Winsford Cottage Hospital

Beaworthy, Devon

Overview

Having been on site since July 2018, we will soon complete the restoration of Winsford Cottage Hospital ready for the first guests at the end of October. Keep an eye on the website to see new photographs of this beautiful building’s transformation.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower
  • Waitrose DeliveryWaitrose Delivery

Beds 2 Single 1 Twin 1 Double

Sleeps
6
4 nights from
£488 equivalent to £20.33 per person, per night

An extraordinary cottage hospital

Winsford Cottage Hospital served the community for nearly a century and tells the story of health provision in the 20th century. From the treatment of wounded soldiers from the Front during the First World War, to the creation of District Nurses, the development of maternity units and the establishment of the NHS in 1948, Winsford Cottage Hospital served the community for most of the 20th century and was a place that inspired love through its quality of care.


Designed by architect C. F. A. Voysey

Winsford Cottage Hospital is a Grade II* listed, unique example of an unaltered, purpose-built Victorian cottage hospital. It was designed by the brilliant Arts & Crafts architect C.F.A Voysey, who is widely regarded as one of the finest architects of the Arts & Crafts movement. Voysey designed many buildings, including his own family home The Orchard in Chorleywood, though Winsford Cottage Hospital was the only hospital in his portfolio.

Voysey's meticulous floor plan specified the function of every room, with the wards for men and women facing the sunny, south-facing garden, and the children's ward with its view of the steam trains passing the nearby junction. Every detail was planned with great care - from the architectural motifs of hearts, birds and trees, to perfectly detailed window fittings and door furniture.

The restoration of Winsford Cottage Hospital is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

 

All original Voysey drawings used on these pages are copyright to RIBA Collections.

Floor plan

Map & local info

The towns surrounding Winsford Cottage Hospital are overflowing with memorable activities and experiences for individuals, couples and families of all ages. 

For nature lovers, Halsdon Nature Reserve is a wildlife-packed woodland only a short drive away from Winsford Cottage Hospital. Close by, RHS Garden Rosemoor offers an attractive display of planting, nestled in the Devon valley, while Dartmoor National Park is a vast moorland with ponies that wander across the undulating landscape. 

A little beyond the doorstep of Winsford is the beautiful coastline of North Cornwall. Tintagel Castle, Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall and Bude's sandy beaches all feature along this coast. Further up the coast in North Devon is the historic fishing village of Clovelly. 

If you’re staying with little ones, The Milky Way adventure park in Bideford is packed with fun and friendly activities. Alternatively, for a more relaxing activity, Lower and Upper Tamar Lake offers opportunities for fishing, while Torridge is scattered with museums, including the Burton Art Gallery and Museum for those interested in learning more about the local area.

For a truly local arts and crafts experience, visit the Dartington Crystal company, based in Torrington. Factory tours allow you to watch the skilled craftsmen at work, while a café offers a light lunch and cakes, made from local West Country produce.

Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes
  • How is the property accessed?

    From the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    The nearest railway station is Crediton at 28 miles or Plymouth and Exeter which are both around 36 miles from the property.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is parking for three cars reserverd specifically for Landmark guests, there is also a number of spaces for those using the community areas.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    The building is heated by a biomass boiler and there are open fires in the sitting and dining rooms.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker, a dishwasher, freezer and microwave.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are three bathrooms, two with baths and one with a shower.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • What time can I arrive and what time do I have to depart from the Landmark?

    Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

A building that transformed the lives of ordinary people

The advent of the cottage hospital in the 19th century transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. One of the very finest was the Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon.

Built by wealthy philanthropist Maria Medley as a gift to the local community, the services provided by Winsford Cottage Hospital enabled ordinary people to receive affordable medical treatment near to their homes for the first time.

A century before the creation of the National Health Service, the prospects for a farm labourer or shopkeeper, shepherd or weaver, who was injured or unwell, were bleak. Doctors' fees were prohibitively high and the few metropolitan general hospitals were large and often unsanitary places, located in distant cities. For want of proper care, ordinary people often died at home from entirely treatable conditions, prompting wealthy philanthropists, like Mrs Medley, to build miniature health facilities like Winsford, in the heart of their communities.

Designed by the pioneering Arts & Crafts architect Charles Voysey, Winsford opened its doors in 1900 and welcomed thousands of patients over nearly a century of service.

Visitors from across England flocked to see the hospital when it opened, and the Visitors' Book records their reactions. One wrote 'If I am to be ill, please may I be brought here'. Many said how much they would like to live here permanently. 

A hospital for war heroes

When war came in 1914, Winsford was called into service as a home for the sick and wounded from the Front. They convalesced sitting peacefully on the sunny, south facing verandahs, looking out across a rose garden to the rolling Devon countryside beyond. The building continued to be used as a hospital until 1998; its use spans the creation of District Nurses, the development of maternity units and the establishment of the NHS in 1948.

All original Voysey drawings used on these pages are copyright to RIBA Collections.

Restoration

Voysey's careful design, respected and restored by skilled craftspeople

As part of the restoration of Winsford Cottage Hospital, we have respected all of Voysey’s signature details that have, remarkably, survived.

Now the building is a Landmark for up to six people, with the four rooms in the east wing set aside for local community use.

The restoration of Winsford Cottage Hospital is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

An extraordinary place to stay

For almost a century, local people crossed the threshold at Winsford to enter the welcoming embrace of its light and airy rooms. Cottage hospitals were intended to inspire 'feelings of rest and homely comfort' among the patients and the focus was on recuperation as much as medical care. As a remarkable place to stay for a holiday, Voysey's endearing little hospital will once again provide comfort and respite, in a slightly different way, for generations to come.

Now, the west and central parts of this long building have been developed into a self-contained Landmark for six people, with only minimal adaptation of Voysey’s carefully-designed spaces. The east wing of five rooms has been kept in low-key community use, in line with local wishes, to include an interpretation space.

Beginning at the top

A crucial part of the project was the replacement of the enormous Cornish Delabole slate roof, laid in diminishing courses, which is so characteristic of Voysey's style. Repairs to the roof were tackled in sections. First, our roofing contractors stripped each section of its slates and then sheeted it over, so as to protect the original sarking boards, battens and layer of insulating horse hair beneath. The slates were then assessed for quality and any broken ones discarded.  We used locally-salvaged Delabole slates to match the originals, meaning we can rehang, in diminishing courses, to the original design. Inside the building, we repaired the original lime plaster where it was loose. Some walls in particularly poor condition, were completely re-plastered. Four coats of lime plaster was applied to get a smooth and precise finish. Lime plaster can fail if temperatures drop below five degrees, so heaters and de-humidifiers were used in conditions of especially cold weather.

Conserving the elaborate mosaic floor

Following our first attempt at removing the concrete screed from the mosaic floor, volunteers returned on two further weekends to continue this painstaking work and removed it from the corridor and some of the smaller rooms, where the original mosaic floor remained.  It was an enormous challenge, requiring repetitive chipping, careful scraping and sanding. In some places the screed was several millimetres thick and rubbery in consistency. In others it was a hard, thin, stubborn skin.  We cannot thank our volunteers enough for the work they have done: their contribution has been phenomenal. Once our contractors JE Stacey completed their work to the interior of the building, all the protective covering over the mosaic floor was removed and it was thoroughly cleaned. This allowed us to properly assess how to rebuild the surface, where it was most worn.

The restoration of the original mosaic floors, hidden for so many years beneath layers of NHS lino, was a painstaking and time-consuming task but the end results are definitely well worth the effort. 


Thank you to our supporters

We are hugely grateful to all those who have supported the appeal for Winsford Cottage Hospital, including:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Guardians of Winsford Cottage Hospital:
Mrs S Andrew, Mr E Bonham-Carter, Mr H A Burge, Dr C Guettler and Ms J Graham, Mr K Holmes, Mr and Mrs C Hutt, Mr I Lillicrap, Revd J and Revd S Pitkin, Mr S Record, Mr and Mrs M Seale, Ms M Swann and Mr W M Tsutsui, Dr R T Ward, Mrs J Waterman and Mr C Watson

Patrons and other generous individuals:
Professor M Airs, Dr J and Mrs S Barney, Ms M Black, Dr S Conrad, Dr P Corry, Mrs F Fairbairn, Dr R Gurd, Mr D Holberton, Mr R Joye, Mr and Mrs J Knowles, Mrs S Lund, Mr M Power, Mr M Rice, Dr R Schofield, Mr and Mrs J Scott, Mr and Mrs J Seekings, Dr P Strangeway and Mr and Mrs N Vetch

Charitable Trusts and Statutory Grants:
The AALL Foundation, Architectural Heritage Fund, T B H Brunner Charitable Trust, Dennis Curry's Charitable Trust, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, The Nerquis Hall Fund, The Norman Family Charitable Trust, Oakley Charitable Trust, The R V & R H Simons Trust, Philip Smith's Charitable Trust, The C F A Voysey Society

Gifts in Wills 
Mr T Bell, Mr M Grange, Mr G Ireland, Mr H Lewis, Mrs J Molyneux, Mr G Ruthen, Mrs J Ryland and Mrs R Stevenson. A gift in memory of Mr P Cobley. 

We thank all who have supported the appeal, including other Guardians, Patrons and trusts who have chosen to remain anonymous.

Thanks to over 1,373 generous supporters who have helped to save this extraordinary place.

Latest Updates Community Wing

The Community Wing at Winsford Cottage Hospital is available for freelance health and wellbeing practitioners to use for regular sessions, and for community groups and small businesses for ad hoc hire for meetings, creative workshops and talks.

Meeting Room

The meeting room can be booked hourly, or for half or full day hire.  It accommodates 8 people seated around a table or 16 people seated in rows or standing. Prices start at £10 per hour, £30 per half day, or £60 for a full day, until 5pm.

Treatment Rooms

Two treatment rooms are available to health and wellbeing practitioners. The larger space is suitable for practitioners who use a massage/treatment table as part of their practice.  The room is furnished with a small table and chairs. We do not provide specialist equipment – users will be required to bring their own. The smaller treatment room is suitable for one-to-one/talking therapy sessions and is furnished with a small table and two chairs.  Wi-fi is available on site.

All users of the Community Wing will have access to a kitchenette and loo. 

Interpretation Room

The interpretation room is available to visit on Mondays and Fridays between 10.30 am and 1pm. Please email in advance to book your visit: [email protected]

The whole building is open several times a year for free public open days. Please see our open day page for more details.

  Learn more about Winsford Cottage Hospital