|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Budworth Hall Auxiliary Hospital
High Street, Chipping Ongar, Essex CM5 9JG
In 1915, during WW1, Budworth Hall became a convalescent hospital for sick and wounded servicemen, while officers were accommodated at Blake Hall.
The Hospital was staffed by the Essex/32 Voluntary Aid Detachmentand at first the patients were mainly Belgian soldiers. Initially the Hospital had 35 beds in two large wards (the largest was the Essex Hunt Ball Room with 22 beds, while the Concert Room held 12 beds). It was affiliated to Colchester Military Hospital.
In 1917, when the Hospital had 51 beds, an extension was built and the number of beds was increased to 60.
The Hospital closed on 22nd January 1919. Some 1,333 soldiers had received treatment during its operation.
The Grade II-listed building is currently the home of the Ongar and District Community Association.
The Hall is available for hire as a venue for social events.
In 2009 a painting of Budworth Hall in use as a military hospital, painted by George Rose and exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1916, was presented to the Ongar and District Community Association by NHS West Essex. It had previously hung in the Ongar and District War Memorial Hospital, which had closed earlier that year.
Budworth Hall was built in 1886 as a memorial to Capt. P.J. Budworth of Greenstead Hall, who had been prominent in the social life of Ongar. The Hall contained a large assembly room, reading rooms and coffee rooms. A ballroom was added later.
In 1887 a three-dial clock (left) was added to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, paid for by public subscription. Masonry plaques on the east facade commemorate the event (right). The clock had cost £85 and another £23 7s 6d (£23.37) was paid for the local builder to fix it in the tower. The clock was electrified in 2002 in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The East facade on the High Street.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
Loyd AK (ed) 1917 The British Red Cross Society. The Country Branches, Vol. 1. London, British Red Cross Society.
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