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St Hilda's Hospital

On 21st July, 1984, St Hilda’s Hospital, Hartlepool, closed its doors thus ending a prestigious history of service to the people of Hartlepool.

The Hospital, situated on the Headland, was founded over 700 years ago. A Friary is recorded prior to 1258 where Franciscans treated the sick in both the Friary and their own homes.

The Friary was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1546 and the Manor House, also known as the Friary, was built in 1605. During the early years of the Poor Laws, the Friary was used as a workhouse and also cared for sudden illnesses in the town.

In 1865, thanks to a charity grant and the generosity of local townspeople, the premises were adapted for use as a free hospital, with accommodation for 12 beds.

On 16 December, 1914, Hartlepool hospital narrowly escaped destruction as shells fell nearby. Over 40 serious operations were performed that day, including many amputations.

The hospital was gradually extended and in 1917, HRH Princess Mary opened the Morison Memorial Wing, which increased accommodation by 30 beds.

In 1948, the new National Health Service inherited “a model institution equipped with the latest appliances and staffed by highly qualified personnel” It subsequently became the centre for the treatment of accidents in the town, before its closure in 1984.     

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