All Saint's Hospital, formerly Medway Union Workhouse

Introduction

Built in 1849 on the south side of Chatham, All Saints' Hospital was originally Medway Union Workhouse, replacing the original Chatham Workhouse at the bottom of Chatham Hill near The Brook, in Union Street.

Site of the original workhouse.

View along Union Street, Chatham, to the site of the original workhouse.The original workhouse is widely believed to be the workhouse featured in Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist". Dickens himself lived nearby as a boy, about 200 yards away in The Brook, and also in Ordnance Terrace, about a mile or so away. This photograph shows the view eastwards along The Brook and Union Street from the bottom of Slickett's Hill. The large building with the blue front and yellow brick rear, to the right of the Tesco store, is the new Gala Bingo Hall which now stands on the site of the original workhouse. It is the latest of a number of buildings on the site; after the workhouse was demolished, the site was occupied by what became the "X-Brand" factory. This was replaced by the Ritz Cinema, which was later converted into a bingo hall. This building was destroyed by fire in 1998.

All Saints' most recent role was as the main maternity and geriatric hospital for the Medway Towns, which it performed until 1999. All of the patients and work previously undertaken at the hospital have now been transferred to Gillingham's Medway Maritime Hospital, which was extended at a cost of 60,000,000 pounds to turn it into the area's general hospital.

Photographs

As of 2pm on Friday 25th July 1999, the hospital ceased to be owned by the Medway Health Authority. I was lucky enough to be able to take some photographs of the site. I apologise in advance that this page is at a very early stage of development, and that I felt it necessary to actually get the pictures onto my web page before I'd actually written the text to accompany them.

As a result, for the moment, I've divided the photos up into sections according to the film they appear on, rather than by subject or area. The total combined size of the images is over 5Mb, so it isn't really practical to download all of them onto a single page. Hopefully it won't be too long before I get a chance to organise them more.

The sections are:

  1. Film A (21 images, 945kb)
  2. Film B (36 images, 1.5Mb)
  3. Film C (36 images, 1.6Mb)
  4. Film D (22 images, 1Mb)
  5. If you have IE5 or later, or Mozilla FireFox, take the new improved tour!
  6. Why was I interested in All Saints'?
  7. Specific parts of the hospital/workhouse:
  8. Other workhouse and hospital resources

All photographs copyright 1999-2004 Jason Ross

In-Site Links


Links to Other Sites

Once I'd taken the photos and looked around the Internet, I discovered that there are lots of people who are fascinated by old and abandoned buildings. Here are links to some of them:

Memories of Bexley Hospital

Bexley Hospital was built in 1894 as the "Heath Asylum", designed by renowned asylum architect GT Hine as London's 7th asylum, it was eventually closed in 2001. This fascinating site, started by two former members of staff at the hospital, describes the hospital's history and includes accounts from people who worked there.

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