Cottage Hospital
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The Homend

[Ledbury Hospital]
The cottage hospital was erected in 1891 by Michael BIDDULPH, Esq., M.P., it opened on the 29th December, but patients were not accepted until June 1892.
Mr Biddulph of Ledbury Park funded the hospital, in commemoration of the coming of age of his eldest son.
It was built opposite an earlier hospital situated in a three-storey house.
It is designed for the reception of accidents and diseases occurring in Ledbury and the neighbouring parishes, and requiring immediate surgical and medical treatment.
The new hospital had three wards, rooms for the matron, an operating theatre, 10 bedrooms, a mortuary, laundry and a separate apartment for a parish nurse.
The funds for the support of the hospital are raised by donations and annual subscriptions.
A Retrospect


January 27 Popular entertainment in the Town Hall in aid of the Parish Nurse fund.

February 4 afternoon the subscribers and donors of the Ledbury Cottage Hospital held a meeting, at which the twenty-third annual report was submitted and passed. Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., appealed for funds and threw out suggestions with regard to raising the necessary money for keeping the institution going in an efficient manner.

May 14 Annual concert in aid of the Cottage Hospital was held at the Royal Hall.

June 14 was observed as Hospital Sunday. The weather was beautifully fine. The procession was formed at the railway station, and marched to Church (collections being made en route). Where the sermon was preached by the Rev. G. M. CUSTANCE, Rector of Colwall. The total collections (including the church offertories) amounted to at £18 5s. 8d., which were divided between the Cottage Hospital and the Dispensary.

June 24 Cheltenham Dramatic Society performed Byron's Comedy. " £100,000.“ in the Royal Hall, in aid of the Cottage Hospital.

September 16 Ledbury Cycling Club brought their season to a close by a grand illuminated procession, which was very successful; collections were taken en route for the Cottage Hospital A dinner was held afterwards at the Royal Hall, followed by a smoking concert.

October 6 Ledbury October Fair was held, when John STUDT, the well known public caterer, of South Wales, occupied the Cattle Market, where he remained during the Week, and on the Friday the whole of the proceeds of his circular switchback were given to the Cottage Hospital.

November 25 Mrs. W. RUSSELL, of the Woodlands, died at the age of 57 years. By her will the deceased made several munificent bequests to Ledbury, including £5000 for a middle class boys school to he established in Ledbury; £500 for a memorial window and otherwise in Ledbury Church; £150 to the Ledbury Cottage Hospital; and £100 to the Ledbury Reading Room, Besides these gifts it will be remembered that she presented the four-dial clock to the Barrett Browning Memorial Clock Tower, and also the Clock at the Post Office.


February 2 In the afternoon the 24th general annual meeting of the subscribers and donors to the Ledbury Cottage Hospital was held ,Mr. BIDDULPH, M.P.,(president of the Hospital), presiding. The report showed that the income had exceeded the expenditure by £17 16s. 5d,, and referred to the loss the institution had sustained in the death of Mr. E. J. WEBB ; the report also referred to the handsome legacy of £150 to the Hospital from Mrs. RUSSELL, late of Woodlands. The balance sheet was adopted, the opinion being expressed that it was desirous that a lasting memorial of the Jubilee should be erected.

October 21 the Ledbury Cycling Club organized another successful illuminated procession, in aid of the Cottage Hospital, the collections amounting to £5 15s.

November 4 Miss BAMBER commenced her duties as matron at the Cottage Hospital.


February 1 The Annual Meeting of the Subscribers and Donors of the Ledbury Cottage Hospital was held, when the report as passed was considered satisfactory.

February 17 The Ledbury Cycling Club organised a Benefit Dance in aid of the Cottage Hospital.

August 18 There was a Sale of Work and Bicycle Gymkhana in the grounds of St. Katharine‘s, in aid of Home and Foreign Missions and the Parish Nurse Fund.

October 26 The Ledbury Cycling Club held another successful illuminated procession, when collections were made in the streets in aid of the Cottage Hospital.

December 17 The first popular entertainment, in aid of the Parish Nurse Fund was held at the Town Hall, under the presidency of Lady Elizabeth BIDDULPH.

December 19 Mr. J. HUMPHREYS, F.L.S., gave a lecture in the Royal Hall on “The Contrivances of Plants” in aid of the Cottage Hospital. Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., presided.


Febuary 6 Annual Meeting of Subscribers and Donors of the Cottage Hospital.

May 2 Leadon Vale Singing Class Concert in aid of Parish Nurse Fund, Feathers Assembly Room.

August 9 The Annual Sale of Work in the Upper Hall Grounds in aid of Parish Nurse Fund had to be held in The Feathers Assembly Room on account of drenching rain.

September 27 Ledbury Cycling Club Annual Illuminated Procession - Collection for the Cottage Hospital, £11 15s. 3d.

October 9 Ledbury Michaelmas Fair Mr. John STUDT gave the whole proceeds of his Gondolas on the Friday evening, £21 15s. 3d., to the Cottage Hospital.

December 27 Entertainment for Parish Nurse Fund at Royal Hall.


February 5 Annual Meeting of the Ledbury Cottage Hospital Committee. Lady Elizabeth BIDDULPH gave £100 towards improvements.

August 8 Sale of Work at Underdown in aid of Home and Foreign Missions and Parish Nurse Fund.

September 29 Harvest Festival at Ledbury Church; Sermons by the Rev Aubrey R. AITKEN; collections £17 11S. 4d—£5 5S. 0d. for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and the remainder to the Cottage Hospital.


February 4 Annual Meeting of the Ledbury Cottage Hospital Subscribers and Donors.

February 7, 8 Col. and Mrs. WOOD’s Theatrical Entertainments, in aid of the Cottage Hospital, at the Royal Hall.

November 6 Cycle Carnival and Fancy Dress Parade in aid of Ledbury Cottage Hospital funds: proceeds, £13.
Hon. Physicians and Surgeons - Miles Astman WOOD, John Henry WOOD, Arthur Robert GREEN, James McKean HARRISON
Matron - Miss Clara Annie BAMBER
Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Sec John Basil MASEFIELD
Patron Lord SOMERS, Patroness Lady BIDDULPH of Ledbury
President - Lord BIDDULPH of Ledbury , Hon Treasurer and Hon Secretary Charles B MASEFIELD
Hon Consulting Medical Officer - Miles A WOOD
Hon Physicians and Surgeons - Mr Arthur R GREEN, Mr J McKEAN HARRISON, Mr G B McKEAN, Mr L B C TROTTER
Matron - Miss JOHNSON
Committee of Management - meetings first Friday in the month at 3pm
The President, The Medical officers, The Hon Secretary and Treasurer, Lady BIDDULPH of Ledbury, Hon V BIDDULPH, Mrs E HARTLAND, Mrs ALBRIGHT, Mrs Maddison GREEN
The funds for the establishment and support of the Hospital are raised by donations and subscriptions.
Subscribers and donors are entitled to recommend patients on forms, to be obtained from the Secretary. Accident cases are are admitted without recommendation
Patients are required to contribute towards their maintenance according to their means, the lowest rates being 3/6 a week for adults and 2/- a week for children
Consumptive, Infectious, and Chronic diseases are not admissable
1872 - 1937 Hospital Boards - Donations and Bequests of £20 and upwards
[Cottage Hospital]
[Cottage Hospital]
Photos obtained by Judy BAKER ( Rose )
( 2014 February )
Carole Phillips - Times I read those donations, when I was sat waiting for treatment or visiting

Mary Rawlins - Good to be reminded that my Great Grandfather, Mr John Riley, donated £50 in 1928!

Ismet Mustafic - Makes for interesting reading these boards. Are they now in the new hospital?

Judy Baker - Ismet yes they were taken when we moved to the new hospital ,they are in reception if ever you go in.

Claire Ellis - On the couple of occasions I've been in the waiting room at the new hospital, I always study these boards. Love the fact they remind me of my childhood and reading the Ledbury family names. ❤
1914 - 1918 World War One Ledbury Guardian Newspaper Articles
1955 - Hospital Staff
[Ledbury Hospital Staff 1955]
Jack GITTINGS Collection
Middle Row - Nurse Ivy DAVIES, Sister Norah OAKLEY, Sister Hilda BURGESS, Nurse Annie JONES, Miss G WHEELER Matron, Mrs PERRETT, Nurse ROWBERRY / Betty ROBINSON, unknown, Gloria CALE, Mrs HABBITS, Mrs CALE, Mabel GITTINGS
Front Row - unknown, Mrs Rose GROVES
1955 - Hospital Staff -Slightly different pose.
[Ledbury Hospital Staff 1955]
Sue ROIG Collection
( 2014 February )
What a great photograph. Dear Dr STEADMAN. He was my doctor when I was a child. A very kind man and then we had doctor BURROWES to follow and he was fantastic...MH

As far as I know, Dr Hardy still lives in Australia, apparently Dr Hardy had his 90th birthday party about 3 weeks ago ...PH

Pauline Preedy - When my sister Wendy was very ill, my dad called Dr HARDY and he came from a ball at the Feathers, he was dressed in a dinner suit. When he came in we thought he was a film star, he looked so handsome. My sister was taken into hospital and was in isolation for a long time, even mum and dad could only watch her through glass. She had a Jacko monkey and she used to wipe around his face with cotton balls like the nurses did for her. Hardy was a great doctor x

He did not like wasting time but was good to me...JG

Dr "Basher " GROVES was my dr when v small. Remember him saying "it will have to come off " when I had pinched a finger and promptly pulling off the nail ! Dr BURROWES was lovely had him till I left Ledbury in 1971...LL

Chris Ponter - Dr STEADMAN probably my favourite, had rhuematic fever when I was 7, remember Dr STEADMAN coming to see me most days, never put me in hospital, said my mum was doing a great job with me at home, I always refered to him as Dr Teddy Bear, he always giggled at that.

I love the story about Dr HARDY. I remember him in the old surgery in New street. Nora OAKLEY finished up as matron and lived just up the road from us - no idea why but I remember being scared to death of her when I was little.

Pauline Preedy - My dad had what he thought was a boil on his bum, he asked my mum to put a bread poultice on it to draw it to a head. By the evening dad was in agony and mum told him to go to the Drs. He managed to walk up to the surgery and was called in. He told Dr GROVES what was wrong and he said he'd have a look. He said Good God man what ever have you done, dad told him about the poultice and he burst out laughing. He said your a better man than me, you have a pile not a boil. He gave him some cream and told him to leave his bum out of the blankets when he went to bed that night to help cool him down. Our dad used to have us in stitches with some of the things he said. Love him so much xx

Joanne Edge - Aunty Eve POWELL ( Davis ) told me this story - When her mum was ill she was taken out of school early to look after her and the other 6 children. Dr STEADMAN called and saw her cooking and asked her if she would cook for him and his wife. She said no she couldn't cook for them he said ' If you can cook for this lot you can cook for anyone '. So she became their cook at their home The Steppes in New Street. Muriel FLETCHER was Parlour Maid. One day Fred POWELL a mechanic at HOPKINS Garage, called at the house to collect Mr STEADMAN's car for service, that's how they met!!!!..

The Hospital is controlled by the Herefordshire Hospital Management Committee, Hereford
Consultant Surgeons - Mr R WOOD and Mr I W MACGREGOR
Eye Surgeons - Mr T Stuart Black KELLY and Mr P DEVLIN
Matron - Miss G WHEELER
Local Committee of Management - meetings third Wednesday in alternative months at 2.30pm
Mr A R C TURNER ( Chairman ), Preb W G MOERAN, Mrs KYRLE POPE
1958 - Hospital Immunisation Record Card
[Ledbury Hospital]
1959 - Hospital Weight Card
[Ledbury Hospital]
1962 - Hospital Admission Notification for Treatment of Tonsils and Adenoids - 3 Nurses Mentioned
[Ledbury Hospital]
( date unknown )
Ismet Mustafic - I had my tonsils and adenoids out here circa 1961. In those days every other child had a tonsillectomy. Did anyone else here endure the same fate?

I never thought of it being a place where you had ops I always knew it more as a convalescent and palative hospital...LJ

Was one of the many tonsils adenoid saga 1954!!!!! They did carry out the smaller operations there...MW

Ismet Mustafic - Yes, At age 5, I entered that building as a tonsillectomy / adenoidectomy 'case'. I still vividly remember coming round from the sedation, wondering when the ice cream and jelly, previously promised would be served. Tonsillectomy patients were given this diet soon after the operation for obvious reasons. I used to look out of the window from my bed wondering when my mum would appear to visit me. I'm pretty sure I still remember which window it was, oh and the jelly and ice cream did turn up

Pauline Preedy - I remember being on a trolly and waiting to go in to have my tonsils out

Joanne Edge - I had my tonsils out here but don't remember a thing about it

Pauline Preedy - I can, I cried for mum the whole time I was in there. They were really nice to me though. I loved the Cottage Hospital, nothing was too much bother for the nurses no matter when you turned up

Jo Edge - The first appointment mum told me I cried so much they had to take me home!!! Oops looks like mum had 3 attempts with me

I had my tonsils out here to, ice cream and jelly, then I went home and started coughing up blood clots ( sorry bit graphi c) got rushed to Hereford and I had incubated chicken pox while there so my throat wouldn't heal, so had blood transfusions in Hereford - was there for ages, I was only 5...ED

Had my tonsils out there too, 2 days after my 7th birthday. Remember the ice cream and jelly too. Todays kids get toast afterwards !!...JM

Had my tonsils out here as well I can also remember the jelly and ice cream....SG

Date Unknown
Hospital Main Corridor
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
Hospital Main Corridor
[Ledbury Hospital]
Chris Ponter - Good old cottage hospital, always sorted you out, now its off to Hereford and you dont always get sorted then
Another iconic Ledbury building, triggering many memories! Phil went there back in the day when he cut his finger off at the Jam factory and they told us it would only need a few stitches! Makes us smile even today!
Remember sitting there many a time, the highly polished floor, the dinner smells, people coming and going...LJ
Hospital Casualty Room
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
1970s - Staff in Matrons Sitting Room upstairs at the Hospital.
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
1977 - Cottage Hospital Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee.
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
1970 - Cottage Hospital Building.
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
1980s - Cottage Hospital Building
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
[Ledbury Hospital]
( Sue ROIG Collection )
Janet Bettison - Where the car is parked and between the first window and 'the space' in the wall cemented into the brickwork is a piece of glass. My dad put this in so that if the glass breaks its a sign that there could be subsidence. ( Don't know for sure that's true ) but on the odd occasion I walk down Belle Orchard I always look for it
2002 - The Cottage Hospital closed
The Old Cottage Hospital lay dormant for some time before the Ledbury Area Development Trust, after canvassing public opinion on options for the use of the building, transformed the well loved but boarded up and almost derelict old cottage hospital into 8 studios for local, young entrepreneurial businesses and 6 affordable flats for local people
For More Information follow this link Ledbury Area Development Trust

1897 - 1980 A Retrospect Tilleys Almanacks - Herefordshire History
Photographs are credited to the owners where possible
Comments in italics are from the Old Ledbury Facebook Group
Cuttings from Old Ledbury Reporter Newspapers