“To provide Cranleigh with an exciting and unique place for locals and visitors to enjoy, benefit and learn from.”
Why is it important?
- The first Cottage Hospital in England
- Founded in 1859 by Dr Napper and Archdeacon Sapte who agreed that it will be a cottage hospital. The villagers gave money to enable Dr Napper to treat patients there, who mostly paid; People who couldn’t pay in full were helped with fund raised money so not paupers. Dr Napper explained all this to the Royal College of Surgeons who declared it to be the best model for patients and doctors. England saw a cottage hospital movement throughout the Victorian age thanks to this initiative by Cranleigh (was Cranley).
- In 1948 the NHS took the site over and NHS property services maintain the buildings. The League of Friends continues to raise funds for equipment and care.
What does it comprise?
- The Grade II Listed part of the village hospital.
- The cottage is believed to have been built in 1446 – the timbers have been dated! It was owned by St Nicolas Church opposite. It hasn’t been changed much since then, but some timbers need replacing, As it is Grade II listed, it must be repaired responsibly – but the NHS can’t afford it.
- Meeting room for up to 24 persons and/or private consulting rooms.
- Cranleigh Information Centre/Hub including small museum and school visits.
- Well-being Hub/Social prescribing (such as for young carer or mental health groups).
- Repair Shop for the community.
- Inspiring the next generation of health workers.
- Pop-up vintage tearoom, hosted by volunteers.
What needs to be done?
- Further building surveys and works to repair 10 years of disuse and neglect and to make usable. The property will be separated from the working hospital, toilets and kitchen facilities introduced, front door reinstated, staircase and upstairs will be made safe to use.
- Negotiate peppercorn lease from NHS Property.
- A trust to preserve the building and a charity to run it will be created. Trustees and volunteers are needed including people with the skills to help directly.
- Application for grants (Lottery Fund etc).
How do we move forward?
Please support Cranleigh Civic Society’s work so that we can set about raising grant money to save the structure, conserve the cottage and bring it into uses that will benefit our community. To help we need you to write, email, phone or pop in and tell us that you support the work and give us your ideas. We promise to be open and regular public meetings will be held. Thank you! Let’s work together!