fonds NHS/RIP - Ripon Hostel Archive

Identity area

Reference code



Ripon Hostel Archive


  • [1950s-1960s] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.11 cubic metres

1 box and 8 rolls

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Ripon Hostel, in Bondgate Green Lane, Ripon (and thus often known as Bondgate Hostel) was opened in the early 1940s as a hostel for the Women’s Land Army. It was subsequently used as sheltered hostel accommodation for ‘high grade mentally defective’ men working in agriculture and was administered, along with Tadcaster and Bubwith Hostels, by the County Agricultural Executive Committee and the National Association for Mental Health. All three hostels became NHS under the control of York ‘B’ Group Hospital Management Committee in January 1951.

All the hostels were initially used by York ‘B’ Group to house suitable male patients from Whixley Hospital, but because it was difficult to fill the vacancies it was decided at the end of 1951 that Ripon Hostel should be used for either ‘lower grade’ men or else women able to go out to work. Early in 1952 the existing men at Ripon were transferred to Bubwith and Tadcaster Hostels and the vacant accommodation was used to accommodate women from Claypenny Hospital. However, it was subsequently found that few of these were suitable to go out to daily employment: in 1953 only five were employed in the town while the rest did housework at the hostel. In 1959 the number of working patients had risen slightly to eight out of 21, but of these some worked part time. In effect, therefore, the hostel became a long stay women’s annexe to Claypenny Hostel.

There were just over 20 women resident during the early 1950s and the bed complement was 23, a figure which remained unchanged through the 1960s. Activities were provided for patients, and local organisations such as the Women’s Institute and the Lions Club helped to devise events and social activities. Holidays for patients were provided, and ‘light occupational therapy’ was also available by the mid 1970s.

The hostel was built as two separate wooden buildings: one a sleeping dormitory and one a day room. In 1970 a covered way and a new entrance was built to link the two sections.

At NHS reorganisation in 1974 the hostel was transferred to Harrogate Health District, but from 1 April 1976 it became part of York Health District. Between 1974 and 1976 daily employment was found for most of the occupants. Ripon Hostel was administered as part of Claypenny Hospital in 1976 but after 1982 it was realigned with Whixley Hospital and Thornton Lodge and it was transferred, along with Whixley Hospital, from York Health Authority to Harrogate Health Authority in 1983. It closed in 1987.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1995 as part of the transfer of York Health Archives to the Institute from their temporary home at Clifton Hospital.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Land and building records, comprising plans and drawings, 1958-1960s, and related papers, 1956-1960s; photographs of hostel interior, c.1952.


Further accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For related material held by the Borthwick Institute, see the archives of Claypenny Hospital, for which Ripon Hostel served as an annexe, and the archive of York B Group Hospital Management Committee and its successors, in particular its biennial reports.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Accession area

Related people and organizations

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