Horsham’s first hospital was opened in 1892, some 24 years after the Workhouse Infirmary. The land, alongside that for the Fire Station, Police Station and Courthouse was given to the town by R H Hurst, explaining the root of the Hurst Road address. The building contract for the hospital was awarded to Rowland Brothers of Horsham for £1300 [2006: £97,133.22].
The original building had just 8 beds but was enlarged in 1907, seven years after it introduced electric lighting. The 1921 census records 10 in-patients. In the days before the NHS the patients were paying from 2s 6d to 10s 6d per week to stay in the hospital. By 1913 private patients were admitted for 10s 6d a day. In the opening years operations were carried out at the hospital. Procedures included tonsillectomies, tumour removal, amputations and the setting of broken bones.
On May 23rd 1923 the original building was closed, the former hospital building being acquired by Collyers as a hostel although it has since been taken back by the hospital. On June 1st the new hospital was opened by Lord Leconfield of Petworth. The cost of £18,000 was raised as donations in memory of the great war, the First World War. It had two wards with 24 beds and a further three private wards. In the same year a penny a week subscription scheme was offered to the residents of Horsham, entitling them to free treatment and ambulance services.
The children’s ward was opened in 1930 and a year later the Townswomen’s Guild pressed for a maternity ward, with Guildford and Brighton being the nearest alternatives. The 18 bed maternity ward finally opened in 1944. During World War II the hospital employed a gardener and recorded that 900 cabbages were grown in 1940. A geriatric ward opened in 1980. Development on the site continues with the new X ray & diagnostics department opened on July 26th 2006. This is the fourth stage in an £11 million investment in the site.
The foundation stone was removed during the works of 2005 and was replaced in 2010. The text on the stone reads with capitalisation and punctuation copied:
WAS BUILT BY VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS
IN MEMORY OF
THOSE WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918
THIS FOUNDATION STONE WAS LAID BY
EDWARD. SIXTH EARL WINTERTON. M.P.
ON JULY 20TH 1922.
REV. E.D.L. HARVEY O.B.E.. M.A. D.L.. PRESIDENT
F.G. TROUP F.R.I.B.A.
The stone was originally laid on by Horsham’s serving MP Lord Winterton with hospital volunteers in attendance.
The hospital building shown above has changed little since it was photographed.