Designed by acclaimed English architect C.F.A Voysey, Winsford Cottage Hospital opened in Devon in 1900, with seven beds across three wards that served 13 parishes.
In a time before the NHS, the homely facility proved indispensable to the local community. Now, the historic building has been completely renovated, and is open for travellers to stay in.
Reconditioned by the conservation charity the Landmark Trust, the building now sleeps up to six guests. It was rescued at a cost of £1.5 million, with £587,000 being raised by National Lottery players and awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Traditional craft skills were used in the renovation, with the hospital becoming the 202nd historically-significant building to be transformed by the Landmark Trust. Part of the site has also been reopened for mixed community use. The overhaul saw the site being returned to its 1914 state, when a small extension was added. Repairs saw the Cornish Delabole slate roof being taken off, repaired and returned, two missing windows being reinstated, and lime plaster being replaced.
Costing £488 (€568) for a four-night break, the stately country accommodation is surrounded on all sides by lush green fields. The accommodation has been finished with early 20th century furniture, along with hand-crafted pieces produced in the charity’s Cotswolds workshop. According to the Landmark Trust, reaction from the public has been extremely positive, with many people getting in touch about staying at the hospital.
“Winsford quite simply changed people’s lives. It is a rare example of a building which matters both for its architectural merits and for the life-changing impact it had on the communities it served. We were determined to offer a lifeline to this irreplaceable structure and that we’ve been successful is thanks not only to our supporters, but to a host of talented craftsmen and women, volunteers and members of the local community. It is fitting that a building which offered respite to so many, now has been given the care it long needed. We are delighted its future is secure,” said Dr Anna Keay OBE, director of the Landmark Trust.
More information on Winsford Cottage Hospital is available at the official Landmark Trust website.
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