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HER Number:MDV47673
Name:Devon and Cornwall Sanatorium


'Didworthy Hospital' was opened in 1903, previously recorded on historic maps as Didworthy House (and before that, a homestead is marked on the site). In the early 1900s, some of the buildings at Didworthy were converted, and others added to form 'Didworthy Sanatorium for Consumptives' or the 'Plymouth Chest Hospital'. 'Devon and Cornwall Sanatorium' depicted on the early 20th century historic map. Continued in use until 1971.


Grid Reference:SX 685 620
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 66 SE 187
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SE/520
  • Pastscape: 1050758

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SANATORIUM (XX - 1903 AD to 1979 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

By the later 19th century historic map, 'Didworthy House' is depicted. Covers the entire footprint of the homestead shown on the Tithe Map; unclear whether any original fabric has been retained.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

The early 20th century historic map indicates that Didworthy House is now functioning as 'Devon and Cornwall Sanatorium'. To the east, 'The Bungalow' is also shown as well as a row of cottages to the north-east which are also related to the hospital.

Unknown, 1920-1929, Photographs of Didworthy Hospital (1366/41) (Record Office Collection). SDV360848.

Photographs of Didworthy Hospital at the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office.

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

The later 1940s aerial photograph shows that a number of buildings have been added to the south-east of the hospital, including Enthurst House, Cracklewood and Pinewood Lodge, which are all thought to have been part of the sanatorium.

Wall, G., 2005, The Book of South Brent. Another Portrait of a Dartmoor Community, 70, 129-30 (Monograph). SDV360849.

Didworthy House was built early in the 19th century and the Didworthy Voluntary Assisted Sanatorium opened in 1903 for the treatment of consumptives (those suffering from tuberculosis) in Devon and Cornwall. The Didworthy House and Estate were purchased for £4000 and the hospital could originally accommodate 14-16 patients, although provision for a further 60 was planned.
The sanatorium comprised several blocks divided into male and female wards. A new wing was opened in 1913 but by 1962 the hospital was close to closure. The discovery of modern drugs to treat tuberculosis had seriously reduced the number of patients at Didworthy and there was also a difficulty in finding new staff. This, coupled with the running costs of the hospital, which were higher than the average for Plymouth hospitals, saw it close in 1971.

Kemp, J., 2011-2012, The Sanatorium, http://didworthypark.co.uk/sanatorium/The_Sanatorium/Welcome.html (Website). SDV360847.

In the early 1900s some of the properties in Didworthy were developed, and new properties built to form 'Didworthy Sanatorium for Consumptives' or the 'Plymouth Chest Hospital'. At its height the hospital supported 130 beds for patients. The hospital closed in 1968 and now all the properties have been converted to residential use.
Details of the documentary film entitled 'The Sanatorium' produced in 2012 covering the history of Didworthy Hospital (Written and Directed by Julian Kemp, Diddy Films. Screened locally). Website includes a small collection of photographs, including some of no. 6, The Bungalows; one of a number of cottages owned by the hospital and provided for staff use.

Unknown, 2011-2014, The National Archives, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=280 (Website). SDV347727.

Brief details from the Hospital Records Database. Didworthy Hospital was founded in 1903, closed in 1971.
Other names:
Devon and Cornwall Sanatorium for Consumptives (c.1903 - c.1948)
City of Plymouth Sanatorium (c.1903 - c.1948)
Didworthy Sanatorium (c.1903 - c.1948)
Didworthy Chest Hospital (by 1955 - 1973 at the latest)

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

National Monument Record, 2018, Pastscape (Website). SDV360651.

Didworthy Chest Hospital, a sanatorium, opened in 1903 as the Devon and Cornwall Sanatorium for Consumptives. By 1948 there was accommodation for 126 patients. The hospital closed in around 1970 and the derelict buildings were sold in 1981.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV347727Website: Unknown. 2011-2014. The National Archives. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Digital. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=280.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #92989 ]
SDV360651Website: National Monument Record. 2018. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.
SDV360847Website: Kemp, J.. 2011-2012. The Sanatorium. http://didworthypark.co.uk. Website. http://didworthypark.co.uk/sanatorium/The_Sanatorium/Welcome.html.
SDV360848Record Office Collection: Unknown. 1920-1929. Photographs of Didworthy Hospital (1366/41). Plymouth and West Devon Record Office. Unknown.
SDV360849Monograph: Wall, G.. 2005. The Book of South Brent. Another Portrait of a Dartmoor Community. The Book of South Brent. Another Portrait of a Dartmoor Community. Hardback Volume. 70, 129-30.

Associated Monuments

MDV121047Parent of: Didworthy House (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 9 2018 4:27PM