The Royal Victoria Hospital was built in
1850 as an act of thanksgiving by the town for having escaped
the cholera epidemic, which had claimed many lives in the
1840s. There had been a dispensary in the town since 1823
and it was decided to combine this with the new hospital.
£1,760 was raised by public subscription and a property
on the High Street known as Brook House was purchased and,
after some alteration was opened on 1st May 1851.
The new site adjoined land known as Wood’s Meadow and in
1858 this was purchased for the hospital so that it was
not hemmed in by development and had room to expand. Additions
were made to the building in 1860 and in the 1870s, with
a new wing by 1890. In 1897 one of the women’s wards was
named ‘Victoria’ in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
In 1901 Edward VII gave permission for the hospital to be
called Royal Victoria after his mother.
In 1927 a Centenary Fund was started and with the money
raised another new wing was built in 1933. At the outbreak
of the Second World
the patients were evacuated to Waldershare Park
Mansion and the hospital still dealt with casualties.
With the formation of the National Health Service Buckland
gradually took over more and more eventually
leaving just a Stroke Unit and Geriatric Day Hospital. The
hospital finally closed its doors in May 1987 and spent
a number of years mouldering away until converted into low
cost apartments in the 1990s.