Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital

  Date                      Event


Site offered by duke of Portland for a hospital in Harlow Wood. Fund raising begins.

30th July 1928

Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital incorporated as a company for charitable purposes, and limited by guarantee.


Sir Jessie Boot submitted generous offer towards the Building of the hospital.

7th November 1928

Laying of Foundation Stone by the Duchess of Portland.

3rd August 1929

Official Opening by the Duke and Duchess of York (later to become King George V and Queen Elizabeth).


First patients admitted to the hospital in September, the hospital has two wards.


Linen Guild started at Harlow Wood.


Formation of Harlow Wood Girl Guides, Brownies and Cubs.


Scout Group formed at Harlow Wood.


British Orthopaedic Association Meeting at Harlow Wood Hospital.

February 1932

Recreation Room opened.

January 1933

January – First sods cut on the site of the third ward.

1st August 1933

Third Ward built, and opened by Mr Samuel Brown representative of Nottinghamshire Miners.


Wards given names.

Ward 1 to be ‘Portland Ward’

Ward 2 to be named ‘Robert Jones Ward’

Ward 3 to be John Edward Alcock Ward’


Building of Fourth Ward & additions to Nurses Home and Administration Block started.

28th July 1937

Fourth Ward ‘John Warren Briggs Ward’ opened.


WW2 precautions being taken to ensure the hospital wasn’t visible from the air.


Extra Wards added for civilian and war casualties Military Servicemen (mostly soldiers) were treated at Harlow Wood.


Hutted Wards built (5,6, & 7).


Hut erected for Occupational Therapy.


Hutted Wards built (8, & 9).


Massage students came to Harlow wood from this date onwards.


Static Water Tank being constructed.


Small Appliance Workshop established


Large Gymnasium put up in the grounds.


Harlow Wood Hospital became part of the National Health Service.

February 1949

‘The Friends of Harlow Wood Hospital’ formed from the Linen Guild.


British Orthopaedic Association Meeting at Harlow Wood Hospital.

24th July 1950

Queen Elizabeth opened the Remedial Pool in the Physiotherapy Department.


Death of Duchess of Portland aged 91.

13th March 1958

Winifred Portland Memorial Chapel opened by Duke of Portland.

October 1963

Alan Malkin House opened by Mr Malkin for the use of senior nurses.

October 1964

New Twin Operating Theatre Block opened.


Hospital came under control of the Mansfield Hospital Management Committee.


New Linen Room and Sewing Block opened.


Small Path Lab under the Occupational Therapy Department closed. Services taken over by Mansfield.


New Administration Block built.


New Physiotherapy Department created.


British Orthopaedic Association Meeting at Harlow Wood Hospital.


New Main Entrance and drive made.


“The Spinney” Houses and flats opened.


NCB sponsored a film showing rehabilitation work at Harlow Wood Hospital.


Orthopaedic Nurse Training Centre opened.


Ward 3 upgraded.


Domestic Department set up.


Re-organisation of the National Health Service.


New Wards 5,6,7 built and opened, replacing the hutted wards.


Anderson Lecture Theatre opened


Half of Ward One made into a High Dependency Ward.


Old Ward Six (Hutted Ward) made into the Medical Education and Research Centre.


Rehabilitation Ward opened (Ward 10).


Golden Jubilee of Harlow Wood .


Official Opening of New Artificial Drift Mine.


Third Theatre.


Old Operating Theatres upgraded.


Kitchens Re-furbished – Cook Chill Service introduced.


Outpatients Waiting Room Re-furbished.


BBC TV ‘Advice Line’ filmed Social Worker, and Voluntary Workers touring the Wards.


HRH Princess Anne officially opened New Occupational Therapy Department.

May 1989

Diamond Jubilee of the hospital, visit by the Duchess of York.


Operating Theatres have latest ‘Laminar Flow’ clean air system.


Hydrotherapy Pool refurbished.


New Reception Area Built.


Recorded as being ‘A Record Year for Fund Raising’.


New Switchboard and Telephone Network streamlined and improved.

25th March 1995

Nurses Reunion Party.

26th March 1995

Thanksgiving Service in the Chapel.


Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital Closed. An auction of all equipment/items above and below ground was held. The land was sold, and quality housing has since been built on it.



Comments about this page

  • My Uncle Ernest Carr was an occupational therapist, helping troops injured in WW2 learn a trade in woodworking. Does anyone know anything about him, or have a photo? He died during his employment there. My mum was his sister Laura Carr.

    By Angela Harris (04/09/2020)
  • From 1977 I was treated at HW for scoliosis, inc. having a Harrington rod put in. The staff were all wonderful and kind. I now live in Australia but am sorry to learn the place has been sold off. I hope an equally excellent hospital has taken over (in the same region)

    By Hazel McSweeney (15/10/2018)
  • I trained and gained my ONC at Harlow Wood from 1971 a 1973, so I think the date for the opening of the training school in this article is a mistake. I had the best time of my nursing career at the hospital and cried when I went back last year and it had been changed into houses??

    By Hazel Hammond (nee Hewitt) (26/07/2015)
  • I was treated for congenital dislocation of the hips from birth to 9 years of age. I have great memories despite having so many operations. Dr.Baker was my Surgeon and he was lovely. All the nurses were fab and woke us up playing in the middle of the night! I am now having trouble with my hips age 28 and only wish I could go back to Harlow Wood, as I have never been treated as good as I was at H.W. It is such a same that it is no longer there.

    By holly warren (24/06/2013)
  • Was a patient age 14 in 1953, then trained there 1958- 61 Sutch a fantastic part of my life. Broke my heart to see the site after it was demolished.

    By Val Jarvey (17/08/2012)
  • My (late) mum and dad met and Harlow Wood in 1946. She was Sister Tutor (Sr. “Johnnie” Johnson) and my dad was the new radiographer (Ron Cox) – home from the war. I heard many great tales about Harlow Wood – and but for that hospital, I wouldn’t be here! So sorry it is no more.

    By John Cox (31/10/2011)
  • My mother in law was on ward 2 in 1943 after contracting polio in 1942. It was for girls and women. She had school every day with Miss Stephenson and was pushed outside in her bed for fresh air in all weathers except rain. The ward sister was called Sister Harper and she was strick. She laid in a plaster cast shell for 10 months and after she was removed from it she started physio everyday with electric stimulation on her muscle system which was very uncomfortable. Once she got walking she would go in the contraption attached to the door (which was like a hangmans noose) to stretch out her spine. It wasn’t the streching that was uncomfortable it was the release, if it happen quick it hurt! Pat Goodhand and Vera Braithwaite were fellow bed mates.

    By E sargent (13/04/2011)
  • I am so very sorry to here that wonderfull hospital has so completely gone, it has helped so many people back to health, so sad.

    By Roger Pope (29/05/2010)
  • It is wonderful to see the history of this hospital being put on record. I spent 3/4 years working here [1967/1970] and have many happy memories of my time there and the wonderful staff I worked with. Thank you Hilary.

    By john ingall (23/01/2010)
  • Sir Jessie Boot was at the time building the University of Nottingham. He kindly put his men and material at the disposal of the site to build Harlow Wood – See Prof. Waugh’s book – ‘The Development of Orthopaedics in the Nottingham Area.’

    By Hilary Briggs (12/12/2009)

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