Weston Homes has purchased the Grade II listed Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, a 12-acre (4.9 hectare) collection of magnificent Victorian and Edwardian buildings. The site will be converted to deliver a £60 million (GDV) residential conversion project as part of Wellesley.
The Cambridge Military Hospital site will provide 140 new private sale homes, converted and new build, including one, two and three-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses set in landscaped grounds.
Weston Homes plan to start the restoration and conversion of the Victorian hospital and ancillary buildings in the summer of 2019, with the project anticipated to be phased over several years.
The Cambridge Military Hospital was built between 1875-79, the grand rooms and tall windows delivering light, air circulation and constant temperature based on design principles outlined by Florence Nightingale. The hospital was opened on 18th July 1879, named after HRH Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, cousin of Queen Victoria and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895.
The Hospital was built by Martin Wells & Co in an Italianate neo-classical style, with yellow brickwork and Bath stone dressings, designed around a grand central administration building with nine long ward pavilions, linked by an axial corridor, located behind and to either side. The bell in the central clock tower is one of a pair captured during the Crimean War, the other is in Windsor Castle.
Alongside the main hospital building there is also Louise Margaret Hospital, opened in 1897 to treat the wives and children of soldiers, and Gunhill House, opened in 1907, providing accommodation for nursing sisters working at the main hospital. In later years the Louise Margaret became a maternity hospital treating both civilians and military, with many of the people of Aldershot having been born there up until its closure in 1995.
The Cambridge Military Hospital was the first British hospital in history to receive casualties direct from the battle front, the injured from the battle of Mons in 1914. It is also the birthplace of plastic surgery, where Harold Gillies started a Plastic Surgery United in the hospital at the end of 1915.
Weston Homes will convert the main Cambridge Military Hospital to provide 74 homes including apartments and houses, commercial/community facilities and grand communal foyers and spaces. There are plans for a feature penthouse in the landmark clocktower.
There will be a new square in front of the building’s main façade and clocktower, with the main entrances being via two grand porches, reached by flights of steps. The work will reintroduce the elegant original elevations which will be enhanced with refurbished and new covered balconies. Between the pavilion wings Weston Homes will create private gardens and parking for residents.
Inside, the spacious rooms, high ceilings (up to 15.5 ft high) and original features such as fireplaces, paneling and staircases will be retained and incorporated into the new homes.
Gunhill House will be converted to provide 12 two and three bedroom apartments whilst the Gunhill Water Tower will provide two loft style apartments. The Louise Margaret Hospital will be converted to provide refurbished and newly built apartments and houses.
Around the restored heritage buildings there will be semi-private gardens and courtyards, open lawns and tree planting, creating a beautiful setting for the new residential development.