Brackley Cottage Hospital
A public meeting on 12th October 1876 resolved that a trained hospital nurse should be provided for the sick of the neighbourhood and a committee was appointed to draw up a prospectus and receive subscriptions. A subsequent meeting on 2nd November appointed a permanent committee to run the nursing home and appoint the nurses. A further meeting of subscribers on 25th May 1877 agreed that the nurses’ home should be used as a Cottage Hospital. The hospital was under the supervision of a nurse-matron, with local doctors giving their services free, as was the usual custom.
New wards and a kitchen were opened in 1887, and an operating room was added in 1908. The buildings fell into disrepair over the years and in 1936 the sixtieth anniversary was celebrated by a major programme of building and refurbishment. During the second world war the hospital was officially an Emergency Medical Services hospital, but was not called upon to act in that capacity.
The Cottage Hospital became part of the National Health Service in 1948. Although in Northamptonshire Brackley’s proximity to Banbury in Oxfordshire resulted in its being part of the Banbury and District Hospitals Management Committee, centred on the Horton Hospital. Responsibility passed to Oxfordshire Area Health Authority (Teaching) in 1974 and Oxfordshire Health Authority in 1982. Extensive refurbishment took place in the late 1980s.
In 1990 Oxfordshire Health Authority, under extreme financial pressure, proposed a series of measures to reduce deficits, one of which was the closure of Brackley Cottage Hospital. Local people resisted the closure and in November 1991 the hospital ceased to be part of the NHS and became the responsibility of a charitable trust. It is now a nursing home.
See also: Donald Smith Brackley Cottage Hospital 1876-1996 (Brackley and District History Society Occasional Paper No. 2 1996)
Records of Brackley Cottage Hospital
- Committee minutes 1876-1941, 1948-1968
- Account books 1893-1905
- Admission and discharge registers 1877-1878, 1887-1944
There may be information in the records of Banbury and District Hospital Management Committee
Brackley Cottage Hospital is featured in these Tales from the Archives:
- Cold baths, Napoleon Bonaparte and homing pigeons
- Treating the patients: creosote, laxatives and galoshes
- Pretty awful today, Matron
- Sufficient without waste: hospital food
Last updated: 29 August, 2018