Lord Mayor Treloar Cripples' Home, Hospital and College, Alton, Hampshire
In 1901, what was then named the Princess Louise Hospital was founded by public subscription for sick and wounded soldiers returning from the Boer War. The hospital was located on Chawton Park Road, to the east of Alton. By the time it officially came into service in 1903, the war had ended. However, the hospital was used until 1905 by the Royal Army Medical Corps.
In 1907, Sir William Purdie Treloar who, during his tenure as Lord Mayor of London in 1906-7, had raised the sum of £10,000 in his mayoral 'Cripples' Fund', took over the Alton site for use as a hospital for the treatment of children up to the age of twelve who were suffering from tuberculosis of the bones or joints. A college was also established for teaching technical skills to physically disabled boys aged from 14 to 18, so that they could earn own living.
The original buildings at the site included two semi-circles of hutted wards as shown on the 1910 map below.
In 1930, there were 355 hospital beds and 50 places in the college.
Children came from all over the country to the hospital, which had its own railway station — Alton Park.
While they were at the hospital, children continued their normal education. As part of the treatment regime, lessons were conducted outdoors wherever possible.
Other outdoor diversions included a large aviary.
In the winter, lessons were carried out indoors.
Activities carried out by boys at the college included leather bag making and keeping poultry.
Physical exercise also formed part of the college routine.
The original ward huts were demolished as part of a major reconstruction of the site from 1929 to 1937. The layout of the buildings in around 1937 is shown on the map below.
In 1948, the hospital facilities were taken over by the new National Health Service and in 1951 were renamed The Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital. In 1953, the college moved to its own site at Upper Froyle. The Florence Treloar School for Girls was opened at Holybourne in 1965. The boys' college and girls' school were amalgamated in 1978 to create the Lord Mayor Treloar College, now based just outside Alton at Holybourne.
Despite threats of closure from the 1970s onwards, the Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital continued in operation until 1994. The site was sold in 2001 and the buildings demolished. The site is now occupied by housing and a community hospital.
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- Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester SO23 8TH.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- The Treloar Trust
- 'Hospital School'1945 film showing how children were treated, rehabilitated, and educated at Treloar's.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.