The Buchanan Homeopathic Ophthalmic and Cottage Hospital, founded in 1881, is named after Mrs Buchanan, who suggested an institution for the treatment of ophthalmic cases. did not live to see her legacy fulfilled, but her niece, Miss Elizabeth Mirrlees. generously determined to carry the plans out and offered a sum of money towards that object.
With this nucleus the proposal met with such hearty support that, was decided to enlarge the scope of the proposed building to admit general medical and surgical cases, and in 1881 Miss Mirrlees together with Mrs. Shaw, Miss Kingsbury, Mrs. Vores, Mr. Thomas Mason, and others, opened a hospital with six beds in Southwater Road.
The hospital soon outgrew its available space and with land leased by Mr Eversfield at a nominal rent, the hospital built to a design by the architect Henry Ward containing three private wards was erected on the site in Springfield Road in 1884.
An important addition was made by the erection of the out-patients' building on an adjoining piece of land, the freehold which, purchased by the Committee. added considerably to the size and beauty of the garden. A new and thoroughly up-to-date operating room was put up, the old one being turned into the casualty room. Perhaps the largest addition, was the "Elizabeth Mason" Wing which opened in 1908.
Nurse Training Centre
In 1926, the hospital was approved by the Nursing Council to become a training centre for nurses.
Frank Shaw Ward
On the 27th of June 1930, Prince George, the Duke of Kent opened the Frank Shaw ward, built in memory of the doctor of the same name, after granting the freedom of the town in a ceremony at the White Rock Pavilion to the Lord Chief Justice of Birmingham, Lord Hewitt and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Alderman Lancaster; both of whom had visited the town on the day prior. The Prince was timetabled to enter the town at 11AM and be conveyed in procession to the Town Hall where he would be welcomed by the Mayor (Councillor F. M. Russell). After meeting various dignitaries there, the procession went to the White Rock Pavilion for the aforementioned presentation. Following lunch at the Queens Hotel, the Prince was given a tour of the borough prior to going to the hospital for the opening of the ward; this taking place to the accompaniment of the Salvation Army Band. After a further motorised tour of the borough, the Prince then left the town. Construction costs for the ward were raised by means of public subscription, £5241 of the total cost of £7150 having been raised in the newspaper report of the previous Saturday.
Many of the modern (1960s onwards) buildings forming the links between the main buildings were demolished and the site is now occupied by housing, with the original cottage as built in 1884 retained as the centre-piece.
- British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 5 December 1908 Pg. 0010
- Hastings & St Leonards Observer 12 June 1926 pg. 10
- British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 21 June 1930 Pg. 0012?