The former Teddington and Hampton Wick Cottage Hospital

From the Lost Hospitals of London website:

“On 10th July 1874 a group of residents met to discuss the establishment of a hospital for the reception and treatment of the sick poor of Teddington.  A second meeting was held on 27th July to discuss finding suitable premises for a cottage hospital.  The host of the meeting, Thomas Chappell, of the music publishing and piano manufacturing firm, offered a pair of villas for the purpose – Elfin Villas (see image) in Elfin Grove.  A public meeting was held on 7th August to drum up support for the hospital; some 150 people attended.

 The buildings were adapted at the cost of £149 7s (£149.35) and the Teddington and Hampton Wick Cottage Hospital was officially opened by Lord George Hamilton, M.P., on 20th March 1875, although four patients had already been admitted on 6th February.  The Hospital had four beds.  Its income, apart from subscriptions and donations, was raised by various activities, such as fetes, bazaars, concerts and plays. The weekly cost of an in-patient was 5 shillings 3 pence (26p).  In-patients were charged one shilling (5p) a day towards their keep, but the wines and spirits served were of a superior quality.

By 1881 the area had a population of around 7,000 people and the Hospital Committee decided there was a need to provide out-patient treatment and a free dispensary.  Thomas Chappell therefore purchased a plot of land at the rear of the Hospital and presented it to the Committee as a site on which to build a dispensary.  The dispensary opened in May 1883, at a cost of £446. In 1885 the Matron resigned and the Committee decided to replace her with a Matron, an Assistant Matron and a cook.

In 1892, when the local population had increased to 10,000,  the Hospital was extended.  It then had 10 beds, staffed by a Matron and 2 trained nurses.  Out-patients were charged 1s 6d (about 8p) for three weeks’ attendance.

In 1902 Thomas Chappell died, and his family donated £580 to provide a new ward in his memory. In January 1903 the dispensary was closed and converted into a porter’s lodge. In 1904 the Chappell Ward was officially opened by his daughter.  The Hospital then had 22 beds. By 1909 the Hospital was in financial difficulties.  The Editor of the Surrey Comet launched a Shilling Fund on its behalf.  In less than three weeks £448 had been collected.

By 1914, although the number of beds had increased to 24, the population of the area had also grown and this bed accommodation had again become inadequate.  With no further possibility of expansion on the site and the old buildings having been deemed unsuitable anyway, a fund-raising campaign began to raise money for a new hospital on a new location.  However, the outbreak of WW1 caused the plans to be postponed.

In November 1914 the Committee offered to place the resources of the Hospital at the disposal of the War Office, but received no response.  It was then decided, wherever possible, not to interfere with admission of the civilian sick, but to treat any military personnel as necessary (the Hospital was ringed by nine auxiliary Red Cross hospitals). By the end of 1915, because of inflation, the weekly charge of 7s (35p) had to be increased to 10s 6d (53p).

After the war the prospect of a new Hospital was again discussed and the Committee began to explore potential sites in 1919; it was intended that the new hospital would also serve as a  Memorial to the war dead…”

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