WE promised you last week, in our piece on the history of York's many hospitals, that we'd bring you information about more of the city's lost hospitals this week. So here we go, starting with Fulford...

The Fulford and Maternity Hospital (often just known as Fulford Maternity Hospital)

The building which became the Fulford Hospital and Maternity Hospital was put up during the Second World war as an emergency wartime hospital, according to records at the Borthwick Institute which are available online.

Initially a military hospital, the hut buildings were later used form prisoners of war, before being handed back to the Ministry of Health in 1949.

Under the NHS, the site was developed into two hospitals in 1954 - a 149-bed general; hospital (Fulford Hospital) and a 101-bed Maternity Hospital.

The services offered by the general hospital transferred to the new York District Hospital in 1976, although two geriatric wards remained operational a little longer while the former City Hospital was refurbished as a specialist geriatric hospital.

The last geriatric patients transferred to City Hospital in May 1979, although empty wards at Fulford were used as temporary accommodation for patients until 1983, when the hospital closed permanently.

The Maternity Hospital remained in operation until December 1983, when its patients and staff were transferred to York District Hospital.

Naburn Hospital

Naburn began life as the York Corporation-run York City Asylum in 1906, and was designed as an asylum for 'paupers'. Until 1906 these went to the York Lunatic Asylum (later renamed Bootham Park Hospital) - a charitable, fee-paying hospital which had separate wings for paupers.

According to records at the Borthwick, however, the 'Lunacy Commission' (yes, there really was such a thing) was not happy with this arrangement, and required the York Corporation to build its own paupers' asylum. The new hospital had six ward blocks: three on the 'male' side and three on the 'female' side.

The hospital changed its name in 1927 to the York City mental Hospital. During the Second World War, one ward ion each side was evacuated for use as an emergency hospital, and a military general hospital was built in huts in the grounds. This was later used by prisoners of war.

The hospital became part of the NHS in 1948, and was renamed Naburn Hospital. In 1952 it was amalgamated with Bootham Park, under a single 'physician superintendent'.

A new mental illness strategy was developed in the 1980s under which it was decided to close one of York's three NHS psychiatric hospitals (Naburn, Bootham Park and Clifton). Because Naburn was in poor structural condition, it was selected for closure.

Patients were gradually transferred to Bootham Park and Clifton, and the hospital closed in February 1988. It was subsequently demolished and the York Designer Outlet now stands on the site.

St Mary's Hospital

Like York City Hospital, this was originally part of the York Workhouse on Huntington Road.

After the abolition of the Board of Guardians which ran the workhouse in 1929, it was taken over by the city council and run as the 405-bed York City Infirmary, a general hospital that took a range of patients including general medicine and surgery, children, maternity and even psychiatric patients.

Renamed The Grange in 1947, it was taken over by the NHS in 1948. In 1955, by now mainly a geriatric hospital, it was renamed St Mary's.

When York District Hospital opened in 1976, the decision was taken to convert City Hospital to a geriatric hospital. Having closed as a general hospital in 1976, City Hospital re-opened as a geriatric hospital in 1979 - and St Mary's then closed.

Over the years, various parts of both St Mary's and City Hospitals have been used as smaller health units, including Peppermill Court (a community unit for the elderly) and White Cross Court (a community rehabilitation unit for the elderly).

Yearsley Bridge Hospital

Yearsley Bridge opened as the York City Fever Hospital in 1880, as an institution where patients with infectious diseases could be isolated. The fever hospital initially took mainly patients with scarlet fever - although it later took typhoid cases too.

In 1948 the hospital became part of the NHS and was renamed Yearsley Bridge Hospital. It became one of five hospitals in the Leeds region specialising in the treatment of infectious diseases.

The steady decline in the number of infectious diseases such as scarlet fever and typhoid saw the hospital gradually become less used.

It closed in December 1976 following the opening of York District Hospital. Some buildings were converted into a day centre for people with disabilities, and part of it was also used as an office for a team of York social workers.

Other hospitals

Several readers have been in touch to mention other lost York hospitals. These include:

  • Fairfield Hospital on Shipton Road. "This was a Chest and TB hospital," says reader Robert Porter. "It closed down in the 1970s and became a hotel, initially named Fairfield Manor Hotel and then the Mercure Hotel."
  • Poppleton Gate Hospital. "I was a patient who convalesced at Poppleton Gate Hospital, Millgates in the 1970s," one reader commented on our website, under the pseudonym Garrowby Turnoff. "On the National Archives website the following is stated regarding York's lost hospitals: Pre-convalescent and long stay annexes at Poppleton Gate Annexe (1942 - 1955) and at Poppleton Hall Annexe (1942 - 1955). After 1955 Poppleton Gate and Poppleton Hall were designated hospitals in their own right, but continued to take patients who were long stay or convalescent."

We still won't have covered them all, of course. In all, in the 1970s before the opening of York District Hospital, there were no fewer than 28 separate health buildings in York, says Dr AW McIntosh, who was district medical officer for York from 1974 onwards. That's a lot of health buildings.

No wonder some rationalisation was needed. But given the way York Hospital struggled under its burden of winter flu cases this winter (and given the increased problems caused by antibiotic resistance) what's the betting that there are some in the health service who still wish we had a separate hospital balding in York where patients with highly infectious conditions could be isolated away from others...