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HER Number:MDV106849
Name:Work House Infirmary associated with the former Newton Abbot Hospital


Part of a former workhouse infirmary associated with the former Newton Abbot Hospital off East Street.


Grid Reference:SX 861 710
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • INFIRMARY (XIX - 1896 AD to 1898 AD (Between))

Full description

Passmore, A. J. + Jones, P., 05/2013, Former Newton Abbot Hospital, Devon, Results of Historic Building Recording (Report - Survey). SDV351393.

This building provides a good example of hospital architecture at the end of the 19th century with emphasised long rectangular pavilion wards. This two-storey building, designed in a vaguely free style, was erected in 1896-98 and constructed of ashlar limestone with detailing emphasised in yellow brick and Bath stone. The roof of the central block is hipped and while the flanking pavilions are half-hipped. It has a basement plant room under the eastern ward.
The north elevation is the principal façade, facing over the entire grounds of the workhouse and was formerly symmetrical in appearance prior to the addition of a western wing. The elevation is divided into three sections; two rectangular ward pavilions flanking a central block that breaks forward from the plane of the pavilions. The eastern pavilion has a slightly higher roofline to the remainder of the
building. Dominating the elevation are two diamond shaped sanitary towers, one attached to either pavilion and positioned well forward of the entire building.
The central section of the building is of six bays comprising two projecting bays each containing a pair of windows crowned by open pediments and a central bay set back but including a short projection set forward of the entire section. The windows on the ground floor of the outermost bays are singular and to the first floor paired. All have moulded pale yellow brick surrounds topped by flat limestone lintels.
Above the windows are yellow brick relieving arches of segmental and wide two-centre types with stone imposts and keystones. Both bays are framed by attached yellow brick pilasters and horizontally divided by a plinth, string course and impost band all in yellow brick. These horizontal features are represented throughout the entire circuit of the building with the impost band further forming an
interface at eaves level. Within the central bay the windows have been treated as those mentioned but without a relieving arch to the first floor window due to the presence of the eaves. The short projection of this bay contains small round-headed windows each with moulded stone architraves, keystones and continuous impost bands. The upper window also includes a moulded apron. To either side of the central bay are individual entrances; the western one contained in a covered walkway and the other open to the car park. The latter has a small half-hipped door hood supported by a pair of ogee brackets. Above each entrance is a half-round window. Both the large doorways and windows are treated in pale yellow brick surrounds, with moulding as before to the either window.
Both the eastern and western block pavilions are five bays long with a regular fenestration highlighted by camber headed windows. The detailing of the central section of the building is repeated in the pavilions and their individual two-storey sanitary towers all with brick surrounds, stone imposts and keystones to the windows and doorways and included with two parallel string courses. Both sanitary towers form the central bays of each pavilion and are individually reached by short two-storey corridors that contain single windows to each floor and a first floor doorway that leads onto an external steel staircase. Both towers are pierced by a myriad of thin windows that express the function of the different rooms containing either baths or sanitary facilities. The towers are diamond shape in plan with chamfered corners, each corner finished with a ornamented large stone ogee stop at eaves level.
The original asymmetrical form of the south elevation has been partly obscured by an amalgam of modern extensions, notably to both east and west pavilion blocks. The architectural detailing and opening types noted within the north elevation has been carried on through and applied to this elevation but here also includes an open pediment in each of the pavilions. At the centre of each pediment is a circular brick oculus bordered by a four keystone moulding. The building's central block incorporates a projecting sanitary tower of the form within the north elevation and an original small first-floor veranda. A ground-floor veranda of the same type was probably included in the primary design of the block but its open front has since been built in and amalgamated to create the present dining room. The first-floor veranda extends out from the elevation. Its roof is an extension of the main block's hipped roof and Is supported by two slender iron corner columns. The iron balustrade is made up of simple stick balusters grouped into fives all under a plain handrail. There is a large lean-to extension housing a kitchen, gym and laundry. The walls are wholly obscured, mostly by modern kitchen units and fittings, and the rear door is also a 20th-century replacement.
The windows throughout the elevations are mainly original late 19th century, two-pane horned sashes of varied sizes, including half round types, all with small pane overlights. The joinery is in all cases severely plain; the glazing bars are either entirely unmoulded or chamfered and the horns neither straight-cut or shaped.
The interior has been much altered and obscured by modern partitions and suspended ceilings
and now contains few visible historic features. However, the general layout of the original infirmary can be discerned. The central block contained five or six heated rooms, flanked by long wards. Stairwells were positioned at the ends of the wards closest to the central block. The stairs from both have been removed and the eastern stairwell enlarged into a corridor. Tiled surfaces remain exposed in the projecting sanitary towers, and occasionally elsewhere.
First Floor
Although masked by later modern partitioning, the internal layout is largely preserved. The position of the pavilion wards are placed to utilise the southern aspect with the long walls punctuated by long bands of tall windows creating a light interior. All have high ceilings and no embellishments with the exception of banded glazed tiling set at lower levels. In the central block there were at least four rooms, three of which were at the back of the building and heated. There is no evidence for any partitions in the long room that runs along the front of the range.

Exeter Archaeology, 2006, Newton Abbot Hospital, Devon. Archaeological Assessment and Historic Buildings Appraisal, 12, 17 (Report - Assessment). SDV347328.

Building N. Infirmary. Typical single-block, two-storey pavilion of repetitive bays. The central part of the north façade has two slightly protruding gables framed by yellow brick pilasters. The building survives in a relatively complete and unaltered form with a recognisable function. Considered to be of high significance.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV347328Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2006. Newton Abbot Hospital, Devon. Archaeological Assessment and Historic Buildings Appraisal. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 12, 17.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #66359 ]
SDV351393Report - Survey: Passmore, A. J. + Jones, P.. 05/2013. Former Newton Abbot Hospital, Devon, Results of Historic Building Recording. AC Archaeology. ACD441/3/0. Digital + A4.

Associated Monuments

MDV52560Part of: Newton Abbot Hospital and Dispensary (Building)
MDV29502Part of: Newton Abbot Union Workhouse (Building)
MDV106848Related to: Infirmary Extension associated with the former Newton Abbot Hospital (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6155 - Historic Building Recording, Former Newton Abbot Hospital, Devon (Ref: ACD441/3/0)

Date Last Edited:Mar 16 2018 8:48AM