Heatherwood Hospital, in Ascot, has been in use for over a century. Construction started in early 1920’s for a hospital to care for the children of servicemen from the First World War. The first patients were admitted in May 1922 and the hospital was officially opened by the Duke of Connaught in the following year. The hospital started with just 3 wards, one for boys, one for girls and a mixed ward. Like some other hospitals, especially asylums, fruit and vegetables were grown in the hospital grounds for both the patients and staff.
Various new buildings were added to the site over the decades, which started when the hospital was handed over to the London county council in 1934 when new wards were added, taking the number of beds up to 250, and an extension to the nursing accommodation was added.
During the Second World War, the hospital cared for adult patients who had been evacuated from other London hospitals and the building was fortunate to not be badly damaged by air raids.
Heatherwood joined the NHS when it was founded in 1948 and in the 50’s became a district general hospital. In April 1972 a new maternity department was opened with 75 beds 50 for obstetric and 25 for gynaecological and 15 special care baby cots and fans of ‘Carry on Matron’ might recognise this building as it was used as the fictional Finisham Hospital.
Various wards started closing from 2011 and in 2016 plans were announced to build a new hospital at the rear of the site and for the older buildings to be demolished. Construction took 3 years and the new building was completed in March 2022, the same month as when the old hospital buildings were closed for good, just short of its centenary.
Aerial Photos (March 2023)
Former Maternity Building
Operating Theatre 3
St Luke’s Chapel
In 1960 the League of Friends started a fundraising effort to build a chapel at Heatherwood Hospital, which could be used by anyone, regardless of their faith. Five years of raising funds through dinner dances, fetes and subscriptions saw the foundation stone laid in 1965. This was one of the first buildings to be demolished in March 2023.
Source: HeatherwoodHistory.org.ukThis entry was posted in Location Report