Work in progress to restore Voysey's ailing masterpiece

Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon is a unique example of an unaltered, purpose-built Victorian cottage hospital. It was designed by C.F.A. Voysey, widely regarded as one of the finest architects of the Arts & Crafts movement. Grade II* listed, the hospital has been on the Heritage at Risk register since 2009.

In June 2017, we launched our appeal to save this Arts and Crafts gem. We were delighted to succesfully raise £1.5million to rescue Winsford thanks to our generous supporters and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Local contractors have started work on site and they are off to a great start.

The Day Room, which was added to the building in the 1960’s, has been carefully removed and we have discovered the original floor tiles of the terrace, under inches of concrete. It is satisfying to see the exterior of the building returning back to its original layout, with Voysey’s generous terrace designed to encourage rest and recuperation in the fresh Devon air.  The glass and iron canopies at the rear of each wing have also been carefully taken down, ready to be restored. 

Inside we are removing areas of plaster that are in poor condition. Layers of modern vinyl paint have trapped moisture in the walls and the plaster has deteriorated. The plastered ceilings are in equally poor condition.  All the modern floor coverings have also been removed, revealing yet more mosaic tiles, slate and timber floors.  Sadly, the timber floors have suffered badly, having been trapped under a non-breathable carpet for such a long time.

Get involved with the restoration of Winsford Cottage Hospital

One of the most striking features of Winsford Cottage Hospital is the golden mosaic floor that runs right through the spine of the building. It was covered over when the NHS took the building on, covered by a concrete screed and a thick carpet. Restoring this floor will be painstaking work and we are looking for volunteers to help us with this task. We will be working during the weekend of the 24th and 25th November, with training on the 23rd November.

We will also be organising a Study Day on Friday 23rd November. This will be an opportunity to find out more about the history of the building and our plans for it, see work in progress and find out in particular more about the conservation of the Voysey’s decorative features.

For more information on either volunteering or the study days, please email us.