For a few pounds on an old postcards site I have been able to get a picture of the Newstead Sanatorium, sadly this amazing building has been torn down and a housing estate now stands on the location. It was shut down in 1992 and demolished shortly afterwards, a friend of mine was able to point me to the area where it was once stood as he remembered it.

The postcard was sent from “Billy” to a French correspondent. It’s not very easy for me to make the handwriting out but basically they are apologising for not writing sooner, they provide the address for their new residence and they mention the hospital. It is post marked for the month of November but I cannot get the year, which is a shame as I would like to have known. The postage to France for this little card cost them 4d.

Here is what I can find but if anyone can clarify the details or give me more I would love to hear it.

The first mention I found of it was for 1938, but it appears it was opened in 1942 by the Duchess of Portland, for the City of Nottingham.  It sat in a valley around five minutes from Newstead Abbey (Famous for Byron) and visitors would come by double decker bus each Thursday and Sunday afternoon, they were able to  have two hour visits.

The approximation of beds seems to be between 240-300 beds for patients and was for the Nottingham residents only. It seems that the main area had rooms for one, two or four beds and the doors were rarely shut during it’s time as a tuberculosis hospital as it was felt that natural fresh air was the way to help cure it, until the later introduction of drugs.

I did find this reference to the place that might be of interest to someone investigating this:

 The British Journal of Nursing, April 1944


Newstead Sanatorium, Nottingham. – Miss Hilda I. Richards, S.R.N., S.C.M., has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital; at the David Lewis Northern Hospital, Liverpool ; and at the City of London Maternity Hospital. Miss %chards has been Ward Sister at the David Lewis Northern Hospital, Liverpool ; Night Sister, Home and Stores Sister, and Assistant Matron at the City Sanatorium, Birmingham. She also took the Housekeeping Course of the Leicester Royal Infirmary; and holds Honours of the Tuberculosis Association

Also I found a note from 17th December 1963 stating that they would be removing the 30 miles per hour limit for the road. Objections to this change had to be made by the 14th January 1964.

  1. BRIAN W SMITH says:

    I was a patient here in 1944-1945. I was born in 1942 and was diagnosed with an TB-infected gland in my stomach or abdomen. My family did not live in Nottingham but a small village 8 miles south called Kingston-on-Soar, then in Basford Rural District, but now in the Borough of Rushcliffe, so had to travel a considerable distance to visit..
    Most of the information you have I discovered myself some years ago – I also have the postcard.
    Thanks for your blog.
    I am particularly interested in finding out why a two year old child (me) was sent to such an institution which largely specialised in lung-TB. My parents never discovered what “treatment” I was given.

    • Archard says:

      Wow what an interesting account! I too wonder why, perhaps it was the only place specialising in any TB treatment at the time? I hope another reader stumbles over this post and might be able to help you out. And thank you for adding to the information, I truly appreciate it.

    • Archard says:

      Brian, another large thank you for your comment. Again that seems like some travel given the period of time. I think I might have to venture into the Nottingham City Library sometime to see what I can find but it sounds like as first hand sources, yours are the best I am likely to get.

      I plan to continue with it, I just prefer personal accounts as I feel that your knowledge is better than any media bias I would likely find given the way newspapers are asked to account for things. Again what a shame about the way patients faced their treatment too.

  2. Glenys Austin says:

    I have just come across your e mail re Newstead Sanatorium. I was a patient there for three years in the early 1950s. I was only 6 years old when I was admitted. I remember that most of the children including myself had chilblains it was so cold. I don’t think there was much understanding in those days of the effect it had on young children being left in a strange environment and I remember children crying for their mothers. Some of the nurses were also quite nkind

    • Archard says:

      Thank you for sharing that with me. I really find it interesting because it’s a chunk of real (and for many living) history.

    • Brian W Smith says:

      Thanks Glenys I appreciate your comments – I have only just been notified of your response. My late mother told me of the unkindness, or neglect, of some of the nurses who left very young ones unchanged in their beds for long periods. It was quite distressing for very young children to be left for years in these establishments and of course the memories stay forever..

  3. Rosemary Ward says:

    My mum was a TB patient there in 1962. My brothers were too young to visit as you had to be over 14yrs old and they were only 12yrs. I remember the windows being wide open no matter the weather. We lived at Clifton, so it was a very long cold journey to get there.

    • Archard says:

      Wow thanks for your comment. I really can appreciate that, when I went out to just find the area I was quite shocked by the idea of travelling to it. Unlike today, where travel is very easy, I can imagine it being some quest to visit relatives. Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this article.

  4. Penny Scarlett says:

    My father (Bill Ward) was a patient there in the early 50s and I remember visiting with my mother and freezing because the windows of the balcony were always open whatever the weather

    • Archard says:

      Thank you so much for letting me know. If you have anything else to add I am always happy to learn more. I plan to release more as I have been hunting down additional information.

  5. ian hawkins says:

    ive been talking to my sister who was a child patient at newstead sanatorium back in 1949 to 1958, she recalls some patients from her time there and a few names so here goes,, sorry if ive not spelt there names correctly, but it was many years ago,,,Christine denny,,,, joyce everton,,,,, glennis mason,,,,, and Sandra & silvia smith,,,, where twin sisters, aged about 4 or 5 years old,,,although the twins survived,, there parents both did there,, my sister,, Sandra Hawkins aged 9 at the time and was in the childrens ward,,,,,,,,there was also a teacher there who,s name was mrs rouson, and a mrs smith also a teacher there,,, also a nursing sister called,, sister lord or lourd,,also a auxillary nurse called,,,, golly walder, my sister and some of the patients making flags in the girls ward for the queens coronation, my mum & myself had to travel from huntingdon street,,Nottingham on trent double decker buses,,to the hospital,sunday afternoon, there was a mr turner who was believed to be the hospital porter or one of them,who took patients to the main hospital fo x-rays she also thinks there was a dr briggs, there,, I recall not being allowed into the ward or hospital at all, and had to sit outside her ward and look through the windows, my father to,,was a patient there, also with TB, dad was moved to groby road hospital at Leicester, due to the sanatorium having to close,,hope this helps some of you and if you recall any of these names please feel free to reply, many thanks,, mr ian Hawkins.

    • Archard says:

      WOW! Firstly amazing! Thank you so very much. I am currently compiling some more data for a follow up post. This is invaluable. I will use your comment as well further my research and I really hope that when the follow comes up you think it is worth it. Please than your sister too, it’s amazing to get living history feedback. I really appreciate you taking this time. If you want to contact me directly I am happy to converse on

    • brian smith says:

      Hey, thanks. Thats about the best recollections I’ve seen yet. I was there in 1944/45 aged 3, but cannot remember hardly anything except what my late mother had told me. I believe I posted this. Brian Smith 

    • Glenys Austin says:

      Hi Ian, I’m Glenys Mason one of the children your sister mentioned in her memories of Newstead Sanatorium. I remember Sister Lord and Mrs Rawson the teacher. We only had lessons in the morning and the age range she had to teach was between six and twelve years old. She use to were a white buttoned through overall and seemed very strict.
      Because the hospital was in the country side we would get lots of creepy crawlers and earwigs would appear in the bed clothes and the bathroom floor would be covered in blackclocks in the evenings.
      I also recollect the nurses bathing us three or four at a time in the same water and using a black soap called Derbac.
      One of the children I remember was a Barbara Cooper who was about a year younger than me. She also had a sister named Lee which was quite an unusual name at the time.
      The food I remember most was the porridge which was very lumpy with tepid milk, and strangely, curry with currants in it.
      Just a few of my memories.

    • Ann Zunder says:

      My Dad was under Dr Briggs; that’s definitely a correct name

  6. David Owen says:

    Hi Ian, My name is David Owen, I was in Newstead Sanitorium as a fourteen year old boy for eighteen months. It was a tough place to be.i had tb kidney. a injection to the bottom everyday and two on Sundays,these needles were used for a month then sent away to be sharpened and used again.This place was more like a boot came. while in there I was beaten up by a staff nurse. when we were allowed to get dressed and watch telly at the week end, during this time, a chap called Dave Beal and another called Jock and myself used to get out of the recreation room and go to the pub THe Hut , on Nottingham Road. anyway hope you find this interesting,regards Dave, age 72

    • Archard says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write out your comment and your experience. I’m collating information for a follow up. I am so grateful people take the time to share these things as there’s very little I could find online or locally.

  7. Ann Zunder says:

    Hi. My Father was a TB patient there in 1964/5. My Mother and I used to visit on Sunday afternoons; we lived in Worksop and were taken there by St John’s Ambulance, as my Mother was disabled and couldn’t get into a car. It was a real trek for us! I used to be left outside in the grounds, as I was not allowed in – I was only 11. My Dad would come out onto his balcony at the end of the visit and wave to me. I don’t know what it was like for him in there – it would never have been discussed with me – but while he was in there he suffered a total nervous breakdown.

  8. Wendy gilsenan says:

    My mother worked here. I believe she was an axillery nurse. I have a number of pictures of people taken of them at the huge open doors. My mother is in one of them carrying a huge tea pot. This was around 1954. There are pictures of the grounds too.

  9. John Harlow says:

    I spent 15 months in here on the tuberculosis ward for kids.
    I watched the 1953 coronation in there on a monochrome TV.
    My best friend in there was Philip Sutton…I often wonder what became of him.

  10. Graham Butterworth says:

    My mother Muriel Gibson died in the sanitorium in 1945 when I was just 2 yr old, so I have no recollection of her. I would appreciate greatly if anyone knew her or of her would contact me at e_mail
    What I really would like is a photograph,I have been searching for years.
    My name is Graham Butterworth Nee Gibson

    • brian smith says:

       Hi, Thanks for passing this on.  I cannot help Graham in his quest but can only say that I was in Newstead  in 1945 aged 3yrs. I hope he may find what he seeks. Brian W Smithl

  11. Ady says:

    Just been reading the comments I went with school (Kirkby Centre) carrol singing has far has I no our school went every year but think this was the last year it was about 89/90. It was a lovely place and warm not at all like it use it be by the sounds off it. Only came across this as I was looking for pictures off it

    • Archard says:

      Ady thank you for your feedback I have really struggled to find more photo’s too.

      • Susan Gaudion says:

        Hi, I’m probably too late for your research but I have read previous comments with great interest and fascination.. My late Father Reg Egan was a student nurse at Newstead in 1949 and I have just been looking at his old photos from that time which shows very happy children and babies being shown great care and affection by the Nursing Staff. My Father was one of Very few Male Nurses and I would love to know if anyone remembers him. I’m happy to share my photos with you and have a particularly good one of Dr Briggs, children on Ward 8 and young men on Ward 7

      • Archard says:

        Hey, never too late for the conversation in my view!

      • Brian William Smith says:

        Hi, As you know I have contacted you in the past having spent some time (c2 years) at Newstead at the end of WWII when I was a very small child. I would be interested to see the photos your father took 1949 when he worked there, as I have none and it is too long ago to remember what it looked like inside. I am now 78 yrs old.

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