Caterham and District Hospital
Croydon Road, Caterham Valley, CR3 6XX
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1872 - 1986

Acute.  Later, G.P.  
The new Caterham Cottage Hospital was officially opened on 2nd June 1903 by Princess Christian, accompanied by her daughter, Princess Helena Victoria.  It had taken less than a year to build, its foundation stone having been laid by William Garland Soper, Chairman of the Hospital Management Committee, on 4th June 1902.  The new Hospital was built on the site of the old 5-bedded Cottage Hospital, which had been opened in August 1875, replacing a temporary Cottage Hospital in Godstone Road, Riddlesdown, which had been established in May 1872.

A carved stone panel was placed on the front of the building with the inscription "Caterham Cottage Hospital Rebuilt in 1902 In Commemoration of Queen Victoria".

The new Hospital contained two wards - one for men and one for women and children.  Each measured 30 feet by 20 feet (9 by 6 metres) and was designed to take 6 beds, although there was room for 8 if necessary.  Sanitary annexes were at the end of each ward.  The wards were heated by a stove in the middle of the room.

A separate wing contained the operating room, the patients' bathroom, a special ward and a staff bedroom.

On the other side of the entrance to the wards lay the kitchen, scullery and larders, Matron's room and a sitting room.  The floor above this block contained a bedroom for the Matron, another for two nurses and a third for two domestic servants, and also a bathroom and WC.

The mortuary was located ay the bottom of the garden.

The Hospital, which served the Caterham, Warlingham, Whyteleafe, Woldingham and Chaldon districts, was enlarged in 1910.

At the outbreak of war in 1914, it was affiliated to the Royal Herbert Hospital; five of its beds were reserved for wounded and sick servicemen.  By December 1914 eight of the 25 beds were occupied by soldiers.

In 1938 the exterior of the Hospital was redecorated, a task that had not been done since 1927.  The cost of this was £85.

In 1938 the weekly cost of an in-patient was £5 5s 11d (£5.35), compared to £4 15s 10d (£4.84) in 1937.  Adult in-patients were asked to contribute £4 a week towards the cost of their maintenance.

Of the 25 beds, 14 were for women and children and 6 for men.  Five were for private patients, who paid 7 guineas (£7.35) a week, including maintenance and general nursing care (clinicians' fees and charges for X-ray examination and massage were paid separately).

The 20 members of the Linen Guild undertook to overhaul and repair the Hospital's linen every week.  The Guild also provided blankets, sheets, draw sheets, pillow slips, X-ray coats, nurses' and surgeons' overalls, anaesthetists' jackets, as well as gloves, stockings, table covers and draw slips used during operations.  Other items included dressing cloths, slings, children's garments, hot water bottle covers, sponge bags, sterilising cloths, tablecloths, kitchen cloths, locker cloths, dish cloths, scourers, hand towels, roller towels, and bath towels.

At the outbreak of WW2 in 1939 the Hospital became part of the Emergency Medical Service under the control of King's College Hospital.

In 1948 it joined the NHS as a general hospital with 53 beds under the administration of the Redhill Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.   It was renamed the Carshalton and District Hospital.  An annexe opened at The Dene in Church Hill.  The Hospital then had 54 beds.

In 1966 the Hospital had 56 general beds and was under the Redhill and Netherne Group Hospital Management Committee.

In 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, the Hospital came under the control of the East Surrey District Health Authority, part of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority.

By 1983 it was an acute and G.P. Hospital.

It closed in 1986.  Services moved to the new East Surrey Hospital, which had opened in 1984.  However, its annexe - Caterham Dene - survived as a hospital  with 20 beds for the care of elderly and G.P. patients.

Present status (September 2008)

The Hospital was demolished in 1987.  Its site is now occupied by Valley Court, built in 1990 as a retirement apartments complex.

Update:  February 2015

On 22nd September 2012 the Bourne Society unveiled a plaque at Valley Court commemorating the Cottage Hospital.

Valley Court

Valley Court (above and below)

Valley Court

References (Accessed 17th February 2015)

(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

Matthews JD 1982  Caterham's Cottage Hospitals. Bourne Society and Leatherhead Historical Record 21, 17-28.


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