Storthes Hall Hospital
|Storthes Hall Hospital|
|Building Style||Echelon Plan|
Storthes Hall estate dates back to the Middle Ages and it is essentially the spoils of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. It was sold to Richard Horsfall, a gentleman, and was occupied by various branches of the Horsfall family until the middle of the 19th century. Once they had moved out the property was leased for a while but eventually sold to the West Riding County Council as the site for an asylum for the mentally ill. The hall, now known as the Mansion, was built in 1787. The estate comprised 629 acres.
The asylum was opened in 1904. It had almost a thousand patients. It was a state-of-the-art institution with its own farms (including Ravensknowle and Moorside), water supply, kitchen and laundry, and even proposals for a branch railway. It was declared redundant in 1987, closed and bought by Huddersfield University. The site of the old Acute Hospital has been redeveloped into 1,400 student flats but some of the original buildings survived, the most notable being "The Arboretum", a bar and dining facility which once housed difficult to manage patients. The University sold the accommodation in 2003 for £28m (it is now operated by a private company) and put in a planning application for housing development which was turned down, feeding speculation that the whole exercise was a way of getting land cheaply and selling it on at an enormous profit. In 2005 plans for a retirement village within the confines of the Main Hospital were passed. This site remains derelict apart from the Administration Building, designed by J Vickers-Edwards, the West Riding County Architect and Surveyor, which is still standing but sadly neglected.
The original Storthes Hall, a large country mansion, stands adjacent to what was Storthes Hall Hospital. It too acted as a hospital for people with learning difficulties - The Mansion Hospital. When it closed the house fell into disrepair but has now been restored and is once again a fine dwelling house.