Friday, 14 March 2008

The East Malling Hospital of Infectious Diseases

A friend who lives in Four Acres of East Malling often finds bit of old bricks, fragments of what appears to be blue tiles and twisted old bits of metal when digging out in his garden. We've always thought this was odd as we assumed that before becoming residential the site had been just fields. However, having got my hands recently on a map of East Malling in 1908 it appears that Four Acres was originally (or at some stage) a hospital for infectious diseases. A later map, from 1932, shows that the hospital was still present on the site. The housing on Four Acres dates back to the 1960s and therefore it is possible that the hospital existed up until this time. The fact that a previous structure existed, could perhaps explain the rubble found in the earth. I carried out a few quick searches on Google and Google Books, but unfortunately cannot find anything further about the hospital. Thus, if anyone has any knowledge on this please post on the blog. If you see a parade of diggers, tv cameras in East Malling in the near future, you'll know that Time Team lot have got wind and are currently excavating the site. And then, as usual, when deciding there is nothing of interest, leaving the place reminiscent of the Somme in 1916. I'm sure my friend will be pleased.


pmontyis said...

In response to your letter concerning East Malling Hospital of Infectious Diseases, I used to live their, "back in 1951" when the Hospital was converted into living accommodation. We moved out when I was 6 years old (that would be about 1955)
I remember some of it well our, bathroom was the morgue and it had a brick slab in the middle of the room, and a large glass window in the roof above it, my parents bedroom was the ambulance garage'
I remember the layout of the hospital buildings, also their was a large circular green with oak trees which we used to climb. I have some photos of my parents and my brothers in the back garden but none of the front of the buildings,
I too have tried to gain more about this but to no avail.
Kind Regards Paula Montandon

Anonymous said...

RE: The east malling hospital.

I had an email from a guy who was born on the rocks road in 1929
He tells me that it was for scarlet fever and diphtheria, many children who did go in , never came out.
It was a corrugated iron and wooden building and just behind it there was a council rubbish tip.

DJM said...

Many thanks for your comments, very interesting. Below is an email I was sent by Godfrey King. Thanks Godfrey.

"I was born at Hillview, The Rocks, in 1929 (not called Rocks Road in those days), and can confirm that the hospital was named East Malling Isolation Hospital. Many of my child contemporaries spent time there, usually with the common condition of Scarlet Fever. A house stood at the side of the entrance way, which was the home of the ambulance driver."

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone
I used to live in the main hospital buildings in the 50's two families lived in each of the single story side wings.
The four isolation wards were around the centre green,which did have a mature red flowering hawthorn and a large box tree growing.

At the back of the main building was a quarry which I presume
had been worked out in the past. from the slip ashpalt track that ran to the rear of the hospital buildings down to parish farm and rocks road.
The gate house ,ambulance garage was also occupied by a family. Alone the lane towards Easterfields was another building ,which my uncle lived in however I don,t know what purpose this building originally had been built for.
If you need details about residents or any other information mail

Anonymous said...

Sorry my email is actually

Anonymous said...

I moved to Four Acres at the age I think of 7 or 8 from Pizen Well Wateringbury.We lived in the airy Houses .It would be late fifties .The Isolation Hospital was still there and being used as accommodation .It had ceased to be a hospital by then.Surrounded by orchards it was a great place to live. The neighbours were the Mercer Family . Also there were the Eggetts ,Hunts, Mrs Randall.and many more who,s names I have forgotten.I used to walk to Clare park School which seemed a long way at the time.I remember Mr &Mrs Robins who had the corner shop by the railway bridge they eventually moved to take over the Woodman Pub.

Michael Shepherd said...

Hi, I posted the last entry and why I went Anonymous I don't know . I am Michael Shepherd and I used to live at 30 Four Acres Estate and used to go to Clare Park School.