Bombs, EDP ward and royal visits – the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
- Credit: EDP Library
Staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital have been saving lives for almost two and a half centuries.
But only in the last 20 years or so have we had the modern university facility in Colney Lane.
Before that, there was the more centrally located hospital in St Stephens Road, which has stood since the 18th century.
It played a major role in caring for injured servicemen during both world wars – thanks to the help of generous EDP readers.
In February 1915, the Eastern Daily Press ward was opened after readers dug deep in their pockets and raised £2,500 to build the temporary addition to the hospital.
During the Second World War, the hospital was bombed several times and, in June 1942, four wards and the main operating theatres were completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe.
It became an NHS hospital when the service was founded shortly after the war, before undergoing a major expansion in the 1960s and '70s.
A 10-storey maternity block was opened by the Queen Mother in 1968 – the Queen herself also visited the hospital that decade – and a new main ward block was constructed in the 1970s.
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As the century drew to a close, though, it became more and more apparent that the facilities available were no longer suitable to care for all the people living in and around Norwich.
And so, the move was made to the large, more modern building at Colney, and by 2001 the majority of the hospital's services were no longer in the city centre.
After it was fully vacated in 2003, the Department of Health sold the site to Persimmon Homes and it was redeveloped into 271 apartments.
There are still references to its medical past through the street names – you will find the likes of Kenneth McKee Plain (a famous surgeon) and Sarah West Close (the hospital's first matron).
• What memories do you have of the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital? Let us know in the comments below!