History of The 1840, St George’s Gardens
The hospital first opened in June 1841 on a 97-acre site, originally owned by Henry Perkins, a wealthy brewer and partner in the firm of Barclay and Perkins. It was built to the designs of William Moseley, County Surveyor for Middlesex, but over time has been adapted and extended. The site’s two Grade II listed buildings — the Main Building and the Elizabeth Newton Wing — lie within a Grade II Registered Park and Garden. The late-C19 Chapel and parish boundary posts are locally listed by Wandsworth Borough Council.
The site was bought from Henry Perkins, a wealthy brewer and partner in the firm of Barclay and Perkins, who had himself obtained the freehold from the 2nd Earl Spencer.
It was conceived as an E-shaped, Elizabethan, red brick building, with blue diapering, and quoins, parapets and other dressings in limestone. The three-storey gabled central block is boldly dated 1840 in blue brick and is flanked by two storey ward wings in “domestic” style, finished with three- or four- storey embattled towers at their ends.
The building was an example of an early ‘corridor plan’ hospital, adapted from a design by William Mosely, Middlesex County Surveyor. It but was substantially altered and extended by Edward Lapidge, Surrey County Surveyor, as early as 1848 and again in 1874 by C.H. Howell.
The institution was supported by a large farm of over 90 acres including a massive kitchen garden not far from the central kitchens.
From 1868 – 93, the Lapidge Wing was extended.
In 1888, the site was transferred to Middlesex County Council in 1888
In 1893, the Lodge was built off Glenburnie Road, at the current entrance to the site.
In 1895, a separate annexe for children (now the Elizabeth Newton wing) was begun to the designs of Rowland Plumbe. John Langdon Haydon Down, physician and famous for his description of the genetic condition now known as Down syndrome, advised on the layout of the Annexe, the only purpose built hospital building for children in England.
1914 – 1918
During the Great War, the site became the Springfield War Hospital and shell-shocked patients were treated.
In 1948 it became part of the NHS. Owing to population pressures, new ancillary buildings and extensions are a feature of this site and continued into the early 21st Century.
The farm was closed and the farm gate entrance discontinued. Burntwood School now sits on the site.
Planning permission was granted for the reordering of the site for a new, smaller hospital, housing and the residential conversion of the main buildings.
City & Country acquired the site.