Alderman Henry Rawcliffe and associates, met with the Board of
Directors of the Gillibrand Street Hospital with a proposal to build
a Cottage hospital in Chorley. He offered to provide a building that
would be built on land donated by the Rev. J.J. Lennon at the corner
of Gillibrand Street/Lennon Street. The Cottage hospital was
officially opened By Mr. & Mrs. Rawcliffe on 9th September 1893.
In July 1926 the Governors of Chorley Hospital met with the
intention to buy a plot of land on which to build a new hospital.
The suggestion had been put forward In 1923, as the hospital in
Gillibrand Street had insufficient accommodation to meet the towns’
The size of the plot had to be at least 6 acres. So
out of the 10 sites suggested two were chosen I.e. Park Road and
Pilling Lane. After a number of visits to the sites, the Rookwood
site on Preston Road was chosen. The 6 acres of land on the Rookwood
site would cost 3,250. Pounds. Ideally the wards should be built to
face S.W. towards Astley Hall. Donations were required for the
building of the hospital.
In January 1928 a large donation of
5,000 pounds was received from the estate of the late Mr. T.H.
Greenall. Also 1000 pounds from the Chorley Nursing Assc. The
Chorley and Work peoples Central Hospital Fund began collecting
through voluntary contributions, as well as other initiatives. In
1931 Architects Gas and Hope of Bolton were commissioned to design a
new hospital at Chorley. The scheme at Chorley would accommodate 118
patients. There were to be four blocks accommodating 20 patients, 4
private wards, 2 children’s wards, 2 maternity wards and two
operating theatres an accident unit and an admin. block, whilst
Rookwood House was to become the nurse’s home. Incidentally Rookwood
House latterly became Rookwood Institution. ( more on that another
The main entrance to the site was at Euxton Lane/Preston
Road with a triple featured arch.
The Ceremony for the laying of
the foundation stone(s) took place on 11th June 1932 by Mrs. E
Laurence O.B.E. and Mr. F.Brindle J.P. As part of the Ceremony, the
Mayor placed a leaden cylinder beneath the foundation stone. It
contained the 38th Annual Report of Chorley Hospital for 1931, an
appeal for building funds, an invitation card to the ceremony and
order of proceedings. The cylinder also contained copies of the
Chorley Guardian and Chorley Weekly for 4th June 1931, along with a
number of coins of the day. Mr. Brindle laid the second foundation
stone. At the end of the proceedings the Chorley Military Band
played The National Anthem.
As the building work progressed the
donations continued to be paid to the Hospital Committee. In August
1933 a gift of 3,000 pounds was donated from Miss Sumner of Sumner’s
Flour Mill. Money was also donated through the Queens Gift Fund. A
whole week of fundraising took place during August 1933, known as
Chorley Hospital Week. Various activities including concerts, beauty
contests, tournaments, etc. along with the Opening of Yarrow House
Gardens to the public, to name but a few. The large ward for men was
to be named Rawcliffe Ward (after the founder of the first Chorley
hospital). The ladies ward to be named Winstanley Ward (after the
benefactor of the extension to the original hospital). The
children’s ward was to be named Sumner Ward after the late Mr. &
ON THE 2nd SEPTEMBER 1933, FORTY YEARS AFTER THE
OPENING OF THE FIRST CHORLEY HOSPITAL, THE FORMAL OPENING OF CHORLEY
AND DISTRICT HOSPITAL. TOOK PLACE.
information gathered from
CHORLEY HOSPITAL CENTENARY book 1893 – 1993. Compiled by Ken Strang
RGN DMS Ward Manager, Rawcliffe Ward 1993. Published by the Chorley
THANKS TO THE STAFF AT CHORLEY LIBRARY for all their
J.D. Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society.