|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
for the Aged Sick
111 Sydenham Hill, SE26
|1952 - 1960
Early in 1952 the King Edward's Hospital Fund for London purchased Beechgrove, a large private house in Sydenham Hill, for use as accommodation for elderly patients belonging to the Camberwell Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.
The Victorian villa, once the home of Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George VI, had 25 rooms and 5 bathrooms. It stood in 5 acres of grounds and gardens.
The Beechgrove Home for the Aged Sick was officially opened in June 1952 by the Countess of Limerick. It had been equipped by the Fund, but was staffed by the County of London Branch of the British Red Cross Society. The patients were ambulatory and no longer in need of treatment in an acute hospital, but still required some medical or nursing care and were unable to return to independent living.
The Home closed in January 1960 and the lease of the property was surrendered to the Dulwich Estate, who proposed to incorporate the site in their redevelopment of the area.
Beechgrove became derelict and was finally demolished around 1983.
Present status (March 2009)
After 50 years since the Home closed, the site still remains vacant and has been reclaimed by nature.
The pillars and parts of the wall remain along Sydenham Hill.
The corner pillar with fencing and a warning notice.
Signage left behind by an elderly West Indian squatter who lived for a number of years in a shack on the steep slope below the boundary wall.
The site of the house is now a wildlife nature reserve (above and below).
(Author unstated) 1952 Beechgrove Home for the Aged Sick. British Journal of Nursing (July), 68.
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