View Full Version : Archived: High Royds chapel, Menston, March '09

02-04-2009, 11:04 PM
Tiny place readers, but interesting nevertheless.
Although High Royds Hospital was opened in 1888, the proposed church, designed for 790 people with its chancel, nave, aisles, organ-chamber and vestry, at an approximate cost of 10,000, was never built. 17 Years after it opened, this chapel and burial ground was opened.

This water colour painting of Menston Hospital was created in 1885, three years before it opened. The proposed church, in the left foreground, was never built. It was painted by Herbert Martin. It would be 1966 before a chuch was built on the site. In 1980, that burned down and wasn't rebuilt until 1983.

Instead, a fair distance from the main hospital site, where High Royds village is slowly being built, is a tiny chapel, built of the same stone, quarried in nearby Horsforth. Today, its gates are padlocked. Before it opened, many patients were buried in nearby Guiseley.

The chapel is in a state of disrepair.

In recent weeks, the trees have been heavily pruned and the site cleared.

Inside, little remains. Beautiful arched wooden doors are locked.

Sadly, windows are broken, and with no drainpipes anymore, walls are damp.

Afternoon sunlight streams in through hundred year old glass.

Many of the patients here will have been forgotten, buried on top of each other in unmarked graves and covered in quicklime to speed decomposition. There is something very sad about this place, knowing many people here will have been buried without loved ones knowing or often caring. I counted only three headstones in total. This is a 22 year old girl.

I don't know what Glendale's plans are for here. Many want it to become a memorial garden, which seems fitting. Occassionally relatives are seen paying their respects.
High Royds meant a lot of things to a lot of people. Both the Kaiser Cheifs and more recently Kasabian have name checked the hospital in their releases.