Saturday, 24 January 2015

Royal Victoria Hospital

The Royal Victoria Hospital as was, is located in Netley, near Southampton, in my home county of Hampshire, GB.

Appalled by the hospital conditions at Fort Pitt, which was the primary hospital for the wounded during the Crimean War, Queen Victoria rallied for support for a new hospital and the foundation stone was laid by Victoria on May 19th 1856.

30 million bricks were used to construct the hospital making it the longest building in the world at the time and it opened in March 1863. With 138 wards and 1000 beds it steadily filled with British troops from across the globe. The design caused some controversy, namely with Florence Nightingale.

The hospital was situated within the larger area of land bounded by the River Itchen and River Hamble that had become known locally as Spike Island. That term was subsequently used by wounded soldiers and prisoners of war to describe the location of the hospital.

In 1900 a railway was built to transport wounded soldiers straight from Southampton docks.

The hospital was utilised throughout the Boer War and throughout WWI. During the inter-war period the hospital was used to treat people with tuberculosis. WWII saw the return of military patients and it became the 28th US General Hospital from 1944 to 1945. During 1944, the American army and navy took over as they prepared for D-Day. Having no patience for the quarter of a mile long corridors, they took to driving their Jeeps along them.

In 1963 a fire destroyed part of the hospital giving the army a reason to condemn the building.

In 1966, part of the Jonathan Miller's psychedelic Alice in Wonderland was shot inside the hospital and Alice can be seen running along one of the corridors. 

Also in 1966, sadly the building was demolished, but thankfully the chapel was spared and remains to this day. 

We were there earlier in the month.

A smattering of interior shots ...

1n 1980 the grounds were cleared up and turned into a country park which remains to this day. The country park looks out onto Fawley Power Station across the water.


I've been feeling a little under the weather of late and consequently am rather behind on replying to comments and reading blogs, but I shall endeavour to rectify this as soon as I am able :)