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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

Yateley's Hospitals


The Pest House


Yateley's earliest known hospital was probably the "Pest House", on Yateley Common, south of Darby Green, near the Gravel Pit Pond off the A30, away from the main residential area (SU83725951). The name suggests it was used as a place for people with dangerous infectious diseases, but it is not known when that use started or for how long it continued. Later the house became the "Haywarden's Cottage", or "Hayward's Cottage", because the "Common keeper", who looked after Yateley Common, lived there. The house was demolished and rebuilt in the 1930s.


Yateley Cottage Hospital


The Eversley, Yateley, Hawley and Minley Benefit Nursing Association was formed as a Nursing Association covering Eversley, Yateley, Hawley and Minley on the Ockley system in 1892, and was still in operation in 1909. This probably provided some of the impetus for starting the Yateley Cottage Hospital in 1899.


The site in Cricket Hill Lane where Heathlands Court now stands forms part of a 2 acre enclosure from Yateley Common made in 1834 in order to build a Charity School (a "National School") for Yateley. The location and facilities were soon found to be unfit for their purpose, and eventually another piece of Common Land was enclosed in order to build a new Yateley School, in Old School Lane, which is now Yateley Village Hall: the new Yateley School opened in 1865. The school's lands were sold off in parcels for building by the School trustees in 1866, and the former schoolhouse became a cottage in a plot of just over half an acre.


The Cottage Hospital movement had started in 1859 to provide a cottage with a nurse and beds to be at the disposal of the local doctor. They were originally intended for the "respectable poor" and patients were required to pay, though poorer people could get Poor Law assistance.


On 16 March 1899, following the death of owner Henry Bosley, the Cottage was sold for £330 to Charles John Denny of Blackwater Surgeon, George Parker and George Prier, both of Yateley, the trustees of the will of Mrs Charlotte Trenchard (buried Yateley Baptist Chapel 19 Jan 1898 age 67), who had dedicated a £250 legacy to setting up a Cottage Hospital. Mrs Trenchard had lived on the opposite side of Cricket Hill to the hospital. Her trustees leased the building to a local hospital committee comprised of local dignitaries and it became "The Yateley Cottage Hospital", with a Mr Browning as its caretaker. The former schoolroom was divided into a ward and a kitchen. It was very small: about 1912 the hospital was described as


"Brick rough cast & slate.

2 Wards (5 beds), Bathroom, Surgery.

1st Floor. 1 private ward. 1 bed.

2 staff bedrooms, Sitting room,

Kitchen, scullery Coal place &c

Brick & slate Mortuary. "



Local people must have been shocked to hear in March 1904 that a widow called Sampson, a nurse at Yateley Cottage Hospital, had been murdered at Kensalrise in London.


Dr Harvey of Barclay House, Vicarage Road, a London Surgeon, also ran a general practice in Yateley in the 1920s by providing an evening surgery. He was responsible for the operating theatre at Yateley Hospital, where it is said he performed complicated operations, excluding only brain surgery. He continued, however, to remove tonsils at the patient's home, on the kitchen table.


Several extensions were made to the original cottage at various times. The single-storey white building was extended several times, with a second storey and then an adjoining block, so that it eventually accommodated about 20 beds. A memorial plaque on its walls read:


The nurses and staff quarters were built

in memory of the late

Mrs A W Macrae

by her daughter

to commemmorate her great interest

in the hospital and its staff



Before 1948 the hospital was supported by the charity of local people. There were bazaars, garden parties, raffles, hospital days and Queen Alexandra's Rose Day, when the collection went to the hospital. Half of Yateley would squeeze onto the lawn between the hospital and pond for the annual fete. There are frequent press reports of church collections for the hospital, and of gifts of money and garden produce and other necessaries from individual local people. There were also bequests large and small, for example Rt Hon Philip Henry Wodehouse Currie, 1st Baron Currie of Minley left £500 to Yateley hospital in 1906, and Mrs Lydia Kelsey of Blackwater left £55 in 1933.


People enjoyed their charitable giving. The Yateley Hunt - something of a parody - held annually on Boxing Day, started in the 1920s and the hunt consisted of the Chief Huntsman Mr. C. Yeomans, a Chief Whip Mr. R. Hearmon both dressed in hunting pink and the hounds were of all kinds of dogs which could be mustered by the followers. In the morning the 1st draw would be at Darby Green then over the common via Stewpool and Brandy Bottom to Cricket Hill for elevenses at the Cricketers. Out and over the common to Vigo Lane for a quick one at the Anchor and back to the Village for lunch at the Dog and Partridge or White Lion dependIng whose turn it was. The lunch consisted of bread and cold meat (beef) or cheese and beer. After lunch the hunt formed up agaIn and they drew Yateley Green. Any rabbits that were caught were auctioned off at the end of the hunt. When the hunt was first started it raised only a few shillings but after a few years with one or two side lines and a lucky draw shillings became pounds and all was donated to the Cottage Hospital.


These charitable arrangements continued until the start of the National Health Service in 1948. It became known as "Yateley & District Hospital". The hospital closed in 1974, after Frimley Park Hospital opened. This was seen locally as a sad loss and caused much resentment, as the hospital had been founded and maintained as a charity by public subscription. The buildings were empty for a while after the hospital closed before being taken over by the Local Authority to house homeless people. The buildings were unsuitable for this purpose and were demolished and Heathlands Court was constructed in 1988.


Yateley Military Hospital


During the First World War, Yateley Vicarage (now Glebe House) in Vicarage Road was used as "Yateley Military Hospital", a VAD hospital, the vicar Rev Beardall and his wife having moved out into Simla (now Gayton House), a house nearer the church. This continued until the wounded became so numerous that it was moved to the larger Yateley Lodge. A brass plate in the hall of Glebe House used to read:




FROM OCTR. 5TH 1914 TO JANY. 25th 1917 DURING




The Haven, Vigo Lane


The Haven was not called a hospital but was a maternity hospital: 1761 children were born there between 1945 and 1970. The Haven was founded in 1945 in a large house formerly called Kerala (coincidentally the former home of Mrs Macrae who was commemorated at the Cottage Hospital: the Macrae family had no connection with The Haven), as a Baptist Union mother and baby home for unmarried mothers, and was run by a matron and a midwifery sister, with the local doctor providing any additional medical support required. Like Yateley Cottage Hospital it depended on charity, mainly from members of Baptist churches: some Yateley people did not like its presence, but others supported its work much as they had the Cottage Hospital. The house was pulled down and the Greenhaven estate was built in the early 1970s.



(c) The Yateley Society, 2008


Created by RHJ 18.4.2008, images added 21.4.2008

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