Cholera Hospitals

  • Reference
      GB 133 MMC/9/62
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 J b 61
  • Dates of Creation
      1832-1934
  • Physical Description
      6 items

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1831, after a cholera outbreak in Sunderland, a Special Board of Health was set up in Manchester, under government regulations recommending the setting up of isolation hospitals. These hospitals were to be clean and well ventilated, but the Manchester Board had difficulties finding suitable sites. The Board set up two hospitals for cholera victims, one in Knott Mill, Deansgate, the other in Swan Street, New Cross, Ancoats. These were industrial buildings converted for temporary use as hospitals. While middle class cholera victims were treated at home, working class victims were transported to cholera hospitals in special carts. The cholera hospitals provoked strong opposition. They were part of a system which inspected families in poor areas. Victims were often buried without ceremony near the workhouse, compounding popular fears of dissection. Cholera vans needed police protection and at the height of the epidemic visitors to the hospitals were banned. Swan Street Hospital was attacked in 1832. In the 1860s, MRI took over an old cholera hospital in Canal Street, Ancoats, for the temporary reception of cases of small-pox.