Langdon Hills Hospital
Dry Street, Laindon, Essex SS16 5ND
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1927 - 1957

The West Ham Sanatorium for Tuberculous Children was officially opened on 26th October 1927 by the Mayor of West Ham, Alderman Ernest Reed.

The 100-acre site had originally been purchased for £12,800 by West Ham Borough Council in 1912, following the introduction of the National Insurance Act, 1911, which compelled local authorities to establish hospitals to provide free treatment for workers with TB.  In the event, it was decided that Langdon Hills was too far away from the Borough and the Dagenham Smallpox Hospital was converted instead.

The purpose-built Sanatorium consisted of a central administration building flanked by single-storey accommodation blocks for 40 children (up to the age of 16 years) and a schoolroom.  Wootton House, a large farmhouse located on the site, served as living quarters for the Matron and the Sisters.

The ward blocks - one for boys and one for girls - faced south.  Each had a glazed verandah along their southern side.

The school was known as the Langdon Hills Sanatorium School and was run by the West Ham Education Committee.  As bed rest and fresh air were the only available treatments, patients remained at the Sanatorium for many months, and even years.

During WW2 the Sanatorium remained operational throughout, although an air-raid shelter and blast-proof walls were built.

In July 1948 the Sanatorium joined the NHS under the control of the South East Essex Hospital Management Committee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  It had 40 beds.

On 1st April 1949 management of the School was taken over by Essex County Council, who closed it on 16th December 1949.  The remaining pupils were transferred to Highwood School in Brentwood.

In 1950 the Sanatorium was converted into a TB hospital for adult males referred from the whole of the North East Metropolitan area.  It was renamed Langdon Hills Hospital and had 32 beds.

With the advent of antituberculous chemotherapy, the need for TB hospitals decreased and the Hospital closed in December 1957.

Present status (June 2011)

After the Hospital closed, its site was considered as a candidate for the future Basildon Hospital, but this was built elsewhere.

Wootton House and the Hospital site were purchased privately and became the Wootton House Kennels.

In 1964 Essex County Council purchased most of the Hospital grounds, which were made into part of the 400-acre Langdon Hills Country Park.

Langdon Hills
The Wootton House Kennels are well hidden by trees.

Langdon Hills  Langdon Hills
The original drive with its gate posts, now the entrance to the Wootton House Kennels off Dry Street (left) - and to the Langdon Hills Country Park on One Tree Hill (right).

Langdon Hills

The original driveway (above) and Country Park (below).

  Langdon Hills  Langdon Hills

  Langdon Hills
The view over the Thames estuary from a hill top with a vandalised plane table map.
Alexander D 2005 A Memoir of Langdon Hills Sanatorium.

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