Connor Hicks

Travel, Landscape & Urban Photographer

High Royds Asylum, Leeds

High Royds Hospital is a former psychiatric hospital south of the village of Menston, West Yorkshire, England.

The hospital was designed on the broad arrow plan by architect J. Vickers Edwards. The 300 acre estate on which the asylum was built was purchased by the West Riding Justices for £18,000 in 1885 and the large gothic complex of stone buildings was formally opened on 8 October 1888

The hospital was intended to be largely self-sufficient, and was provided with its own library, surgery, dispensary, butchery, dairies, bakery, shop, upholster’s and cobbler’s workshops and a large estate partly devoted to agriculture and market gardening. The patients lived in wards and if they were able, were expected to work towards their keep either on the farm, in the kitchens and laundry, or in various handicrafts. The hospital was formerly connected to the Wharfedale railway line by its own small railway system, the High Royds Hospital Railway, but this was closed in 1951.

In its final years of operation, High Royds had become outdated and unsuited to modern psychiatric practice. This was acknowledged by the chief executive of Leeds Mental Health in 1999 after complaints from consultants about violence and cramped conditions on the wards.

As of 2011, the site was being redeveloped as a new village, also called High Royds, retaining some features of the hospital such as the ballroom and the clock tower.

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