Blake Hall Auxiliary Hospital
for Officers
Blake Hall, Stony Lane, Bobbingworth, Ongar,
Essex CM5 0DG

Medical dates:

Medical character:
1915 - 1919

Convalescent (military)

In July 1915 an auxiliary hospital for convalescent officers opened at Blake Hall, in what had originally been a covered-in tennis court.

The building, lent by Mr and Mrs William Buckley Gladstone, was situated in the grounds, a short distance from the house.  Additions and improvements were carried out to make it into a first-rate ward with a Dining and Recreation Room at one end.  The Hospital had 20 beds and was affiliated to Colchester Military Hospital.  Mr Gladstone also lent a motor car and the services of his chauffeur for the use of the Hospital. 

The Hospital was financed and equipped by the Joint War Committee, with an additional grant from the War Office, but Mr Gladstone also contributed £250 a year towards the cost of the acetylene lighting and other expenses.  He also paid the wages of the gardeners (the Hospital  received a small amount of garden produce), the chauffeur and the cowman.

By 1916 the Hospital had 30 beds.

During the summer months a large marquee, lent by Lord and Lady Wolverton, was erected in the grounds.  This increased the patient accommodation of the Hospital by six, making a total of 36 beds.

By 1917 the Hospital had 39 beds.

It closed in May 1919.

Present status (January 2011)

During WW2 the house was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force, who used the south wing as an operations base for the airfields at Chipping Ongar and North Weald.

The Blake Hall Airscene Museum, now closed, contained a collection of war-time memorabilia.

Today Blake Hall is used as a venue for weddings and other celebratory events.

Blake Hall
Blake Hall, as seen from the north on Stony Lane.

Blake Hall  
The lodge and driveway at the south end of Stony Lane.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

(Author unstated) 1921 Reports by the Joint War Committee and the Joint War Finance Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England on Voluntary Aid Rendered to the Sick and Wounded at Home and Abroad and to British Prisoners of War, 1914-1919. London, HMSO (reprinted in facsimile, 2009. The Naval and Military Press Ltd in association with the Imperial War Museum).

Loyd AK (ed) 1917 The British Red Cross Society.  The Country Branches, Vol. 1.  London, British Red Cross Society.

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