|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Redstone Hill, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1TR
|1936 - 1973
In 1936 Surrey County Council decided to convert the former Reigate Union Workhouse (now a Public Assistance Institution) on Earlswood Common, which it had taken over in 1930, into a general hospital. To this end, it was necessary to find alternative accommodation for the elderly residents living in the old workhouse building.
Conveniently, St Anne's, a residential school in the north of Redhill, had been vacant for some time. The large four-storey red brick building, erected in 1884, with an imposing central clock tower rising to 125 feet (38 metres), had accommodated up to 400 children. The school also had a separate infirmary.
The County Council purchased the site from the Governors of the Foundling Hospital and it became St Anne's Institution - an ancillary Public Assistance Institution. By 1938 the elderly inmates from the former workhouse had all been transferred to their new home.
Initially, the Institution also accommodated 19 mentally defective patients, but they were transferred to the newly opened Botleys Park in 1939. These beds were returned to use for the elderly.
During WW2 the Institution joined the Emergency Medical Scheme.
At the creation of the NHS in 1948, the Institution, (now known simply as 'St Anne's') remained with the County Council, but the Redhill Group Hospital Management Committee made an arrangement to use two wards with 70 beds for chronically sick elderly patients.
The home continued in operation up to the beginnings of the 1970s, but the large institutional environment was seen increasingly as inappropriate and undignified for the elderly. The patients were gradually dispersed into smaller, more homely, locations. As the rooms became vacant, they were re-employed by the County Council for social housing of the homeless.
The home closed in 1973.
Present status (November 2011)
The buildings remained vacant and derelict for over a decade. Local pressure to have them listed failed, as did moves for a redevelopment scheme preserving at least the central tower. Finally, in 1987, Surrey County Council arranged to have the contents - and anything movable - auctioned.
In December 1987 St Anne's was demolished. Little or no remnants of the original buildings survive. The original foundation stones are believed to have ended up in the back garden of a nearby building, while some of the stained glass is held by the Stained Glass Museum in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The historic clock from the tower has been reinstalled, together with its bells, Ting and Tang, in the 1990s Belfry Shopping Centre in central Redhill.The site is now given over to housing, commemorated only by the names of its new roads - St Anne's Drive and St Annes Rise (no apostrophe!). Much of the grounds, the original playing fields, are occupied by the Warwick School.
New housing along St Anne's Drive and St Annes Rise.
Warwick School in Noke Drive occupies the grounds of the former Home.
The site of the separate infirmary is now occupied by new housing along St Annes Way (no apostrophe!).
St Annes Way.
The Belfry Shopping Centre (above) with the clock and the bells from St Anne's (below). There seems to be an extra bell!
|The earlier history of St
The Royal Asylum of St Anne's, later the St Anne's Society, was an educational charity founded in the City of London in 1702. After modest beginnings, by 1830 it had built new school premises in Streatham for 150 children. By the 1870s, with well over 300 on the rolls, new premises were urgently needed.
The Society purchased land for some £3,500 on the north side of Red Hill Junction station, and had a residential school for 400 children erected for £335,743. Work began in 1881 and the School was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1884. It was to remain a significant part of the Redhill skyline for over a century.
St Ann's (later St Anne's) Schools continued in operation for 35 years, through the Great War (1914-1918). However, the number of pupils dropped, and finances deteriorated. The School closed in 1919, and the Society attempted unsuccessfully to sell the site for £30,000 in 1920. In 1921 they succeeded in selling the contents - including 400 iron bedsteads, 1,500 blankets and 21 pianos.
The premises remained on the market, vacant, for another five years.
In the meantime, another famous charity, London's Foundling Hospital, was keen to build new, healthier premises in the country, and sell its valuable land in central London. As building the new Hospital would take time, temporary premises were needed - and St Anne's fitted the bill.
In 1926 the Governors of the Foundling Hospital purchased St Anne's for the (reduced) price of £25,500, and the orphans moved from London into what was now known as the Foundling School. They remained in Redhill for about nine years, until the new premises in Berkhamstead were ready, and then moved again.
St Anne's remained vacant for a year or so until Surrey County Council took over the premises as a home for the elderly chronically sick.
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