On December 24th the Friends of High Royds Memorial Garden & Chapel were informed, by the Telegraph & Argus, that they have been awarded a grant by the Gannett Foundation for their plans to develop a Sensory Garden as part of the restored three acre site.

The restored former paupers graveyard and derelict chapel has become known as an “OASIS OF PEACE” in an increasingly environmentally developed area. The proposed Sensory Garden is being developed to help those who are sight impaired or have Dementia issues thereby broadening its appeal to all sections of the community.
Work on the development will, it is anticipated now commence in the Spring of this year.



On Saturday 3rd of November a Remembrance Service was held at 3.00pm in the Memorial Garden Chapel

DSC05768 cropEmmerson Walgrove, Ron Sweeney and Revd. Andrew Howorth with TOMMY

The service was conducted by the Revd. Andrew Howorth of St John The Divine Church Menston and Chaplain of High Royds Memorial Chapel.

DSC05775Ron Sweeney introduced the Chapels own TOMMY to sit with the names of the High Royds Hospital Staff who gave their lives in the two word wars.DSC05773

Emmerson Walgrove read the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, Quentin Mackenzie read Dulce et Decorum est by Wifred Owen describing the horrors of war, DSC05777and Liz Sharp read the Gospel from the New Testament. Matthew 5:1-12

DSC05778 cropAll attending were invited to light a candle as an act of remembrance for lost loved ones.DSC05783

The friends of High Royds Memorial Garden and Chapel give their thanks to David and Judith Knaggs for bringing the large TOMMY (there but not there) that added a poignant symbol of why we should remember those who gave their lives for their countryDSC05764crop


New chaplain for High Royds Memorial Chapel and Garden

The Rev Andrew Howorth is an associate priest at St John the Divine, in Menston. rev mmgHe is a former chaplain to the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust where he had more than 25 years experience in dealing with mental health issues.
He said: “Even today people are still having to experience the cruel stigma of mental distress which frequently makes recovery all the harder – the Memorial Chapel stands as a proud reminder of all the untold stories.”
Together with Friends of High Royds Memorial Chapel and Garden, he is preparing a service to dedicate an illuminated memorial tribute and plaque to the 14 staff members of the former West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum – later High Royds Hospital – who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The public service will be held in the Memorial Chapel on Buckle Lane at 3pm on Saturday, November 3Tommy

The Heritage Weekend

The Heritage Weekend went very well so thank you all for the effort and time involved.  Many visitors and did appreciate it as was gathered from the remarks that were passed.

20180916_165333_Burst01Sue Lee, Revd. Andrew Howorth, Emmerson Walgrove, Ron Sweeney, David Lynch

The Service, conducted by the Revd. Andrew Howorth was well received and again from comments he seems to have ” hit the spot”  in his remarks on mental health and our response to it. In particular Andrew put over very clearly how High Royds helped to form a “bridge” from the abuses of the old Workhouse system which lead to the Asylums and now to us as Care in the Community has taken over. So whilst the Chapel and Garden reminds us of the past it also points to the future as our understanding of Mental Health issues increases and hopefully we learn lessons from the past.

Our thanks as usual to the Ladies Please Choir who again pleased!  David’s reading of his poem “2861” was very moving. It received a round of applause and gave us all pause for thought.

All in all a moving, but not sad, occasion as it made us aware of how ” An Oasis of Peace”, which the Memorial Garden & Chapel has become, can help us all.

Again thank you to all concerned.

National Heritage Weekend

The 15th and 16th of September is National Heritage Weekend so the Chapel and Gardens will be open in the mornings from 11.00am to 1.00pm and from 2.00pm to 4.00pm in the afternoons, concluding with a Service in the Chapel at 4.00pm on the Sunday.

Members of the Memorial Garden Committee will be on hand to answer any questions you may have .

Thank You

The  Memorial Garden Committee wish to thank the Ladies Please Choir for a wonderful concert, which they sang to raise funds for the continued upkeep of the garden and chapel, the very generous donation of the evenings takings was received with thanks.

Ladies Please Choir

The Ladies Please choir will be giving a concert next Friday 22nd June in the Menston Methodist Church commencing at 7.30pm. The funds raised will be given to the Memorial Garden to help maintain and develop it further. Ron Sweeny the Memorial Garden chairman will be saying a few words to start with about the Garden, the progress it has made and the plans for the future.

If you can make it you would be very welcome. Tickets cost £6.

If you can support the concert please contact Liz Sharp. elizabeth.sharp360@btinternet.com



The Memorial Garden AGM was held last night with numbers down on last years meeting, but it was still an excellent evening with the committee re-elected with the addition of John Naylor and Emmerson Walgrove elected to the Management committee.

An informative talk was given by Helen Kemp CEO of Leeds Mind, on the Modern Community Approach to Mental HeathHele Kemp



Newsletter 12



After a short AGM to approve the accounts and elect the committee we have been fortunate in that Helen Kemp, the Chief Executive Officer of Leeds Mind will give a talk on public attitudes and how the modern community services are dealing with the problem of mental ill-health.

Tea and biscuits will be served and there will be ample opportunity for discussion and questions. We look forward to seeing you.



As we advised you in our last Newsletter we were honoured to receive a Community Award from the Duke of York last year. The volunteers were highly commended by the Duke for the work in restoring the Memorial Garden & Wood.

We are therefore doubly pleased to announce that together with the main site of the former High Royds Hospital the Memorial Garden & Wood is officially recognised by Historic England as being of Special Historic Interest.

The official notification is as follows

Landscape associated with the former High Royds Hospital, Bradford Road, Menston, West Yorkshire. List Entry Number 1001469.

“After receiving representations from the developers we considered removing the above site from the Register We have completed our assessment and Historic England has decided not to remove the site from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic in England.”

buckle lane memorial garden flower beds 17 sm (2)mapN.B Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local Government


Since we became the owners of the site in 2010 work has been carried out in three stages: Restoration of the graveyard; the Chapel and then in 2017 – the Wood. This has created what is now called 


An Oasis which is becoming increasingly important as the area becomes more and more developed.

In order to maintain and develop this peaceful site, further initiatives are under consideration. We are pleased to be able to support the Bat & Bird Boxes initiative organised by the Menston Community Association and funded by the Co-op Community Development fund.

As you may have read in the press, or heard at the meeting on March 27th, these boxes will be placed throughout the village including the Memorial Garden & Wood

bird boxes

Organisers and children pictured at  the recent well-attended Open Meeting to discuss and learn more about the initiative

sensory g

A further project which has been suggested is the creation of a Sensory Garden in a section of the three acre Memorial Garden & Wood.  

Sensory Gardens have been successfully introduced in other parts of the country and have proved to be a blessing to many people who are blind or partially sighted. They appeal to all five senses and are also beneficial for people suffering from other forms of sensory deprivation or Dementia.

 This project would require funding, which we are actively looking into. Professional advice is also being obtained. We have, for example contacted Alan Titchmarsh, who was born in Ilkley, for his advice. We are fortunate that all the paths in the garden already conform to official disabled standards. It is early days and comments or suggestions are always welcome.


As in previous years we will be holding an Open Day to which all are invited. Further details will be published nearer the time but in addition to refreshments there will be flowers and plants for sale at reduced prices.

hare houndsParking and toilet facilities will be available at the Hare & Hounds by courtesy of the management.

diary notesApril 25th – Kirklands – 7-30pm – Open Meeting & AGM – Guest Speaker – Helen Kemp – CEO – Leeds Mind

June 22ndLadies Please Concert –  Methodist Church Hall – 7-30am. Proceeds to the Memorial Garden.

July 14thMemorial Garden Open Day and Flower/Plant Sale. 10am to 4pm

September 15-16 – Heritage Open Days with Thanksgiving Service at 4pm on the Sunday. Further details will be published nearer the time


To maintain the garden and keep up the high standard which has attracted national as well as local attention requires many different gifts so thank you to all concerned. The contributions by standing order are very helpful and appreciated as are offers to help with the cleaning of the chapel or occasional weeding.