Bow Arrow Hospital

Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford, Kent DA2

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1893 - 1983

Infectious diseases. Later, tuberculosis, chest diseases, geriatric, young disabled

Named after an old adjacent country lane, which probably goes back to Saxon times, the Bow Arrow Hospital opened in 1893 as an isolation hospital, replacing the fever hospital just to the north of the Dartford Union workhouse (which later became West Hill Hospital).  The original wards had been in temporary huts but a permanent hospital was built in 1904.

In 1935 a Nurses' Home opened, and a Nurses Training School was established.

The Hospital joined the NHS in 1948 with 116 beds.  In May 1950 it became a tuberculosis sanatorium, while patients with infectious diseases were sent to Joyce Green Hospital.  As drug therapy became available for the treatment of TB, the Hospital began to specialise in other chest disorders.

In 1957 the Hospital had 117 beds, 107 of which were for TB patients and 10 for non-tuberculous cases.  There were 100 patients.

By 1974 it had 118 beds for patients with chest diseases and those who needed long term care.

In 1982 it had 66 long stay beds for geriatric patients.  In 1983, when it had 15 beds,  it was used briefly for young physically disabled patients who needed long term care.  It closed the same year and the remaining patients were transferred to one of the ward blocks (later named Taylor Brook House) at Joyce Green Hospital.

Present status (September 2008)

The rather handsome building has been demolished and the  site now contains a small estate of houses.  Bow Arrow Lane is now intersected by the M25/A282T, just south of the Dartford Crossing.

new estate

The estate as seen from the Dartford Tunnel Approach footbridge.

Bow Arrow Lane

Looking into the site from Bow Arrow Lane.

Osbourne Road

The view looking south into Osbourne Road, site of the former Hospital.

old boundary wall

Perhaps part of the original boundary wall of the Hospital.

estate site plan

A site plan of the new estate.  Bow Arrow Lane runs across the top of the plan, with Osbourne Road running centrally through the estate.



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