The Children’s Wing, Redruth Women’s Hospital 1899

After serving the community for many years the hospital ceased to be required by the NHS. After standing empty for several years the building was restored as a central part of a residential and commercial development.


Redruth Miner’s Hospital was established in 1863, with money given by Sir Edward Nicholl, and opened on 1 January of the following year. The Rt Hon T C Agar Robartes of Lanhydrock, whose family had interests in the mines around Redruth, gave the site and contributed towards its support. In 1871 an accident department was opened.
Redruth Women & Childrens Hospital, Redruth, awaiting restoration 2004. Lord Robartes continued to support the Hospital, in 1876 providing £774 towards the total cost of £1,069. There were 160 admissions in that year.
In 1887 a Committee was set up to build a Women’s Hospital adjacent to the Miners Hospital. This was opened on 29 January 1890 by Mrs Basset of Tehidy, President of the Hospital,and dedicated by Rev Canon Chappel and Rev J W Lane. Initially women who worked in the local mines and tin streams had priority although treatment was available to all who needed it..
Half of the total cost of building the new Hospital and the total cost of furnishings was given by Mrs Basset, who also contributed £100 per year towards the running costs. The land had been sold to the Committee for a nominal £150 by Gen Sir Redvers Buller, who also gave £100 towards the building costs. Other subscriptions totaled£1.359 12s 6d, including £100 from Mr J Williams of Caerhays Castle, £100, Lord Clinton, £50, Lord Robartes, £50, and Mr G Williams, of Scorrier, £20.
In digging the foundations of the Women’s Hospital, two roughly circular stones, about two feet in diameter, were uncovered together with wood ash and other stonework walling. This was believed to be the original tin smelting works, or Blowing House, from which the area derived its name.
In 1898 Passmore Edwards, together with Mr Edward Trousnson, gave money for the addition of a Children’s wing to be attached to the Women’s Hospital. This was opened the following year.Both Hospitals were amalgamated in 1901.
A maternity unit was added in 1926 and further additions made in 1928 and 1935. In 1938 a Redruth Hospital Coronation Extension Appeal was issued which raised £4,564 plus £15,000 from Commander Sir Edward Nicholl. A further £750 was donated to the Radium Fund. The new extension was opened in 1939, costing £32,000, and bringing the accommodation up to 79 beds (18 men, 27 women, 8 children and 10 private patients. An extra 43 beds were made available during the WW2.
By the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, in 1953, the Hospital had 151 beds and was treating over 3,000 in patients and 31,000 out patients each year. However, a gradual run down commenced in the 60’s when, in 1966, all adult medical surgical cases were transferred to Treliske Hospital at Truro and children sent to Truro City Hospital.
The casualty department was also moved to Truro since there was no medical or surgical staff now at the hospital and the maternity unit closed in 1978. The hospital closed in the 1990’s.

Architect unknown

Current use

The hospital site stood vacant for several years and was subject to vandalism and arson. Eventually the site was redeveloped as part of the Gweal Pawl Estate. Carried out by Percy Williams & Sons, this combined the restored existing buildings with new housing development, managed by the residents.

Posted in Buildings in Cornwall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *