Standish Hospital was a former park and country house turned specialist orthopaedics, rheumatology and respiratory care National Health Service (NHS) hospital, located in the hamlet of Standish, Gloucestershire, England. Closed in 2004, it is proposed for a mixed-use residential and medical campus style redevelopment
Below Standish Wood, which together with Haresfield Beacon was acquired by the National Trust in 1931, lies Standish Park, which has existed since the 16th century. Originally part of Standish Court, the Park covered 250 acres (100 ha), and was part of the estate of the Baron's Sherborne of Gloucestershire. Developing the Park as a country retreat, Standish House was constructed on the property.
In 1853, James Dutton, 3rd Baron Sherborne leased it to Gloucester-based businessman Richard Potter, son of Radical MP Richard Potter, then a director of timber merchants Price & Co., later the Managing Director of the Great Western Railway. Potter lived at the house with his wife Lawrencina, daughter of a Liverpool-based merchant, and their nine daughters. Three were born in the property, including later sociologist, economist, socialist and social reformer Martha Beatrice Webb, Lady Passfield.
Potter developed the gardens along managed Victorian era principles, building extensive heated greenhouses to allow the family to eat well. It eventually provided a ready supply of grapes, plus a dedicated mushroom house and watercress beds. A drilled spring provided a steady year round stream, which was landscaped to provide a pond by construction of a brickwall dam. Beneath the dam there was an ice store, allowing year roud supplies of ice.
On 24 June 1884, widow Mrs Annie Poole King of Kensington House, Brislington, Somerset leased Standish House on a contract term of 21 years from Edward Dutton, 4th Baron Sherborne, at a rate of £150pa. The widow of a shipping magnate, she moved in with five children, plus a house staff of a coachman, cook, housekeeper, and gardener. A member of the Berkeley Hunt, at the time the house had a stable block capable of housing 30+ horses.
The outbreak of the Boer War reduced global shipping rates, and particularly the rand, which greatly affected Mrs King's income. In 1897 the family left the house, and downsized with their entire staff to Newark Park at Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge.
Post World War I, Gloucestershire County Council bought Standish Park in its entiry from Lord Sherbourne. Intending to develop a new hospital, it sold of packets of land to local farmers and created new small holdings.
Subsequently given to the British Red Cross, it was pressed into service as a military hospital. Post 1920, it was turned into a sanatorium to treat tuberculosis. After becoming a US Army medical facility during World War II, it was nationalised as part of the National Health Service, specialising in orthopaedics, rheumatology and respiratory care across the whole of Gloucestershire. In this role, it undertook joint replacements, as well as caring for coal miners from the Forest of Dean with the most serious of respiratory problems.
After a gross overspend by Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust, Minister for Health John Hutton[disambiguation needed] agreed to close the hospital in 2004, under regional NHS reforms. The last patients were moved to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in December 2004.
Standish Mutual Care Trust proposed turning the residual 31 acres (13 ha) site into a centre for health and well being, but were out bid by a private healthcare concern. Having then proposed total redevelopment to residential, Gloucestershire County Council are now proposing a mixed-use redevelopment of the site into a health and social care centre. Proposed as a "health campus", it would offer supported living options and access to care for the elderly and people with physical and learning disabilities.
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