I wonder how much you know about hospitals in Chandler’s Ford past? We know of the private Nuffield Hospital in Winchester Road. Many will remember Leigh House Hospital that is gone now, to make way for housing. But there was another, long gone …
Hursley Union Workhouse / Sanitorium / Leigh House Hospital
In 1835 the Hursley Poor Law Union was officially formed to cover the parishes of Hursley, Compton, Farley Chamberlayne, North Baddesley and Otterbourne. Ampfield and Chandler’s Ford were added to the list in 1894. By 1867 the Hursley parish workhouse, built in 1828, was criticised for its inadequate building (disgusting water closets and a cesspool under the windows of the lying-in and infectious wards, which had been unemptied for twelve years!).
So in 1899-1900 a new workhouse was built, this time in Chandler’s Ford, between Cuckoo Bushes Lane and Pine Road. A state of the art design and built with Chandler’s Ford bricks, it accommodated 60 inmates.
In 1921, due to smaller demand for Poor Law accommodation, the buildings were no longer used as a workhouse so became a sanatorium for TB sufferers with accommodation for 40 patients. The need for this care was immense, with a neighbouring sanitorium at The Mount, Bishopstoke. The families of sufferers often came to the hospital, if there was no one else to care for them. By the 1950s, improved sanitation, vaccination and other public health measures helped TB rates to fall and so the sanitorium closed.
Later, in 1961, it served as a psychiatric hospital for young people with eating disorders. In 2002 this unit was moved to Winchester and the building demolished for housing.
Fryern Hill Isolation Hospital
Known as the ‘Infectious Hospital’, Fryern Hill Hospital was built in 1912 on what was a beautiful, open sunny site, where Fir Croft Drive is now, off Bodycoats Road. Its purpose was to treat and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, which could be very serious. Most of the patients suffered from scarlet fever (which was often fatal), with others having diphtheria, meningitis and typhoid.
As medical research and vaccinations gradually conquered most of the infection diseases, by 1948 there was no longer a need for an isolation hospital. The hospital closed but stayed empty for three years after which it was used as an annexe to the TB sanatorium in Cuckoo Bushes. In the 1950s the hospital closed again but the buildings were bought to serve as a convalescent home for a few years before closing for good – and demolition in 1974.