NHS Anniversary: The old hospitals of Huntingdon

Nurses from the old county hospital in Huntingdon.

Nurses from the old county hospital in Huntingdon. - Credit: NWAT

As part of our feature to mark the 73rd anniversary of the NHS on July 5, we look back at some of the old hospitals in Huntingdon.

Many readers will remember the old Primrose Lane Hospital which was a maternity hospital. 

Our Hunts Post history columnist, Karl Brockett, explains: "The hospital on the original site was a fever hospital and housed the elderly and people with contagious diseases. It was called the Huntingdon Infectious Disease Hospital and was built around 1897.

"The advancement of Penicillin meant there was little use for these type of isolation wards and it later became the Primrose Lane Maternity Hospital."

The maternity hospital closed and in 1983 and relocated to a new unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The former building on Primrose Lane is now residential housing.

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Another old building on Mill Common, in Brampton Road, Huntingdon, was the Huntingdonshire infirmary and dispensary. Instituted by public subscription in 1798, it was extended in 1831 to improve its services to out-patients. 

"Later the Huntingdon County Hospital was built at the same location with money raised from the public and it replaced the old infirmary. This was a very old and daunting building inside and out and many older Huntingdonshire residents may remember their own experiences of visiting this place," says Mr Brockett.

Albert Ward at the old Huntingdon County Hospital.

Albert Ward at the old Huntingdon County Hospital. - Credit: ERNEST WHITNEY

Child in iron long at Huntingdon County Hospital in 1948.

Child in iron long on St Nicholas Ward at the old Huntingdon County Hospital in 1948. - Credit: ERNEST WHITNEY

"It also closed in 1983 and moved to Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
The old county hospital building is now a residential community building, but a lot of exterior features relating to the old hospital can still be found. It’s worth a look if you are ever passing by.

According to records, there was a workhouse that housed around 200 people situated at the bottom of St Peter’s Road, in Huntingdon,  just off Ermine Street. It was opened in 1836 and its first meeting was on held on January 25 at The George Inn in Huntingdon.

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Its operation was overseen by approximately 35 parish guardians. The building was completed in approximately 1837 and the first 'inmates' arrived in the autumn. 

Later, it became Petersfield Hospital and housed elderly patients. The site is now the Walnut Tree housing estate.

Staff and patients at Huntingdon County Hospital.

Staff and patients at Huntingdon County Hospital. - Credit: NWAT