass window and being stood outside it in a line. Anyone remember a Nurse Blackburn ? or an older nurse/ assistant whatever that was kind and took you into Lancaster for toasted tea cakes.. My memories are very vague I was around 10 maybe 11. I also remember the restraint and the injections. I remember saying to that older balding guy who seemed to be in charge of that these words “you can do this now but I will remember and when you are old I will come after you when you are defenceless ” I particularly remember the look on that bastards face when I said it. I ran away several times the first I was caught by plod when I hid round the back of some shops The second I remember finding a cemetery over the road and some sort of playing fields that seemed to have steps down. I remember not running away but convincing them I had by hiding behind some chairs under some carpet or rug rolls at the edge of a room then roaming through the wards. My name is David I’m reluctant to give my last name but am very interested in hearing from anyone whose memory I may have jogged

  • Louise Chard, August 21, 2016 @ 14:36

    I would be interested in speaking to both patients and employees that worked here, historically and prior to it closing down, I am due to have a paper published at university and it would be fantastic to have first hand information to input into this. I am studying my mental health nursing degree and the paper is surrounding the key concepts of care. It involves the historical concept of care right through to modern day care. If anybody would like to share some memories please get in touch.

  • Jo, August 20, 2016 @ 09:52

    I was the children’s unit in the late 70s, early 80s. I remember Mr Quinn, Mr O’ Hare, Nurse Mcgloughlin, Nurse Taylor x 2, Nurse Applegarth, Nurse Proudfoot and Uncle Bob from the kitchen.
    The teachers were Mr Sanders, Mrs Winstanley and Mrs Stanislawski. Dr Ross was was my doctor.
    The other children I remember are David O’ Hannon, Christopher Bell, Catherine Folly, Paul Rawlinson.
    I have terrible memories of the place

  • ian stewart, January 8, 2016 @ 12:49

    ian stewart.
    i was in the children’s unit 82/83 and ive got to say i loved it there an didn’t want to leave. rolling down the boot room steps in plasic barrels. I remember just before i left the army came in an built a massive adventure playground for us. I remember one nurse was built like a brick xxxx house. and another drove a moris minor. there was two girls there wen i was there.

  • Carol Lund, January 5, 2016 @ 11:14

    I was at the Moor hospital on the main side 1979-81 i was 17 when i went there, i was on the locked ward c-upper..shit myself when i first got there there was always someone kicking off. ud hear the panic button go which meant all nurses even off the other wards would pounce on whoever it was theyd drag them to a sideroom, posh word for cell they stripped u bollock naked then stick a needle in you usually largactil..i got that treatment a few times..they used to pump you full of drugs then which would make you tired but they didnt like you falling asleep in the day they made me laugh how they would wake you up at night time to give you your sleeping pills lol that is mad. There was a few bully nurses on c-upper i wont mention names eh.. so glad the treatment you recieve today in hospitals is nothing like what we got then..

  • david gibson, December 31, 2015 @ 18:16

    ive just been reading some of the posts I was there in the late 60s for 2 years then got out and was sent back again at the age of 13 only for a few months 2nd time round I remember jan the first girl who has posted a ginger haired girl as I recall and the porter who brought her bacon sandwiches was the kitchen porter terry smith the long walks in the mornings were either on the terraces or a walk in Williamson park and nurse heavyside was an srn or sen green uniform and she was a big lass oh Dr Rodgers did top himself with a rope lucky for me I declined the offer of being a lodger at his private house just on the outskirts of Lancaster ???

  • david gibson, December 31, 2015 @ 16:44

    I was there when it first set up in the late 60s one of the first patients all boys the charge nurse was sister Clarke then remarried to sister broadly the doctors were Dr rogers and doctor currie (female) I was there 2 years

  • peter crook, August 10, 2015 @ 17:42

    i wad there 1967 68 no girls then like to hear from you


  • Elizabeth Doherty, July 28, 2015 @ 05:29

    Hi I’m just interested in stories about the hospital if any of you have interesting stories just email me

  • Steve s, May 3, 2015 @ 21:05

    Thank you for the pictures

  • Steve, May 3, 2015 @ 21:02

    Thats Good news Micheal

  • Michael Hardman, May 3, 2015 @ 13:15

    GOOD NEWS…. I have been in contact with Lancashire constabulary regarding to being abused sexually, mentally and physically if anybody else has been through the same situation as myself at Lancaster moor children’s unit please let me know and I will pass your information to the police when I see them next week. They are coming to do a statement about the abuse I had received at the unit they are doing a thing about homes etc that abused children operation Hydrogen….. Thanks don’t let me be the only one, I know it hurts to recall what happened but these people should be prosecuted who abused us.

  • Steve S, February 20, 2015 @ 14:31

    Does Anyone have photos of the Children’s unit That we are all talking about?
    I used to love the walks in the countryside, The rest I don’t care to think about anymore.

  • Hannah Wilson, January 30, 2015 @ 14:54

    I’m not a psychologist, just writing a story based in the hospital. My mistake, my email address is

  • Michael Hardman, December 4, 2014 @ 23:27

    To Hannah Wilson how can we tell you anything with no email address? some psychologist……..

  • Hannah Wilson, October 7, 2014 @ 14:28

    Hey all, I am truly fascinated by all your comments, and was just wondering if anyone would be interested in answering some questions about their experiences there.
    I am a university student, doing my dissertation in Creative Writing, of which I am writing a psychological novel set in the 1950’s based in an institution, like the Moor Hospital.
    I am particularly interested in the Moor Hospital because I grew up in Lancaster and my granddad worked there as a nurse, but unfortunately hasn’t been around for years, so I can’t ask him about it. Any information or details would be greatly appreciated, and I note how many people have commented about their experiences from the 1970’s onwards, but that information would still be helpful, for me to get a feel for it.

  • Michael Hardman, August 22, 2014 @ 01:23

    if anybody wants to go through any form of criminal compensation with being neglected at Lancaster Moor Children’s Unit git in contact with Nicki Cozens Tel 01823429601 please don’t let me be the only one who was abused…

  • martin brogan, August 2, 2014 @ 11:27

    I worked here as an apprentice in 1976 doing upgrades to the fire precautions of the wards,fireproofing walls,fire doors,alarm systems etc.We found a large glass cabinet with a bell inscribed Lancaster Asylum 1813 and examples of leather restraints,skull caps and other impedimenta.I live in Yorkshire now but have a lot of memories of working there.Wards B and C were locked wards connected by a bridge.

  • Michael Hardman, May 19, 2014 @ 01:26

    If you want to get in contact with me my email address is I did’nt have the drop down epileptic attacks I had the aggression attacks if I do hear from
    you we’ll talk more I was there from 75 till 77..

  • Steve s, April 24, 2014 @ 19:15

    I understand what you mean and respect that decision I would meet people anywhere to be honest. It’s only an online suggestion as I’m curious about my past and people I have met. But maybe don’t remember and I’m still searching for answers

  • Steve s, April 22, 2014 @ 18:12

    It would be good to arrange a meeting in a pub in Lancaster one day if we can all put things together it would make a real interesting story of times past. The times people ignored and children where misunderstood.

  • Steve s, April 22, 2014 @ 17:58

    Contact details this thread need to continue

  • steves, April 10, 2014 @ 13:24

    Life Changing
    of all of life’s experience this was one place you never thought existed, and it did through the practices of professional people that did not understand children and their problems in that era, it is amazing that has all been hidden or covered up to that extent, I know the feeling of the dead leg injections, it was not just the legs but the whole body hurt, today that would be child abuse, then it was to shut you up.Ive put a post on my facebook page, stephen sanderson blackpool lancashire

  • Michael Hardman, February 25, 2014 @ 11:07

    My name is Michael Hardman I was there from 1975 to 1977 and then went to Witherslack Hall, I only went to Lancaster Moor as a temporary resident until an opening place at Sedgwick House was open in June 1976 for Epileptics as it was found in 1974 in an EEG at Greaves Hall. But Dr Ross stopped it saying I wasn’t Epileptic I just had a behavior problem, i’m now 49 and I was finally diagnosed with T.L.E. in March 2013. Dr Ross spoiled it for me I was then kicked from pillow to post in every school I went to after. I was physically thrown on a bed by up to four male psychiatric nurses and injected in the buttocks where it numbed my legs and told if I get up they’ll stick another one in me. I went home on occasions with carpet burns up my back and they told my parents it was playing rough, BOLLOCKS I was bullied on at the time by Andrew Bently and Liam King one I met at a new place and got my revenge, I remember him telling me Mr Browning told him to do it.. I remember Sister Denison, Mr Browning, Nurse Taylor, Mike Bowls, Mr Sanderson, Mrs Collins, Mrs Davies, Nurse Heavyside etc I still have bad dreams and thoughts about Lancaster Moor as well as all other places I went to, to think now on me being physically mentally and sexually abused over an ailment that I couldn’t help and these people was supposed to help us ha… and as for Singh saying we’re miserable I wish you was there in the 70’s you didn’t have a voice when you was being battered if you watch movies watch SCUM to me that is a Walt Disney movie to what we actually went through?..

  • steve, February 11, 2014 @ 16:30

    I hope that this thread stays alive as it is getting more interesting finding out about our past history and the people that were involved in our lives at the time.

  • Steve H., October 13, 2013 @ 14:08

    I was sent to the Childrens Unit at LMH in the early seventies and hated it there, being very homesick. Not sure how long or exactly when I was there but possibly sometime between 1971 -1973.

    I was being bullied quite badly at school refusing to go and my parents didn’t know how to manage me 🙁

    I remember being very sad, also the regression therapy mentioned earlier in this thread, although can’t remember much about it as I was sleeping most of the time being given lots of medication.

    The only staff I can remember are Dr Rogers , Sister Belle, and Nurse Rose who if I’m right was an older lady well at my age appeared to be old but must have been about in her forties at that time?

    I can remember going for walks in the grounds after breakfast, playing football on the field across from the Childrens Unit in front of what I think must have been the main hospital?

    I recall going home for a couple of weekends and being terrified at having to return on the Monday morning 🙁

    Not happy times and to be honest pleased I can’t remember what did happen at that place on the whole. However recently it’s started to come back into my memory again and I can’t understand why?

    I want to forget yet at the same time I want to know more, but the two people who can fill in most of the gaps have now past away 🙁

    Have moved on, but for some reason don’t know why but bit’s of memory seem to be pushing their way to the front of my mind.

  • colin, August 16, 2013 @ 18:06

    1982 childrens unit
    does anyone recall what the matron was called,very strict.short wavy brown hair…not sure if was dugdale
    there was also a doctor that came onto site if you had aches and pains..used to see you in the matrons office..need his name also.
    remember miss whittaker and mr adamson but there was another guy,sometimes he would take us to his house
    think there were lads called billy,heath and a noisy lad called mark,very boisterous

  • colin, August 16, 2013 @ 16:27

    i was admitted 1982..dont know why and it was the most brutal place ever for me…remember mr adamson with the beard,,miss whittaker but cant think what the strict matron was called..also another guy conway or crawley not 100%…remember the steep stairs to the dorms.if anyone knows who these people were i would appreciate it.

  • kirsty, April 27, 2013 @ 16:26


    I have family who live in the original building (now a housing estate) built by Thomas Standen. I was wondering if anyone had further information e.g. plans or diaries or anything really about the ‘other side of the road.’

    Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

  • Dave Regan, March 29, 2013 @ 18:51

    I spend some time in their around 1972 but cant really remember how long, what for or much about it.
    Oddly I don’t feel I have shut it out of my mind for negative reasons, after all it was 40 years ago. I was their when Trevor Normington was their and he was one of the “naughty boys” and to be avoided. Imagine my terror when a couple of years later he appeared at my secondary school.
    I do vaguely remember the layout, sleeping in dorms (some boys crying them selves t sleep), birdwatching, going to church, going to a cinema over at the main hospital. I don’t feel scarred in any way, in fact Lancaster is one of my favourite areas of the North West

  • Steve S, January 29, 2013 @ 13:17

    HI Colin Thanks,
    you have jogged my memory even more,
    I remember David Quinn,(Quinney) he used to be the one that jabbed the bad boys, and take us for walks, he also taught me about Bird watching as the land around there was full of wildlife.
    Dr Rogers i think i spent time at his house one week just before christmas so did Matthew.
    Matthew Appleton and i where good friends then, as i had met him in earlier years in Blackpool.
    i vaguely remember Rose and Joan Sansome.
    Thank You for the update.

  • colin Asp, December 9, 2012 @ 20:28

    I was in the unit for 9 months ending august 1972
    had a look at it today on my way up to Scotland. It has been converted into 2 grand private houses.
    My psychiatrist was Dr Rogers who topped himself.
    I remember David Quinn and nurse Rose and Joan Sansome.
    Other “inmates where Matthew Appleton and Trevor Normington.
    I remember also guys getting “the jab” and going on “regression”.
    A weird part of my life!!

  • Jan, November 4, 2012 @ 10:29

    Thanks for replying Steve S. I’ve just ordered the book you recommended. I hope you have been able to move on in life despite your bad experiences. Although I have moved on pretty successfully on the whole, I still wonder what happened to all the other lads who shared that experience. I keep wondering if there is a way to find them and follow them up.

  • steves, October 30, 2012 @ 21:30

    HI Jan
    shame all this stuff is secret, you should read a book, called deliver unto lions by david austin. or google him he is on u tube ect, he suffered the same in Oakdale childrens unit, thats what made me want to know more, although i had put all that stuff in the back of my head until now.

  • jan, October 10, 2012 @ 21:31

    I was the first girl in the children’s unit in 1968. I remember my stay very clearly, good and bad. I did not experience it as a brutal place and remember the kindness of many of the staff especially the porter called Terry who used to bring trays of bacon in the mornings for breakfast, I have a photo of all the boys and me sitting in a huge tree in the grounds where we used to go for walks, We used to hide sweets in loose panels under our wardrobes because we were supposed to keep them in a communal cupboard in the office to share. We were only allowed home for the weekend once a month which was hard. My psychiatrist was Dr Currah wh used to ask me to make clay models of people I didn’t like and smash them up. I did it to please h was ten years old, but thought it was a mad thing to do!

  • Steve S, July 15, 2012 @ 09:32


    Thank you for the post, I remember getting the jab if i didnt conform, you have made things a bit clearer now, i will still keep researching things. Thanks Again.

  • Steve, July 10, 2012 @ 23:01

    Steve S, I can fill in some of the memories for you.

    The place was hell on earth. You turned in to the place from Quernmore Road. The unit was in a lodge opposite the main hospital building. My enduring memory is of the downstairs layout with the classrooms, the TV room and the kitchen. Remember the cramped dining room? After they had pushed in the slops that they liked to call food, they hauled in the medications trolley.

    Valium? Thioridazine, anyone? Refuse to take the tablets and they used to crush them up with spoons and force the powder down your throat. Get really out of line and you were give a jab. If you turned out of the dining room, left took you back to the kitchen, straight ahead took you to the office where they kept the day books, and left took you to Dr. Ross’s office.

    And the great thing about the drugs is the fear that when given to children, they cause birth defects in later life.

    And with a start like that in life …things can only get better.

  • steve s, November 24, 2011 @ 16:46

    I was in lancaster moors childrens unit in the 70s but im sure it wasnt attached to the hospital, i would like to find out more.
    but my mind is blank on dates, maybe the building doesnt exist anymore.
    im sure it was another unit away from their, i remember we used to go for long walks play football ect, sleep in dorms, i dont remember going to school,i remember taking lots of phycological tests.

  • tumbles, July 5, 2010 @ 14:03

    No its listed with planning to turn into mixed residential use.

  • Shubhadarshini Singh, July 5, 2010 @ 13:14

    It would make a wonderful hotel!

  • Shubhadarshini Singh, July 5, 2010 @ 13:13

    What will they do to the buildings? Level them like they did to Danvers? nobody will like to live there! I feel very sad. After all only miserable human being once lived there.

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