Hospital Name: Broadgate Hospital
Previous Names: East Riding Mental Hospital
Location: Broadgate, Walkington, East Riding
Principal Architect: Charles Henry Howell
Layout: Corridor Plan
Status: Demolished
Opened: 25th October 1871
Closed: 12th April 1989


The East Riding of Yorkshire formed a committee to locate a suitable site for a new asylum during the 1860’s and a site near Walkington was chosen. The area purchased formed part of Broadgate farm and was located a convenient distance from the Beverley, the county town.

Prior to this time the pauper lunatics of the East Riding had been accommodated at what had been the Joint Asylum at Clifton, York. The Clifton Asylum had opened in 1847, soon after the Lunacy Act which had made it mandatory County and Borough authorities to provide dedicated institutions for such persons. Prior to this time accommodation for lunatics had been via a inconsistent network of Private asylums, with others being sent to the York asylum or The Retreat, which was run by the Quakers.

Clifton asylum soon became overrun with inmates, requiring a re-evaluation of the accommodation provided to the authorities authorities with the City of York removing it’s lunatics to the York Asylum from 1861. The North and East Ridings continued to maintain a joint arrangement at Clifton but within a few years, pressure for space once again demanded departure of inmates to alternative facilities. The East Riding justices determined to provide their own institution, and one which was not centred on York as its hub. Initially representations were made to the Kingston upon Hull Borough authorities with a view to providing an combined asylum which would also take inmates from that area, the most populous place within the Riding, but whose jurisdiction was largely separate. Kingston upon Hull had for many years operated it’s own accommodation for it’s lunatics at what had previously been a private asylum, the Hull and East Riding Refuge, which had long been criticised for being unfit for purpose. Hull had resisted such advances by the East Riding and would wait another twelve years after Broadgate opened until its new asylum at Willerby finally took it?s first inmates.

The new East Riding asylum opened in 1871, having been designed by Charles Henry Howell. Howell had been a prominent architect at the time having already been involved with the Surrey County Asylum, Brookwood and the Berkshire County Asylum near Moulsford which opened in 1867 and 1870 respectively. Each of the three of Howell’s design’s followed a similar layout using the corridor plan with wings stepped back to either side. The north elevation at Broadgate comprised various service areas including laundry, stores, and maintenance yards segregated carefully from the main entrance and administration block. The administrative block at Broadgate and Moulsford shared many common features and were of similar scale and layout, such as being spread over three storeys, the positioning of a goods archway to the steward’s stores behind, and the use of a projecting block to one side to accommodate the residence of the superintendent. The location of the chapel at Broadgate however differed, being located at the eastern end of the structure and unlike Moulsford asylum’s Tudor style, Broadgate was executed more closely to the ‘Rudbogenstil’ comprising round headed window arches and polychromatic brickwork and popular at the time.

The accommodation wings to the rear were constructed in a similar fashion to the administration block, albeit plainer and over only two storeys with a central officer’s block. To the south west was located the gasworks which was constructed to provide for the complex, whereas the southeast of the grounds accommodated an isolation ward for infectious diseases. Surrounding farmland was used to provide food for the asylum as well as occupation for male inmates. Extensions took place from 1880’s with the addition of three storey ward blocks to either side of the original and a new recreation hall was added to the centre of the south elevation. A new home for the superintendent, West End House, was provided to the west of the main building creating more space in the main complex.

During World War I, the asylum saw inmates transferred in from other psychiatric institutions turned over to the military, most notably the South Yorkshire Asylum in Sheffield which became the Wharncliffe War Hospital and the Newcastle upon Tyne City Asylum which was used as the Gosforth War Hospital. Such an influx of inmates in combination with the calling up of male attendants for the forces meant overcrowding and skeletal staffing for the duration of the Great War and for some time after.

During the 1920’s the campus was renamed the East Riding Mental Hospital in common with all county and borough’s during the period in a bid to break the association with the grim Victorian reputation of such institutions. New housing, Maple Cottages were subsequently built onto the main road in order to attract married male attendants to work at Broadgate with the potential of tied accommodation. For female staff, the former isolation hospital, always little used for its intended purpose, was expanded with the addition of two upper storeys to be turned over to use as a nurses home. Pressure for space in the main building was relieved somewhat with the opening of the East Riding and City of York?s new colony for the mentally defective at Brandesburton Hall. This was gradually expanded with the construction of further villas for patients of various grades of disability, although such development was terminated with the Second World War when the patients were transferred out for the institution to be used by the Royal Air Force.

Following the war, the advent of the National Health Service brought all the County and Borough Asylums as well as many others into common state ownership alongside other types of healthcare facilities. Broadgate and Brandesburton were brought under the control of the East Riding Hospitals management committee. The hospital, no longer being owned by a County Council was renamed Broadgate Hospital. During the 1960’s funding was made available to improve accommodation within the hospital with renovation of the wards and additional buildings for industrial and occupational therapy being constructed. It was during this time that the hospital celebrated its centenary. At this time the hospital catchment areas between Broadgate and De la Pole in Willerby was revised with greater parts of the rural East Riding shared between both hospitals.

Despite the Minister for Health, Enoch Powell’s ‘water tower’ speech having taken place as early as 1961, heralding the intended demise of most large psychiatric hospitals such proposals seemed unlikely until the early 1980’s when renewed attempts were made under the Thatcher government to implement the controversial ‘Care in the Community’ bill. A reduction in bed numbers since their peak in the mid 1950’s brought about a number of early closures during the mid to late 1980’s of which Broadgate was one. Of the two major mental hospitals in the area, Broadgate was the larger, older and more isolated. Bedspace at De la Pole Hospital was made available for the transfer of many of the remaining units where psychiatric services were to be concentrated.

Following closure the site remained empty for a couple of years but was subsequently demolished for redevelopment of the site for housing. Of the surviving buildings, three lodge cottages and the staff housing on the main road remain. The former nurses home, known as The Ridings, stood until recently when it was also replaced by new housing.

External Photos

With thanks to Mike Hood for these archive photos:

With thanks to Mike G for these photos of demolition

Internal Photos

Mike Hood – Nursing Officer
Dorothy Richardson from the league of friends presenting six Nesbitt Evans mechanical beds to sister Christine Russell and nursing officer Howard McClarron



Hospital records are held by East Riding of Yorkshire archives and local studies service:


There was no onsite burial ground, however 935 patients were buried between 1911 and 1980 at the nearby Queensgate Cemetery. These graves were mostly unmarked until 2017, using records held by the East Riding of Yorkshire Archives, when they were officially marked. The burial ground is also has an information board about the hospital/graves and trees were planted to surround the area.

The archives still retains the list of burials and can be contacted on the link above.



Across the Westwood - The Life and Times of Broadgate Hospital, compiled and edited by Robert Curry
Across the Westwood – The Life and Times of Broadgate Hospital, compiled and edited by Robert Curry – ISBN: 9780951805107
Broadgate Hospital - Centenary 1871-1971
Broadgate Hospital – Centenary 1871-1971 (No ISBN)

Broadgate General Rules – 1872 (Click on image for PDF)


73 responses to “Broadgate”

  1. Good Morning, this may seem quite a strange email. I understand Broadgate Asylum was demolished in 1989. Once demolished a Beverley housing estate was put in its place. My childhood home was actually 47 Megson Way, Beverley. As a child I had many terrifying haunting experiences in the home, this resulted in my parents moving very quickly. The experiences I went through in this house still haunt me today and I think about what happened everyday. Recently I have decided to do some research into the land and Asylum to try to give myself a little closure. I am please just wondering if you had any floor plans as to what exactly my house was built on top of? I believe it was possibly the mortuary.
    If you could give me any insight to this that would be great. I actually live in Australia now but plan on visiting the home on my next trip back to the UK.
    Thank you, Katie

    • Hi Katie, it’s quite difficult to accertain without aerial maps to overlay. I’ve tried google earth historical imagery and that only goes back to 2003 unfortuantely (other areas it will go back to 1900s) – Old Maps online has some useful maps. Perhaps this one the most obvious which shows the rough layout of the asyulum. It’s still difficult to accertain where the mortuary building would be located. Typically they are out of site nearing the engineer/boiling houses sometimes. There are some buildings on the map that suggest it might be near your house. It’s quite possible there is a large pauper graveyard – I’d suggest this is likely to be where the football pitch is currently.

          • My wife was in that unit .. She was held down and injected many times by a nurse called Mr paddle.. Horrifying for a child to go through

    • Hi Katie, I was a patient in Broadgate Hospital in the early 80’s. I can’t say though that I had any actual haunting experiences in the place whilst I stayed there in a dormitory, but considering what the atmosphere was like in some ways, your story doesn’t surprise me. I suppose there may be different explanations for your experience, it may just have been an unhappy spirit that can’t move on. The good thing is you can. I hope you find closure soon.

    • Hi i was a student lodged in the old nurses block 97 to 99 and o my yes very spooky place.
      I dont think the residents of the new house’s know there living in a poltergeist movie!

      • Hi. A great Aunt of mine was in Broadgate all her life from 20 years old to her death. She was called Mary Dennis. I am intrigued to know more about her if anyone knows? Maybe someone remembers her if they worked there?

    • I know this comment is a long time ago but I?d never seen it. I worked there for 7 years as a porter and regularly visited the mortuary. It wasn?t on what is now Megson way, it was roughly at the end of what is now George Way, looking at Maps, I can?t pinpoint the exact location.

    • Hi Katie

      Sorry to hear this.
      Please do you have a contact whereby I can get in touch directly & in private ?
      Take care

  2. Hi Katie,
    In addition to the information above from Tom, I can advise you that the location of 47 Megson Way was just behind a three storey extension of the female wing which had been added around 1896. The site of the house had been occupied by an access road and later (after 1910) a single storey structure alongside. The images that survive of this particular structure appear to indicate it being a workshop block rather than a mortuary. A photograph on Flickr taken at the time of demolition shows the same single storey building on the site of 47 Megson Way ( Mortuaries tended to have a lantern roof or roof lights to assist the pathologist in their examinations. I agree with Tom that the mortuary would likely have been sited in a works area, almost certainly in a male area. It seems most likely in the absence of more detailed plans that the mortuary was sited to the southwestern corner, close to the sites of the gasworks, boiler house and water tower. Less likely, it may have been sited behind the original male wards in the buildings close to the chapel. Regarding burials from Broadgate, the pauper and unclaimed dead had been sent between 1870-92 to St. Martin’s Churchyard in Beverley, between 1892-1911 to All Hallows Churchyard in Walkington and then from 1911 onward to a dedicated area in the northwestern corner of the newly opened Beverley Municipal Cemetery in Queensgate.

  3. Hello, I’m a young filmmaker from Beverley and me and my friend are making a documentary about the ‘hospital’. Would anyone be interested in supplying us with info, or anything that would help.

    • Hi I have been doing some family history research and found my cousin John Robert Mcgreggor in Broadgate reason of admittance insanity caused by grief . He died there aged 29

    • My dad was a staff nurse at broadgate hospital and l recall going with him to collect his wages and l clung to his hand as we went through various doors which he had to unlock to enter and lock behind us. He had big bundle of keys for so many wards. I was only about 12 at the time and saw padded cells found the whole thing scary. But my dad loved his job often he came home with cuts, bruises and bumps inflicted by violent patients but never complained. The ironical thing is after his retirement he became ill and ended his life as a patient in broadgate hospital.

    • yes im interested on your ideas ,there was a documentary about west end adolescent unit in 1979 by yorkshire tv , i spent time at west end 1973/ 74,

      • My name is Liz and I was in West end under Dr. Beynon about 1968/9. Hated every second , and the injections !

        • I was under dr beynon and his wife beryll at baynard house de,la, pole in 1969.then went to west end in 1973

      • So was i late 1969 to early 1970 sister theakston was in charge hated her i remember Paul Campy i had a crush on him i used ti love the parties in the big hall in the main building

    • Hi. I?m doing some research into my family tree. I knew that a great Aunt of mine was in there all her life from being a young woman. I cannot find anywhere though that gives me the reason why she was admitted etc.
      Could you please advise me where to look.
      Thank you

  4. I lived in Walkington and my friends lived in the ridings halls of residence next to it. we look around the abandoned hospital in 1990. it closed in 89 but was left in a eerie state. my friend that lived in the day nurses residents often complained of paranormal activity and I remember door banging and footsteps when I stayed with my friend as she was scared to stay on her own. I also remember megs on way and thinking that the residents may have trouble as the hospital was clearly haunted.

  5. Is there any way I can gain access to patient’s records? My grandfather spent most of his life there until he died in 1972.

          • I remember her..I was an adolescent on one of the wards.we used to be taken to make the geriatric beds,and Mary was at that time kept in a 1 cell room with a window.We felt sorry for her and we used to say hello to her and smile and wave.But the nurse used to drag us away.

  6. Hello
    I wonder if anybody could help. My Mother Maud Illsley (deceased) was an auxiliary nurse in world war 2 and was posted to what she referred to as ‘Beverley mental hospital’ and had many stories to tell about life there and around Beverley and Walkington during the war period. Is this the same hospital ? and if so are there any records or photographs remaining that can be accessed as I would like to know more about what my mum did in the war. Her mum nursed soldiers with shell shock in the great war although not at the same hospital and I am currently a mental health nurse. Purely coincidental.


    • Hi Tim, have you had a look at the book that’s is written on Broadgate hospital?
      It’s called “Across The Westwood” and can usually be found at a reasonable price.

  7. The mortuary was situated behind the chapel near to the work sheds. The mortuary at Broadgate did not have a lantern roof.Hope this is of some help.

  8. Hello anyone!
    My dad worked here in the seventies until closure as a nurse. We first lived in the cottage at the front on the right, it was just known as lodge cottage.
    We then moved around the back, in one of the houses called farm road. What an amazing place to grow up, lovely and safe space in front, a huge green space and the farm behind. I used to walk to school in walkington, I remember it being a long way!
    My last memories were off a huge road being built across the lovely farm and then us moving out when it was finally knocked down. I was very sad to leave and enjoyed seeing the photos and information.

  9. I was brought up on the hospital grounds from 1939 to 1957. My father was the deputy superintendent. As a small boy I rode all over the grounds on my tricycle and can tell you exactly where the mortuary was. East of the chapel was a single story block comprising a bike shed (also housing the hospital hand propelled fire engine), carpenter’s shop, painters shop, the cabinet maker’s and upholsterer’s shop, two garages (for the superintendent’s and his deputy’s cars) and finally the mortuary. My father performed some post-mortems there and I remember looking through the door when it was being cleaned (after the bodies had been removed).

  10. Hi, I have just visited this site and found some of the comments very interesting, firstly I worked here from 1971 until the last day and took the last mini van load of patients across to DLP. My grandfather and uncles and aunties also worked here in fact Megson way was named after a family member her maiden name being Hood.
    There was only one area within the hospital that had reported abnormal activity of an unnatural nature from reliable sources including myself. however Katie from Australia it did not occur in the vicinity of your previous home of 47 megson way which is not built on the building that was but more or less butted up to the east wing which was originally the male side of the hospital. The activity occurred in the west wing on the top floor (as pete is pretty close with is thoughts.) This was the female wing of the hospital and as I say it was on the top floor and the rear stair well, it consisted of foot steps , lights turning on and off and doors opening and shutting. So I would not have been surprised if some one in the west part of Ash dene had reported anything.

    Padded cells never existed in my time or that of my grandfather so Junes father must have been working there about the time of the first world war. And Will if you are still attempting to produce something I am willing to help out with any info.

  11. Hi. I was a student nurse at Hull University in the early 80’s and we had a 3 month placement at Broadgates in 1983. We were terrified initially but absolutely loved it there and got to know staff and patients, it had a strong family feel and I felt that the staff were caring. Some patients had been there for a lifetime. The hospital itself was spooky with its long long corridors …I never felt or saw anything untoward but I would never have have taken those back staircases on my own.

  12. Hi remember mike hood and molly winters from west end adolescent unit, hope you are well mike if you are reading this .from 1973/74. ihad a lot of friends there of the staff robbie, trussy karen wallingford , lesley hunston ursular beastie , val, crow , blackie, we all used to go to dances at the rehab centre, unforgetable times enjoyed my time there from james patrick abram

    • I was there a few years before …do you remember going to school round the back road of the hospital grounds and the grumbles meetings in West End . There was a male nurse there at the time called Mr Pardoe …scary man to a kid !

      • My name is Robert cooper.
        I was in broadgate hospital in 1965.
        And put into west end and remember Dr pardo
        And the injections.
        And male 1 to 7.
        And female 1 to 7 wards.
        If you would like to know email me.
        Take care everyone that went
        To broad gate. X

    • It wasn’t all bad at west end there was a coloured Male nurse there too his name was vice sendego he was nice infact they all were except that sister thecksfon hated her I remember the discos we had in the main hall they were great and we mixed with the other patients too. But that Paul Campey he was lovely. Hes now a social worker in Hull.

      • I remember sister theakston she was Welsh , I always remember the 1973 Christmas party at West end I know Karen Wallingford from brough has now passed her sister informed me also remember Elizabeth , Lesley hunston from Goole, Debbie waudby Ursula beastie, crow, blackie, Lynn Hardie a staff member Stuart west going to rehab dances till 11 pm , memorable & enjoyable times I remember mrbrocklesby, wonder where they all are now?

      • I am currently looking back at my time at baynard house de la pole, &my time at willerby secondary school in1969/70 & my time at West end broadgate hospital in 1973, as view to scripting a screen play with character actors called baynard house, willerby school &west end, like a trilogy ,I came up to these places from my home town of Wigan Lancashire. Anyone who had experiences maybe we could share.

        • I was at Willerby Secondry School down car lane then moved to willerby upper school it had just been built then and I was in Westend in 1970 I dont recall your name at the school though

          • Yes I was at baynard house ,de la pole September 1969 Jan 1970 willerby school care lane, in miss woolseys class also remember Mr gibbon Mrs Fordham there is a good site on face book called wolfreton school , I was quite lucky at those three places that’s why a film project I have done most of the scripting all places have been demolished unfortunately although I have an photos of I don’t have many in of west end though. From James Patrick Abram

  13. I am currently doing my family tree and found out a great aunt was in Broadgate for most of her life. Does anyone know where I can find admission records from. Just hoping to find out why she ended up in there. Her name was Mary Dennis and had been there since being a young woman and ended up passing away there. So sad.

    • You should be able to find more information on the more info tab which will tell you the local archives store.

  14. Hi James you brought back some good memories of good times, we did a lot of good back then for a lot of good kids, pity that is no longer available to kids now.

  15. I was in west end twice 83 and 85 I have found memory?s of it strangely. The staff were great with a house full of teenagers ,,

    • Yes it was a hose full of teenagers I was there in 1973 I don’t have many photos of the building do you? From James abram

    • hi paul im sure i was in there when you was in the adolescent unit my names dawn do you remember me?

      • Hi. I was in there in 1986. Dr Doughty was my therapist. Such a strange place. Where can I find the documentary?

        • Bev I originally saw the documentary by Yorkshire TV in 1978 about a teenager who went to west end and there was an interview with Dr doughty my doctor at West end in 1973.

  16. I was in the Adolescent Unit in 1980 for about 3mths. Looking for psychiatrist Dr Doughty and the social worker Pete Andrews. Both must be retired by now. I was a curious place to be, I was never afraid or spooked.

    • I remember Dr doughty 1973 used to give me a game a football outside unit,according to somebody is still living a few years back,there was a documentary around 1979/80 featuring Dr doughty I saw it on ITV.

  17. Ps. There were plenty of info in the Beverley archives. I did a history project on it years later

  18. Broad gate was a brilliant place Megson Way was named after my mother and her sisters whose maiden names were Megson and my grandad Richard Megson helped build the place aswell . My mum dad aunts and uncles sister all worked there aswell and I worked there from 1970 to the close . Many happy memories

  19. Hello everyone, my name is Willow Brian Silbeck and I am an author from the UK. I am in the middle of writing a new book and am wanting to include as much detail as I can possibly find about this place. My great Nana was here in the 1970s or 1980s and her name was Ada Maud Thompson, later Ada Maud Cundy when married. If anyone who either stayed or worked there wishes to tell me their story, I shall have their stories printed in my book, of course with permission from each participant first. I would like to find out more about what it was like to stay there and if anyone would like to contact me, please do so via I would like to say thank you very much in advance to anyone willing to come forward with their stories on this place.

  20. Hi I was a patient at broadgates in 1984 until 1985. I was on the special care unit . My social worker didnt know were to place me as my foster parents and my mum didnt want me. I had done nothing wrong i was just a normal teenager. This experience has had a massive effect on me all my life. Been locked up with patients who suffered with mental health was not a good experience. To who ever said there wasnt padded cells there was on that unit . 2 experiences with the padded cells 1 girl had mental health due to a break down of a relationship and was very ill was put in a padded cell. Another girl who had anorexia was put in the padded cell on a bed and forced to eat. Im still in touch with that female. When your a new patient we had to earn points for some freedom of been able to walk round the grounds. I did try to run away but when caught was punished. In this day and age things like this would not happen. We had to work on the grounds wasnt given a choice. Was glad when i was discharged. I was 16 when admitted to the ward and 17 when discharged

    • I worked there from 1970 to the day it closed and there was never any padded cells, seclusion rooms yes you seem to have a very vivid imagination

      • Mr Hood seems to have conveniently forgotten some details…which isn’t surprising …but we’ll avoid that for now !

        Mr Hood is fully aware of padded cells at that asylum. Perhaps the precise locations have become ‘ foggy ‘ I’m people’s memories.
        Nostalgia plays dangerous tricks & ‘ ulterior motives ‘ even moreso.
        Mr Hood had quite a lot to ‘ forget ‘ actually.

      • Dear mike,2 people cant have vivid imaginations. I also remember the anorexic girl in the padded cell between the alternative to birstall unit wards.. I was there on the female wing 1980 to 1983..

    • I was on that ward sister wedge in name was Wendy then,I was only 15 got out when I was 18.

  21. Hi Angela I was 13 when I spent a year at Baynard house de lapole hospital 1969/70 I had nearly died in 1968 as I was being bullied at secondary school in my home town of Wigan ,so went to Baynard house to recover . In 1973 went to west end adolescent unit broadgate hospital in Beverley ,there were children who were from broken homes ,ones who were bullied at school all types of emotional problems must have been hard for you as it was for me ,if you want to respond would be happy to my email is

  22. On the picture above, at the left of the picture there is a tower, go to the base of that tower, come forward slightly and there is a low building. That was the mortuary, I worked there from 1977 as porter fro 7 years.

  23. Hello Mike hood
    Always remember you and your Canadian friend from Edmonton,I was a patient in broadgate in 1978,that place was good to me and sorted my life out,settled me down ,got a good job and travelled the world for 40 years till retirement,I’m in my 70s now but I shall never forget you and most of the other staff who helped me,take care
    Kevin Scarlett

  24. It’s really interesting reading people’s experiences at broad gate hospital and I would urge others who experienced life at the hospital to share their experiences on here best wishes for Christmas & new year to all contributors from James abram

  25. Hello I remember walking around the site back in 1992 they started demolition on the west end of the hospital in feb 1992 and when I arrived on a drive by in may all that was left was a small part of the east end/part of the chapel/boiler house/estates dept/water tower/houses at the back the rest had been demolished…I remembered walking across from the site and seeing vinyl tiles on the floor and u could make out it was a corridor…I did obtain a ground floor plan of the site from the remains of the estates department from a filling cabinet that had been partly damaged by falling masonry and a few years ago these were passed on to willerby hill via a doctor I the time I thought it would be good to save what I could…I also have quite a few photos of delapole during its demolition 10 years later in 2002

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