Asylums & Hospitals

Benenden Hospital

While in the area at another location, it made sense to check out Benenden Hospital out before embarking on the long journey home. Another site that had been high on the list for quite some time.

Although the site still stands, it has long been stripped out and notices around the perimeter fencing suggest it was due for demolition pending planning permission back in late 2019 which was later denied and subsequently still stands.

Unfortunately most buildings were locked shut, and with the knowledge from other reports that anything worth seeing had already gone, we decided against hours of photographing empty rooms.

I was in two minds about sharing the photos or not, but despite the lack of photos I think they came out quite well.

History shamelessly pinched from Wikipedia.

The organisation that is now Benenden Healthcare was founded in 1905 to help Post Office workers suffering from tuberculosis. At that time TB was rife, especially among sorting clerks. It was killing many thousands of people a year. Only the very wealthy could afford medical help or a trip to a Swiss Sanatorium to recuperate in the fresh air.

One man had a radical idea to overcome the problem. Charles Garland, a Post Office clerk himself, decided to create a mutual self-help organisation so that the less well off could get access to the healthcare they so desperately needed. Everyone would contribute a small weekly amount into a fund. It would be used to help their colleagues or themselves if they were unlucky enough to contract TB. In the early days, it was known as The Post Office Sanatorium Society.

Benenden Hospital was founded in 1907 and became the centre for hospital treatment for members of Trade Unions and Friendly Societies and subsequently large numbers of public sector employees who joined what is now The Benenden Healthcare Society. The services provided at the hospital have moved with the times. From treatment for tuberculosis, which was its original role, to the management of chest diseases, to the current day where the hospital provides a wide range of consultation, diagnosis and treatment services for most medical and surgical specialties.


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