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HER Number:MDV55605
Name:Hospital at Britannia Royal Naval College


Sanatorium to the Britannia Royal Naval College, built between 1899 and 1905. Three parallel detached isolation ward wings, connected by covered corridors, and a fourth parallel block, slightly north of the others, is the administrative wing.


Grid Reference:SX 871 517
Map Sheet:SX85SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDartmouth
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOWNSTAL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SE/79/2
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 387217

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOSPITAL (XIX to XX - 1899 AD to 1905 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1938, 127SE. Revision of 1904 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV337477.

'Cadets Sick Quarters' shown on 1938 map.

Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/JO, 2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV177387.

Department of National Heritage, 1994, Dartmouth (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV157498.

Hospital at Britannia Royal Naval College. Sanatorium to the Britannia Royal Naval College. 1899-1905 by Sir Aston Webb, who later built the main college. Flemish-bond brick with Portland stone dressings; stacks with stone banded shafts, some connected with a round-headed recess between; slate roofs. Free Palladian style to the ward blocks, administration block and doctor's house with some Regency detail. Plan: 3 parallel detached isolation ward wings, connected by covered corridors, one with a water tower at the end. A fourth parallel block, slightly north of the others, is the administrative wing, with former doctor's house at right angles at the south end. Exterior: The ward wings have austere south-east fronts, designed to provide balconies for convalescent patients. Each wing has a 3-window front, the ground floor high above ground level because of the slope of the land. Centre bay broken forward with a pedimented gable and pierced at ground- and first-floor level to give 2 tiers of recessed balconies: the upper balcony has a moulded round-headed stone arch, springing from the parapet; the lower balcony is divided into 3 bays by square-section stone piers with moulded capitals and bases and matching responds. Upper balcony has a small-pane segmental-headed timber window to the ward; lower balcony a square-headed window. The outer bays are short projections (probably containing stairs), roofed at right angles; first-floor oculi with keyblocks; ground-floor windows tucked into open recesses flanking the ground-floor balcony. 9-bay return walls with deep boarded eaves; small-pane timber sashes, some with transoms; chimney shafts with convex shoulders. The ward wings are linked by colonnades between them at the north-west ends, with substantial cast-iron columns with moulded bases and capitals. One of the corridors has a first floor glazed corridor above. Slender Venetian water tower has a peaked lead roof with eaves brackets, clasping pilasters with bands of stone, and unornamented except for 3 tiers of narrow windows on the northwest side and 3 stone slit windows on each side at the top, below the cornice. The administration block has a symmetrical 3:1:3-bay front with deep eaves with a moulded eaves cornice with brackets. 2-storey bows to left and right, central porch formed by a flat roof on Tuscan columns between the bows. Round-headed doorway flanked by side lights. Windows mostly original timber small-pane sashes, with some replacements. The doctor's house has a similar treatment to the south-east front but with canted bays to left and right. Interior not inspected but likely to be of interest. Pevsner mentions a chapel and a 1908 bronze bust of George V, when Prince of Wales, by Hamo Thorneycroft. History: This is an impressive design and seems likely to have been influenced by the remarkable 1787 Royal Naval Hospital in Stonehouse, Plymouth, by Alexander Rowehead, the earliest example in Europe of a hospital on a pavilion plan where the ward blocks are separated by colonnades to avoid the spread of disease. In 1863 The Admiralty stationed HMS Britannia in the Dart as a training ship for naval cadets. In 1865 she was joined by HMS Hindustan. By 1875 it was decided to build a land-based college at Dartmouth but the land was not acquired until 1896. Work began on the terraces for the main building in 1898 but, when 2 cadets died of influenza on the Britannia, the sanatorium was built before the rest of the college. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner, Nikolaus: Devon: London: 1989-: P.325; Freeman, Ray: Dartmouth and its Neighbours: Phillimore: 1990-: P.156-8/P.177-8).

Ordnance Survey, 2008, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV340009.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV157498List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of National Heritage. 1994. Dartmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV177387Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/JO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2.
SDV337477Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 127SE. Revision of 1904 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV340009Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2008. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Digital. [Mapped feature: #95276 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV23627Related to: Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (Building)
MDV105918Related to: Park and Gardens at Britannia Naval College (Park/Garden)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Feb 5 2014 12:04PM