The Buchanan Homeopathic Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital St. Leonard’s on Sea

The Buchanan Homeopathic Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital (photo used courtesy  of Homéopathe International) was founded in 1880, and located in Southwater Road, St. Leonard’s on Sea between 1881 – 1884, and then relocated to Springfield Road, St Leonard’s on Sea,

1880 – the Hospital was established in 1881 as a voluntarily supported eye hospital to meet a need for in-patient accommodation for the poor, identified at the dispensary, on land donated by C G Eversfield. W Hay Murray was the architect, and the hospital was for people who required eye surgery, and it cost about £3,000 to construct and contains 17 beds.

Joanna Buchanan, the benefactor, who gave her name to what was called The Buchanan Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital, did not live to see it open, but her niece, Miss Elizabeth (Buchanan) Mirrlees, took up the cause and provided the 6-bed hospital with temporary premises at Southwater Road.

A permanent site in Springfield Road was provided by the Eversfield Estate and the Hospital was transferred there in 1884, opening with 15 beds and two private wards. Patients were admitted on the recommendation of subscribers and donors, with fees being charged to private patients. The Hospital was a general one, taking medical and surgical cases and offering in and out patient treatment

1882 – the 2nd Annual Report of the hospital was published in the Monthly Homeopathic Review, which included a review of cases treated at the hospital,

1894*James Edward Liddiard was the Secretary at the hospital,

1901 – *Frank Shaw was a Surgeon at the hospital,

1905 – the hospital hosted the International Homeopathic Congress,

1907Alexander Richard Croucher, Edwin Awdas Neatby and William Clowes Pritchard worked at the hospital,

1907 – the Elizabeth Mason Wing was added to the hospital, architect Henry Ward,

1908 – G H Gowan of Calne in Wiltshire who trained at the Buchanan on the advice of Florence Nightingale c1908-1943,

1908 – a new wing to house children’s services was completed at the hospital,

1948 – the hospital was incorporated into the NHS,

1981celebration of the centenary of the hospital,

1983the hospital closed,

1990 – the Buchanan Hospital St.Leonard’s on Sea was an old cottage hospital shut down and part demolished in the late 90’s. The main building was built in Victorian times and had become derelict since the hospital had been shut down.

The National Archive houses the annual reports of this hospital from 1881 to 1947, and the general reports and papers of the hospital from 1881 – 1946 etc,

Of interest:

Joanna Buchanan’s father was alcoholic?

*James Edward Liddiard ?1863 – ?1923, FRGS, was a British orthodox physician, Member of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the London Missionary Society, Member of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, who converted to homeopathy to become Physician at the London Homeopathic Hospital, Secretary at the Buchanan Homeopathic Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital, Physician at the Folkestone Homeopathic Dispensary, Liddiard lived at Rosemont, North Finchley North, and at Rodborough Grange, Westcliffe Road, Bournemouth West,

*Frank H Shaw ?1873 – ?1939, was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become a Surgeon at the Buchanan Homeopathic Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital, President of the International Homeopathic Congress in 1905, Physician at the Southsea Homeopathic Dispensary,

24 thoughts on “The Buchanan Homeopathic Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital St. Leonard’s on Sea”

  1. why is there no mention that this was a maternity hospital until it was closed down and baby unit transferred to the now conquest which is also under threat of romantic this version sounds

  2. Hi Mother Superior

    Thanks for your comment…

    I did not know until you told me that this was also a maternity hospital, nor that it had a baby unit… and I appreciate your additional information…


  3. Hi there, to be honest the Buchanan Hospital was an inspiring hospital. I was born there in 1940 ( so they were dealing with maternity cases then, during the 40’s I had my tonsils and adidnoids removed, in the early 50’s I broke my wrist and that was operated on at the hospital, on this occasion the nursing staff had to call my aunt ( 10 years my senior ) a nurse in the nursing quarters to give me confidence and to help hold me down whilst they gave me chloroform to put me out – never went there again!!! What I am getting at is that this small hospital was able to deal with most emergencies, to be honest very much missed. My Aunt, Margaret Griffiths went on to finish her training at this hospital, joined the Salvation Army and finished up as the matron in charge of the Mothers Hospital in Capetown, South Africa.

  4. “God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodly behavior and the injustice of human beings who silence the truth with injustice.” Romans 1:18
    This can be applied to the pharmaceutical industry which has suppressed the truth about the God given method of healing called homeopathy.

    For too long unspiritual men have tried to use science to explain the things of God, homeopathy being but one of them.

    In homeopathic medicine God has placed His (spiritual) healing power that the natural man does not and cannot understand for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them
    because they are spiritually discerned.1 Cor 2:14

    For the things which are not seen are eternal 2 Cor 4:18

    For homeopathy is not for those who:
    “look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.” 2 Cor 4:18
    For it is the Spirit of God who gives us the ability to gain a fuller understanding of the world around us, not science.

    Only an inspiration from God could have led Dr Samuel Hahnemann to dilute and dynamize medicines in such a way that the higher the dilution the more the power to cure, for God did say that he would use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

    Rejecting the law of similar is rejecting God’s law of cure.
    Some have abandoned what God has provided for the healing of the nations and turned to man-made drugs..
    Rejecting that which God has placed on this earth for our healing is forsaking the Spirit of grace. Gerard Bocquee

  5. I can vouch for it being a Maternity hospital certainly up to the early 1970’s as I was born in the Buchanan in 1969.

  6. It can’t have closed in 1983 (at least not the maternity part), as not only was I born there in 1961, but my son was also born there in Dec 1988.

  7. Frank Herbert Shaw was my great grandfather. 1857/58 – 1911. The post natal ward at the Conquest Hospital is named after him and a number of midwives in the unit previously worked at the Buchanan.

  8. I remember working at the Buchanan Hospital as a student nurse in 1992….there were two maternity wards named Frank Shaw and Claus Pritchard (not sure if the spelling is correct) there was also an operating theatre for caesarean sections……

  9. i had my 3 children here one in 1991 then 1993 and my last in February 1997 she was one of the last babies before they closed for good, I had all my babies by Caesarean sections and was cared for each time x

  10. My son was born there in 1987 my daughter in 1989. I had a lovely Scottish nurse who looked after me in 1987. Both times I stayed in for a whole week.

  11. I myself was born at Buchanan hospital in 1961 as I’m sure was half the population of Hastings. I also had 5 of my daughters there, right up until 1987 and I know it was still open after. I remember Frank Shaw ward as being post natal ward. Mirrlees ward as well as Elizabeth ward and Clowes Pritchard wards mostly being prenatal.Also special care baby unit was there. I had most of my prenatal appts there at the clinic and saw consultants Mr alaily and Mr Nash. It was always a maternity hospital all the time I’ve known it.

  12. I worked at the Buchanan from 1973 as a cadet nurse, 1975 as a student nurse and 1980 onwards as a student midwife/qualified midwife. The wards were Clowes Pritchard- gynae, Frank-shaw post-natal, Mason ward & Mirlees wards were both antenatal at various times, the special care unit for babies was at the top of the stairs, later an extension was built on the ground floor for SCBU & physio moved to those rooms.. It had its own theatre, kitchen, laundry, chapel & mortuary plus a built on annexe that housed out patients & the offices. The school of midwifery was in Springfield road.
    In the front hall was a magnificent grandfather clock & one evening at about 9pm 2 men walked past the switch board & took it away for “repair” brazen theft- it was never seen again!
    In mason ward ( previously a children’s ward) there were beautiful Royal Doulton tiles plaques of nursery rhymes. They too were the subject of a theft & the only ones left are hanging at the Conquest.
    Mr Foulkes & Mr Eton were the consultants before Mr Nash & Mr Alaily.

  13. I have worked at Conquest since it opened in 1992. The Buchanan Hospital closed in 1997 and maternity and gynaecology services moved completely to the Conquest. The delivery suite at the Conquest is called the Buchanan delivery suite, the mother and baby ward is Frank Shaw Ward names both brought from the Buchanan. A few years on and a Gynae ward was established and this is named Mirrlees.

    The beautiful stained glass windows that were part of the main Frank Shaw Ward and hall areas have been preserved and brought to the Conquest. Also in the OPD area of the Buchanan there were beautiful large tiled pictures such as Goosey Goosey Gander and these too were brought to the Conquest and can be found on Level 1 in the corridor of maternity services. There are also many photographs of staff and patients and daily life adorning our corridors.

    The Buchanan Hospital was a beautiful, slightly scruffy hospital but my three daughters were born there in 1981, 1982 and 1987. My seven grandchildren have all been born at the Conquest.

  14. It was closed in August 1997 – We didnt know where our son was going to be born there or Conquest as they slowly trnsfered the care up to the new maternity wing

  15. Kim Brown,
    Regarding your employment at the Buchanan 1973 trying to make contact with a midwife by the name of Wendy Brown .
    Any input would be good.


  16. Does anybody remember a Mr Mason who was an eye surgeon in the 1940s and who’s son was killed in the Amazon jungle in 1961,He had quite a gruff manner and I never looked forward to a visit there when I was about 8 although I’m told he was a brilliant doctor.

  17. I worked on Clowes Pritchard on days and nights as a Student Nurse and on Frank Shaw as a Cadet during the years of training 1957-1961. Was living in the Nurses Home for some of the time on days. Lovely hospital as even the cockroaches in slices were friendly!

  18. The buchanan couldn’t possibly have closed in1983 hasi had my 1stdaughter in there in 83 had my 1st son there in 85 then my second daughter was born in there in 92 & 2nd son in 95.

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