Cranleigh Old Hospital Cottage – your heritage, your outcomes

by Trevor Dale // Main Photo: The garden information session where over 200 people visited.

On April 13 we hosted an information session in the front garden of the Old Hospital Cottage. We had hoped to welcome people into the cottage but sadly legal arrangements have not allowed that for now. Instead, we had a virtual tour and members of the team on hand to explain and clarify the conservation project. The cottage will be opened for education visits with displays and information once conserved. Our professional advisors were there, and Hamish was able to trial responses to various heritage display items.

We welcomed over 200 people to our information stand and garnered letters of support and some useful fresh ideas about the future use. If you missed us on the 13th we would still welcome your views via our online questionnaire. Go to and scroll to find the link.

We are seeking unfulfilled gaps in the need for help for vulnerable people. Two that were mentioned were support for people recently bereaved, those with special needs and also for dementia sufferers and their carers. Both groups would welcome somewhere to meet and share experiences and feel comfort in a convivial atmosphere. There may be more, or indeed these groups may be catered for, but these do seem to be what the old cottage would be ideal for.

In the meantime plans are proceeding well. We have received a first version of the lease and that is with our legal advisors and also being vetted by the Heritage Fund team. No doubt there will be some ‘discussion’. 

Possible displays that will describe the history of the building and how it was used in the past

One of the practical issues we face is how to affordably heat the cottage. To date it used electric oil-filled radiators. Not very green! With a little old cottage, we don’t want to clutter the walls with radiators and there is no gas supply, so conventional systems won’t do. We are investigating an air-source heat pump, but that is unlikely to do what we need. Since the building will only be occupied when in use, unlike a residential house, ideally we need to be able to attain a comfortable temperature quickly, without needing to burn fuel overnight. We have identified an innovative infrared system that can be plastered into the ceilings and under the floor and hence will be invisible. We need to be sure it is appropriate but at this stage it looks ideal. Rapid warm up, zero lost wall-space and energy efficient to boot.

The other major item is windows. We have received quotes for specialist double glazing, suitable for a medieval building and found a company that supplies a solution that would be almost invisible, while offering significant heat loss savings.

We are continuing to record ‘Cranleigh Voices’ – memories of past times from residents before they are lost to posterity. We hold regular sessions or we can come to you, if you feel you have history that will enrich future generations. Please get in touch via our website or phone or email.  

Dates for your diary – Wednesday 15th May; Thursday 29th August; Wednesday 27th  November; 2.30 to 4.30 Cranleigh Band room – RSVP


There are many opportunities for enthusiastic volunteers to join the project. This promises to be a rewarding challenge for those with an interest in history and heritage, or in helping people. Please contact us by phone, 01483 272987, letter or email to;

If you are a charity, business or therapist please do contact us to register your interest. We need long-term partners, and the Heritage Fund panel needs us to show them how we are engaging with our community. 

To register an expression of interest in future use of the facilities please do write to us with the following information:

1. Brief description of what you offer and the benefits to clients and customers.

2. Say if and where you currently offer this service and why people would use the cottage to meet you.

3. Brief declaration of support for the project in general.

4. Return name and address and any website or social media links. 

Thank you so much! Trustees Trevor Dale – Chair; Howard Barratt; Jane Briggs; Chris Bulley; Sue Dale; Nigel West. Advisors Bob Callard – architect; Joanna James – business advisor, Michael Miller and Joy Horn, History advisors.

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