History

Cranleigh Village Hospital was the first cottage hospital to be opened in England. The original cottage where the hospital was housed has been dated to around 1446 by dendrochronology.

It is a substantial Grade ll listed timber framed building with a crown post roof and considered to be one of the finest in Surrey. In 1859 the local GP, Dr Napper and the village rector, Archdeacon Sapte established the hospital with the support of generous patrons. The hospital flourished, supported by the generous donations and subscriptions, both in cash and in kind administered by a group of Trustees. Improvements were made and extensions built as a result of public subscriptions and some substantial donations. Through both world wars the hospital served the armed forces as well as the local population, being requisitioned by the government during the second world war and becoming part of the NHS in 1947. Local support for the hospital remained very strong. As a result of local generosity and hard work, the hospital has gradually expanded and improved, without reliance on public funds. In the the mid 1980s, a new day hospital, physiotherapy department, medical records office and out-patients department were funded locally. Over the years the NHS made several attempts to close all or parts of the hospital as a result of changes in policy and funding priorities. The beds were finally closed in 2010. 

The Hospital continues to be owned by the NHS supported by its own charity, The League of Friends of Cranleigh Village Hospital. It provides a wide range of Outpatient services delivered by the RSCH and is currently installing an X-Ray department financed by the League at a cost of £400,000. Further Outpatient services are expected to follow and there are no plans to vacate any part of the site.

The nursing home with 20 free at the point of access beds for NHS patients planned for Knowle Lane is the responsibility of a separate charity Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust and questions regarding this project should be addressed to them. The League of Friends has never received any funds from CVHT.

Cranley Village Hospital Circa 1860 (old spelling)

Cranleigh Village Hospital Circa 1870 (new spelling)

Cranleigh Village Hospital (Front View)

Photographs reproduced by kind permission of Michael Miller.