© Mr John Harrison
KING EDWARD VII SANATORIUM, WEST HEATH ROAD
EASEBOURNE, CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX
Mr John Harrison
14 September 2003
02 March 1973
Date of last amendment:
26 November 1987
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1899/11/66 WEST HEATH ROAD
02-MAR-73 THE KING EDWARD VII HOSPITAL
(Formerly listed as:
WEST HEATH ROAD
KING EDWARD VII SANATORIUM)
Tuberculosis sanatorium, later hospital. Originally called the King Edward VII Sanatorium. Built in 1903-6. Architects, Adams, Holden and Pearson but Charles Holden is now recognised to have been responsible for the elevations. Long building in free Tudor style with butterfly plan, the southern part the patients wing with a U-shaped north entrance wing. Built of red and grey bricks in alternate courses with stone dressings. Tiled roofs.
EXTERIOR: The north entrance front administration block is of three storeys with principal part symmetrical with the main entrance set in a recessed gabled bay and central stone door surround surmounted by a Royal Coat of Arms and bay window above with balcony. Twenty casement windows with stone mullions and transoms. Dormers to attic. Projecting wings with flanking low towers and gables to the left and right and further later wings beyond.
Southern patients wing is symmetrically arranged with a taller central block of three storeys flanked by two storeys and basement wings canted slightly forward to form a sun-trap. Fifty three bays in all. Central block has triple gable to centre and end gables. All windows have green louvred shutters. The ground floor has a central arched entrance, tall stone mullioned windows and six stone pilastered attached garden alcoves for the use of the patients. Similar disposition of side wings. The balconies and French windows were used for wheeling out the bed for the open air treatment with awnings for inclement weather.
INTERIOR: Entrance Hall has the foundation stone laid by Edward VII. The ground floor is lined in Doulton's Carrara ware, a semi-glazed terracotta. Above is a galleried landing with wooden balustrade and columns. The Dining Hall is also lined in Doulton's Carrara ware ornamented with abstract patterns but designed to enable the room to be easily disinfected. The ceiling has a shallow barrel vault with strong ribs with the edges ornamented by plasterwork by George Bankart. Symmetrically placed to each side of the southern garden room are two recreation rooms, accessed by a lobby with a pillared screen opening into a lower main space simply decorated for easy cleaning.
HISTORY: The idea of providing a national sanatorium for the treatment of tubercolosis was prompted by a visit of Edward VII to the TB Sanatorium at Falkenstein. Sir Ernest Cassel, the King's financial adviser whose daughter had died of TB, provided ¿200,000 for its construction. A committee was set up by the King to identify the best medical solution to a problem which affected about a quarter of a million people in the country at the time and this influenced the design of the building with butterfly plan, southern aspect for easy ventilation, balconies and French windows. The site chosen had pine woods to the north considered good for those with breathing difficulties, although unfortunately the area proved subject to dense mists and far from a water supply, so essential for the hydropathic treatments. The building was designed for 100 TB patients. The plan divided the sexes so that the western half was for male patients and the eastern half for female patients. The ground floor was for those paying lower fees and the first floor centre block with seven bedrooms and a sittiing room for each sex was for higher fee patients and the different sexes and class of patient did not mix. The sanatorium was widely praised for its architecture and criticised for its extravagant planning by the medical press of the time. It was influential in the design of subsequent sanatoria and also promoted a more domestic character to hospitals generally.
["Architectural Review" Vol. XIX 1906 p278 et seq.
"Buildings of England: Sussex" p251.
Jeremy Taylor "Hospital and Asylum Architecture in England 1810-1914."passim
RCHME "English Hospitals 1660-1948" p147.]