|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Chobham Road, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 0QG
|1914 - 1919
Ottershaw Park Auxiliary Hospital opened initially in October 1914 with 30 beds as overflow accommodation for St George's Hill Auxiliary Hospital. The mansion had been lent for the purpose by its owner, Friedrich Eckstein (1857-1930), who continued to live on the top floor while the rest of the building was given over to the Red Cross. Mr Eckstein, a German who had been granted British nationality in 1906, bore all the expenses of the Hospital himself.
The first patients had been received from the Connaught Hospital in Aldershot. After they had been discharged, the Hospital closed. It re-opened again in September 1915 with 24 beds for sick and wounded servicemen. It was affiliated to the Southwark Military Hospital.
The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, a Sister, a masseur and 3 living-in members of the local Voluntary Aid Detachment.
In 1915 patients from the Hospital, as well as those in the Ottermead Auxiliary Hospital, were made honorary members of the Ottershaw Social Club (the British Legion later was amalgamated with the Club).
By February 1918 the Hospital had 29 beds and provided general treatment for convalescent patients.
It closed in January 1919.
Present status (May 2011)
Soon after the end of the war Mr Eckstein sold the property to Miss Susan Dora Cecilia Schintz. She, in turn, was forced to sell it, having made some bad investments and lost most of her inheritance.
The Ottershaw Park Investment Company acquired most of the land of the estate, with a view to building housing along its periphery.
In 1932 the mansion and the remaining central part of the estate became Ottershaw College, a boarding school for boys. The College became insolvent and closed at the outbreak of WW2.
During WW2 the mansion was leased by the Vacuum Oil Company (later to become Mobil Oil) for use as offices and laboratories, while the 100-acre estate was farmed for the war effort.
After the war the Vacuum Oil Company vacated the premises and Surrey County Council took over the mansion, its out-buildings and grounds of 148 acres for use as a boarding school. Ottershaw School opened in September 1948.
The School closed in 1980. In 1982 the mansion and its grounds were sold to DeltaHome Ltd for £1,510,000 for housing redevelopment.
The Grade II listed mansion was converted into luxury apartments, and other buildings on the estate were also made into private dwellings. Ottershaw Park is now a gated community.
The southern elevation of Ottershaw Park.
(Photograph by courtesy of Mrs Carol Athersuch)
The current entrance to the private estate off Chobham Road. The mansion itself is inaccessible to non-residents.
One of the drives off Chobham Road.
The 3-bedroomed Georgian Gate House, at the junction of Cross Lane and Coach Road, is also Grade II listed.
The Grade II listed ornamental iron gates nearby the Gate House were installed by Mr Eckstein.
A plaque, installed by the Ottershaw School Old Boys' Society, by the current main entrance off Chobham Road commemorates the site of the School. It was the first maintained boarding school for boys aged between 12 and 18 years.
Athersuch J 2010 An Illustrated History of Ottershaw Park Estate 1761-2011. Hebden Bridge, Peacock Press.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
(Author unstated) 1918 Red Cross Work in Surrey during 1917. 5th Annual Report 1917. Surrey Branch, British Red Cross Society.
(Author unstated) undated (? 1954) Surrey Branch British Red Cross Society. Historical Summary. April 1907-31st December 1953. Aldershot, John Drew.
Smith J 1996 Monograph No. 58. Auxiliary and Military Hospitals in Weybridge and Walton during the First World War. Walton and Weybridge Local Hospital Society.
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