Barrowmore Hospital

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 MMC/9/52
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 J b 49
  • Dates of Creation
      1924-1946
  • Physical Description
      8 items

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1919 it was decided to establish a tuberculosis colony for members of the armed forces who had contracted tuberculosis. At the wish of the Ministry of Health, a charity called East Lancashire Tuberculosis Colony was established by the Red Cross Society and Order of St John of Jerusalem (see MMC/8/30/3 for reports of the Joint Committee). In 1920, they purchased Barrowmore Hall, Great Barrow, near Chester. Many additional buildings were built on the estate before the colony opened in January 1921. Until 1924 it did not have a sanatorium and only provided after-care. Similar colonies existed in Cambridgeshire and Kent, but this was the only tuberculosis colony in the North. Barrowmore provided treatment and care for persons of limited means suffering from tuberculosis, and means to earn a living. Preference was given to Lancashire ex-service men, but later civilian cases who had been recommended by Tuberculosis Officers were also admitted. Barrowmore Colony consisted of a sanatorium and training centre, a farm, and accommodation for colonists. There were cottages for men who had recovered sufficiently to work at the Colony and live with their families, and dormitory accommodation for single men. The colony began with 70 beds, but by 1940 there were 165 beds at sanatorium and 103 in the village. Colonists in the village would engage in crafts or industry, such as woodwork and upholstery, both for therapy and for an income.

Barrowmore Sanatorium and many of its other buildings were destroyed by a landmine in 1940, which also resulted in significant loss of life. A new sanatorium was opened in 1943, later buildings were added in 1970s. The number of tuberculosis patients eventually decreased and there was no need for a dedicated tuberculosis colony. The hospital was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948, becoming a regional centre for major surgery, particularly ear, nose and throat surgery, gynaecology and orthopaedics. In 1983, following the opening of a new General wing, on the West Cheshire Hospital site, Barrowmore Hospital was closed. Barrowmore Industries and Colony remained on the site. They are still managed by the original Charity, and provide care, accommodation, training and work for disabled people.

Related Material

The Archives of Barrowmore Hospital are at Cheshire and Chester Record Office (ref: ZHB).