High Royds Hospital

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

High Royds Hospital, Menston was purchased between 1882 and 1886 by the West Riding Quarter Sessions Magistrates. The site covered 300 acres. It was classified as a pauper asylum and opened in October 1888 with a capacity of 800 beds.


In 1889 the West Riding County Coucil took over the running of the hospital. In 1912 responsiblity for the hospital passed to West Riding Mental Hospitals Board. This board ceased to exist in 1946 after the National Health Service Act and after 1948 was administered by hte Menston Group Hospital Management Committee. The capacity in 1948 was c.2500 beds. In 1964 the hospital became High Royds Hospital and in the 1974 reorganisation of the health service came under the control of Leeds Western Health District. At this time there were 1322 beds. The hospital was closed on 25 February 2003. Although this date is given in the High Royds book the final two wards, office, canteen etc did not close until June 2003. Patients were relocated to various community mental health units in the City of Leeds, in the three years leading up to its closure. These include The Becklin Centre in St James' Hospital and The Mount (hospital) in the city centre.


The administration building, which is Grade II listed,has an Italian mosaic floor in the main corridor, decorated with the Yorkshire Rose and some black daisies.The hospital once contained a library, a surgery, a dispensary, butchers, dairies, bakers, a sweetshop, an upholster's, a cobbler's, spacious grounds, a ballroom and even a railway. The patients lived in Nightingale wards (named after Florence Nightingale), rather than the individual accommodation found in the more recent mental health units. The hospital was for much of its life connected to the Wharfedale railway line by a dedicated spur connection. The hospital also had a burial ground at Buckle Lane opposite the main building with a small chapel.


Records for High Royds Hospital are held at WYAS Wakefield (ref:C488). These include minute books, some staff records, photographs of the hospital, casebooks/files and burial registers (1890 - 1969).


  • An index to male patients at High Royds Hospital 1888-1908 can be found here.


For access to patient case files please contact WYAS Wakefield, access restrictions may apply.


For further information about the hospital and to see images please see http://www.highroydsarchive.co.uk/