|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Wandsworth War Memorial Maternity Home
Park Hill, Upper Tooting, SW17
|1920 - 1951
The Wandsworth War Memorial Maternity Home was founded as a memorial to Wandsworth residents killed during WW1. Part of the cost had been paid for by voluntary subscriptions and the balance provided out of the Borough rates.
The Home opened in Park Hill, a large house in Upper Tooting. It was intended to be used primarily by those living in small houses and flats which were "ill-adapted for the exigencies of child bearing".
In 1925 the Home was closed, at first temporarily and then permanently, because of concerns regarding cleanliness and proper treatment. During the preceding 17 months there had been 87 cases of mothers suffering from breast abscesses. The staff were dismissed, with the exception of the Matron. The cause of the infection was not found.
Two or three years later the Borough Council decided to build a new maternity home on a site adjoining the Weir Hospital in Weir Road, Balham. This new building was designed by the same architect who had built the Weir Hospital.
The new Wandsworth War Memorial Maternity Home opened in 1931. It had 20 beds, plus 2 beds in an isolation ward. For a time, it was administered by the Board of the Weir Hospital on behalf of the Council. In 1934 the Council took over direct administration.
At the outbreak of WW2 in 1939 the Home was closed following the government's decision to evacuate expectant mothers from London. The premises became a First Aid post. In 1942 the Maternity Home reopened, but closed again in 1944 on the advice of the Ministry of Health; intensive bombing of London had begun again. The staff were transferred to a maternity home in Bolton, Lancashire, until 1945 when they returned to London.
In 1948 the Home joined the NHS and, in 1950, it amalgamated with the Weir Hospital to form one unit - the Weir Maternity Hospital.
The original Park Hill site has been completely redeveloped and is now largely Park Hill Court, an estate of apartment blocks.
A possible lodge building on the corner of Glenburnie and Morven Roads.
Park Hill Court (left and above) in Beeches Road.
Looking up Beeches Road.
Looking up Morven Road - the drive.
The new Wandsworth War Memorial Maternity Hospital at Weir Road, the only building to survive from the Weir Maternity Hospital.
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