Volunteers wanted!

With all the stonework for the specially commissioned High Royds Sensory Garden, on Buckle Lane, Menston now complete tons of soil/compost has been delivered and put into position.
Much thought has gone into selecting plants suitable for people who are sight impaired or who may have Dementia problems. These will be delivered for planting on Saturday 15th June between 10-00 and 12 noon.
At the same time we will carry out the necessary weeding in other parts to ensure the Memorial Garden is at its best for an Open Day which is planned for Saturday 6th July
In order to facilitate this work, a Weeding and Planting Party will be held between 10-00 and 12 noon on Saturday 15th June.
Volunteers are invited to join in this working group in order to further enhance this three acre site which has become known, both locally and nationally, as an “Oasis of Peace”.

Ron Sweeney
Friends of High Royds Memorial Garden


Work starts on Sensory Garden



Thanks to a grant from the Telegraph & Argus and its parent company, The Gannett Foundation, work has started on a Sensory Garden which will become a feature of High Royds Memorial Garden on Buckle Lane, Menston.
Stone from a local quarry is being used to construct the planters which will then be filled with shrubs and plants to appeal to those who are sight impaired or are having problems with Dementia. The planters will be cared for by volunteers but the grant has enabled professional stonemasons to construct the planters and the surrounds which will enable easy access for wheelchair users.
The Memorial Garden, which has become known both locally and nationally as “An Oasis of Peace” was a former paupers’ graveyard containing 2861 former patients of High Royds Psychiatric Hospital which closed in 1969.
After three years of legal negotiations The Friends of High Royds Memorial Garden started restoration work in 2010 and with the help of many volunteers have created a garden which has become known, locally and nationally, as an “Oasis of Peace”.


Steve Pawson (the offical contractor for the job) and Luke Cruse working hard to finish before the rain starts



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