Hospitals and Asylums

Old Batley District Hospital

There is very little history I can find about this location but it was first opened in 1929. It was known as Batley General Hospital 1929 to 1948, then changed to Batley and District General Hospital 1949 to 1951. It contiued with the same name until 1988 when it was closed for the newly built Dewsbury district hospital. From 1990 to about 1996 it was known as Carlinghow nursing home, then closed down again. There is planning permission put forward for a girls school but has yet to be passed via council. the building suffered fire damage in the basement in 2017.

Nocton Hospital

This Hall is a historic Grade II listed building. The plaque on the north face of the Hall indicates that the original building dates back to about 1530 but since then there have been two notable reconstructions. Several prominent people have been residents of the house the most notable being Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for a short time. During the First World War the house was used as a convalescence home for wounded American Officers. In the Second World War the Americans again used the house as a military hospital after which it was taken over by the RAF and an extensive hospital developed in the grounds. It reverted to private use in the 1980s. In 2004 there was a major fire which left the building in a derelict state

St Johns Asylum

Designed by John Hamilton and James Medland in a “Italianate style” as a County Lunatic Asylum this location was opened in 1852. The asylum was built using county rates at a cost of around £30,000. It became Bracebridge Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1898 and Bracebridge Mental Hospital in 1919. It served as an Emergency Hospital during the Second World War and, having been renamed Bracebridge Heath Hospital in 1939, joined the National Health Service in 1948. It went on to become St John's Hospital, Bracebridge Heath in 1961.

The hospital could house 250 patients. The building was expanded in 1889 to house upwards of 680 patients, and by 1902 the site covered 120 acres. By 1926 the site had been further expanded and covered 160 acres. At its height the asylum had 944 beds available for patients, almost four times the original size.

The corridors and most of the cells and day-rooms have a honeycomb vaulted ceiling, and a common belief is that the honeycomb pattern was to reduce noise levels, to stop the cries and screams of inmates travelling down the long corridors. The truth in fact is nothing like this at all, these hospitals were nowhere near as horrific as people imagine. The honeycomb vaulted ceiling was a type of fireproofing incorporated into the building’s construction. This style was commonplace in mid-nineteenth century hospitals

The hospital closed in December 1989 and the site has been sold to a property developer who has built 183 luxury homes and apartments there. The original hospital buildings are classified as Grade II listed buildings.