West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven

Location : Whitehaven
Ordnance Survey – NX 989161
 

West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven

West Cumberland Hospital and the Ennerdale Valley from Kells. Photo by Jan Fialkowski.

 
The West Cumberland Hospital, in Whitehaven, was the first hospital built in England following the creation of the National Health Service. It was officially opened on October 21, 1964 by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
 
It was built to replace the old Whitehaven Hospital, the home for some 200 years of the Lowther family. In 1924 the Earl of Lonsdale sold Whitehaven Castle to Mr H. Walker, who donated it to the town, along with monies to carry out necessary repairs and alterations. The castle was duly modified and it replaced the old infirmary which had been difficult to bring up-to-date.
 
In 1951, due to inadequacies at the infirmary, plans were drawn up for a replacement – the new West Cumberland Hospital. The castle remained in use as a geriatric unit until 1986, when due to fire regulations, it had to close. The building lay empty for a while, and has now been converted to housing.
 
West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven

West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven. Photo by Simon Ledingham.

 
Whitehaven Castle, later Whitehaven Hospital, now housing.

Whitehaven Castle, later Whitehaven Hospital, now housing.

 
The North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was set up in April 2001 as a merger between the Whitehaven hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
 
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