Victoria Maternity Hospital
55 Wood Street, Barnet, Herts EN5 4BS
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1888 - 1987

General.  Later, maternity

In 1888 the Earl of Strafford (1830-1898) laid the foundation stone for a new cottage hospital in Barnet Hill.  It was being built to commemorate the Queen's Jubilee and would be known as the Victoria Hospital for Barnet and District.

The Hospital opened in 1888.  It had 10 beds and  had cost £3,000 to build, funded mainly by public subscription.  It was intended to add a dispensary and a Nurses' Home for District Nurses at a later date.

In 1893 the Hospital was endowed under the will of R.G. Dawson with £2,275 worth of consolidated bonds, the 'Percy Dawson Bequest' and other bequests, consisting of shares in various undertakings, to the value of about £5,637 - a huge sum of money then.

In 1924 the Hospital moved to new premises, Cedar Lawn, at 55 Wood Street.

The Hospital joined the NHS in 1948 as a general hospital with 49 beds.  It came under the control of the Barnet Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  In 1948 Elmcroft, a house adjacent to the Hospital, was acquired to provide additional residential accommodation and teaching facilities.

In November 1949 the maternity unit from Wellhouse Hospital was transferred to the Hospital.  It became the maternity hospital for the district and was renamed the Victoria Maternity Hospital.  It had 48 beds and 48 cots, but the demand for maternity beds was so high that a maternity unit with 20 additional beds had to be opened at Wellhouse Hospital in 1950.

By 1958 the Hospital had opened a Special Care Baby Unit with 11 cots for premature babies.  The Unit was extended in 1960.

In 1974 the Hospital had 64 beds.

It closed in 1987 when maternity services were transferred to Edgware General Hospital.

Present status (April 2008)

The Grade II listed building has been converted into private apartments and is now known as Cattley House.

Victoria Maternity Hospital
The three-bay house was built in 1766 as Cedar Lawn.  It refronted with white stucco in the early 19th century.

  Foundation stone  Foundation stone
The foundation stone for the Hospital is on the front of the building by the flowerbed (left).  Another masonry stone (right) commemorates  that the building was acquired for redevelopment in 1988 by Oliver and Saunders Developments and was refurbished during 1994 and 1995.

 Blue plaque  Blue plaque
Blue plaques on the front of the building commemorate William Cattley (1788-1835), a botanist who specialised in the study of orchids (left) and the former Hospital (right).

Victoria Maternity Hospital
The white stuccoed former Hospital with Elmcroft beside.
(Author unstated) 1888 A cottage hospital for Barnet.  The Nursing Record 12th April, 23.

www.barnet.gov.uk (on Underhill)
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