History of the Old Hospital

Over 100 years ago, the vicar of St Edmund’s church proposed the building of a hospital in Southwold to serve the people of this remote rural area at a time when the average life span of working men and women was 43 and children were lucky to survive their fifth birthday.

Farmland on Field Stile road, opposite St Edmund’s Church, was purchased and the building was designed by Thomas Keyes of Leiston (who also designed the Blyth Hotel and the Randolph Hotel, built at the same time).

On a day in 1903 commemorated by a marching band and a special church service, the Bishop of Ipswich opened the hospital. Thereafter, the Southwold Hospital expanded and grew serving parishes throughout the Borough.

All of the monies needed to build and maintain Southwold Hospital were raised by the community – through fetes, bazars, entertainments, collecting boxes, subscriptions, donations, from employees of local firms. Harry Stannard, a fisherman, raised 8 shillings by exhibiting a porpoise he had caught at his premises on Trinity Street!

Even after the NHS nationalised the hospital in 1948, the community continued to fund new wards and more up to date equipment.

We can do it again! Find out how to buy shares individually or in a group of family and friends.

What is the plan for the new building?

We have put forward our plans for the changes we are going to make.