Special Heritage Social Friday 28th April from 2 till 7pm Band Room

Special Heritage Social Friday 28th April from 2 till 7pm Band Room

Hello, Do you have special memories of Cranleigh, especially the cottage hospital?

Have you ever been into the old cottage itself?  Or do you know someone who has?  What used to happen in there?

We would like to hear your memories as soon as you can?  Some people with wonderful stories to tell are no longer with us, let’s share while we can.

We have set up to make people welcome and to chat about their memories, and to be videoed too if that’s ok?

That way your memories will become a library of great importance to others living and enjoying the area and its heritage.

Please get in touch to arrange how to get their, and a time to suit you, or just come along. Or we can arrange to visit you on another day if that is better.

contact details – Sue and Trevor – 01483 272987

We look forward to a fun afternoon with tea and cakes, chatter and memories.

best regards

The Team


Let’s Celebrate Cranleigh’s Heritage!

Let’s Celebrate Cranleigh’s Heritage!

Cranleigh has the first Cottage Hospital in England!  Fact!!!  Let’s get on and celebrate….

A sensitive issue in Cranleigh

– there are various buildings that make up Cranleigh Village Cottage Hospital.  As we have posted before, various parts of the buildings are in use and others are not. There is a very active campaign to persuade and enable the NHS to provide more services for us.  (but there is no chance of beds). We hope that these extra services will happen and soon, the money collected by CVH League of Friends (see their web site here ) will really help – there are 5 empty rooms built over the last century which should be in use.

Original Cranleigh Village Cottage Hospital building – was the Rectory in 1800s

At the front, on the left, beside the pub, there is a 15th century cottage that was actually the very first  cottage hospital for the whole of England – arguably the original foundation of the NHS. This happened in 1859. See the cottage and community hospital movement here. “Cottage and community hospitals have been part of the rural landscape for health care in England for over 150 years. The first cottage hospital was opened by (Dr) Napper in 1859 in Cranleigh, Surrey. This was a simple converted cottage with space for beds and for operations. The service was established to save patients from long journeys to general hospitals in towns and cities, and to give local doctor surgeons a clean space in which to work with the support of a paid nurse.  The model was swiftly copied leading to the creation of 240 cottage hospitals within the next 30 years, all funded through donations and benefactors”.

The Cottage is no longer maintained or used

The oldest part  has been unused for 10 years and now the NHS has declared that it is surplus to their requirements.  You may have heard of NHS Property Services ltd?  They look after all the buildings that are within the NHS Estate and are in use, and are selling off or leasing out surplus buildings, which aims to make some savings for the NHS. NHSPS is offering to lease just the cottage to a charitable body on a peppercorn rent.  Currently Cranleigh Civic Society is discussing this with NHSPS with the agreement of many other community interested parties.

The cottage needs to be looked after – Heritage England and the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings say its fabric should be conserved.  It is Grade II listed and was originally built as a Hall House with several later additions (including floors to create upstairs) – you can browse this document for more information here 

What does Cranleigh need?

So does Cranleigh have needs and if so can they be fulfilled if and when the cottage is useable again?  We believe it will benefit the community to have a historical focal point that can attract visitors to our shops and other amenities. The old cottage could be a valuable meeting point and house a visitors and newcomers centre or tourist information point. With modern media, historical and archive material would be available for research and perhaps career development and inspiration for the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Cranleigh Cares

There’s so much history!  You know the motto “Cranleigh Cares”?  well it is still so very true. Many residents care very much about our old buildings and the memories people have too. The village has so many historic places – the cottage could be the starting point for a guided or solo walk around the village, highlighting all the properties and places of interest.  Maybe we need a proper small museum, set up to look as it did when the first operation took place in 1859, or as it did when the NHS took it over in 1948. Or how it was when we took our children along for minor injuries in the 1970s and 1980s. and when some people were so glad to have beds locally for their elderly or sick relatives.   There could also be a history society listening project – recordings of people’s memories of the old building and its uses.

Bringing life to our heritage

Some people suggest a healthy café for the youth (bubble café), staff and patients, for small, vulnerable groups and people being helped by our local, special health teams. We think various catered events could be arranged on a pop up and also pre-booked basis.

Can it really be saved and also used by the community?

Some people say that the only way to conserve old buildings is by making them residential!  Would doctors and nurses want to pay rent to live there?  We are not keen on this approach!!!

Cranleigh Society team are looking into possibilities and logistics, for support, ways forwards, all with the help of League of Friends, Chamber of Commerce, and many others.

Please reply to this post with your ideas and thoughts.

thanks to all