High Royds Hospital


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
High Royds Hospital, Bradford Road


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Statutory Address:
High Royds Hospital, Bradford Road

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 17529 42901


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 24/04/2020

SE 14 SE 4/170

AIREBOROUGH Meuston BRADFORD ROAD (West side) High Royds Hospital II County lunatic asylum, now mental hospital.1884-1888 with C20 alterations. By Vickers Edwards, Contractors Whitaker Bros. (Horsforth), for The West Riding County Asylum Board. Rock-faced stone with ashlar dressings; Westmorland slate roofs. Two and three storeys with single-storey linking corridors.

Echelon plan, having long corridors projecting at an obtruse angle to either side of the central administration block upon which wards range outwards. The central administration block is fronted by the entrance range; behind this is the former ballroom; and beyond that the service blocks (workshops, kitchens, storerooms, laundry and fire station). The wards (three on each side) face the front and are progressively stepped outwards (so they all receive maximum light). The different blocks have offset plinths, grions bands; projecting bays under hipped or gabled roofs; broad shouldered and corniced cross-ridge and lateral stacks; tall pyramidal-roofed towers (formerly water towers) with three-light pointed-arched windows, the lights with cuped heads, under hoodmoulds, carved and iron finials to roofs, some of the towers with louvred stages breaking the roof slope. Windows are tall; paired, triple sashes, or the small-paned upper sash, but many are now sashes or C20 pivoting casements.

The single-storey corridors are stepped to accommodate changes in ground level. C20 infill building and additions are not of special interest.

Entrance range: symmetrical; three storeys, seven bays with two-storey, two-bay side-wings set back. Windows mostly paired and transomed on ground floor. Centre block has alternate bays gabled. Central bay is flanked by offset, gabled buttress, and has panelled double door up steps with flanking windows all under stepped hoodmould; three first floor windows, four to second floor, and stepped three-light window to gable which has shaped kneelers and roll-moulded coping. Bays one and two have canted, parapeted, ground-floor bay windows. The gables of bays two and six treated as central gable, but each rises above projecting, corbelled, second floor and has panelled band below occlus.

Roof hipped with decorative iron finials has central tower (former water tower) which has two transomed windows to lower stage; clock in painted arched recess of several orders to upper stage; and machigolated, embattled parapet (formerly surmounted by timer-framed, gabled water tank).Side-wings each have projecting outer bay under decorative timber-framed gable, the left wing with panelled door on right. Ballroom taller, with round-arched, wooden, mullioned and transomed windows at high level; stepped raised verge with corniced stacks; two louvred ridge cupolas with ogee metal roofs. Similar ridge louvres to other ranges.

Workshops have segmental-arched windows. The former fire station has three tall archways on one side. The front right-hand hard block has verandah; the equivalent left-hand ward altered by two additions (not of special interest).

Interior: good quality contemporary decor survives. Administration block: panelled board room with egg and dart dentilled cornice compartmented ceiling. Stone Tudor-arched fireplace, coloured glass windows with painted bird roundels; decorative cornices and compartmental ceilings to meeting room and reception area; panelled doors in decorative architraves; good moulded stair with newal and pendants up to first floor offices. Main corridor has decorative terrazzo floor with floral motifs and borders; Burmantoft tiles to walls and to eliptical arches with decorative-tiles piers and surrounds; elaborate cornice and cored ceiling with decorative plasterwork windowed sectioning corridor which has coloured glass windows in glazed-tiled architraves. Secondary corridors have terrazzo floors, tiled walls (some painted over) and collared rafter roof trusses (much of roof now underdrawn). Less important corridors have brick walling with decorative tile bands at dado level. All have archways to form (lockable) doorways.

Ballroom (now coffee bar), decorating wall frieze, and shell to one wall; moulded window architraves with imposts; cored panelled ceiling with elaborate moulded and dentilled cornice. Storeroom: metal columns supporting longitudinal girder; decorative openwork braces to cross-beams; walls boarded and lines with storage shelves.

High Royds Hospital was one of the four West Riding County Asylums of the period. It is important in the pioneering use of the echelon plan, for it was only the second lunatic asylum in England be built to this design. The use of the echelon plan meant that all wards could have south-facing views and that the different types of patients would be entirely separated. At High Royds one side of the hospital catered for men, the other for women (and they had separate kitchens); wards for the sick and infirm were in the centre for ease of nursing, epileptics were to the sides where they could be at least disruptive, and incurable patients were at the rear. The hospital was completely isolated when it was built, and it functions as a virtually self-sufficient community.

Listing NGR: SE1752942901


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Harwood, E, The History and Plan Forms of Purpose Built Lunatic Asylums with a Study of their Conservation and Reuse
'Royal Institute of British Architects Journal' in 23rd February, (1901)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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