Mansfield General Hospital

Mansfield General opened 27th October 1890
The extension was opened in 1950 by Sir Eric Sykes
Mansfield General closed it's doors in 1992

The first purpose built hospital to serve Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse area was constructed in 1877 on land which was donated by the Duke of Portland. That building later became a public house, The Fourways Inn, situated at the junction of Butt Lane and Leeming Lane (A60).

From 1882 a cottage hospital, offering a mere two beds, was situated on Union street, also known as The Lawn.

With diseases such as typhoid, smallpox, tuberculosis and diptheria being commonplace, there was a great need for more hospital beds to accomodate the increasing population of Mansfield.

In 1889 the foundation stone for a new hospital was layed by Mrs Hollins of Pleasley Vale.  This new hospital was opened in 1890, and known as The Mansfield General Hospital, which stood on West Hill Drive.  The cost of this new hospital was £2,000, and it provided five beds. The opening ceremony was conducted on 27th October 1890 by the Duke of Portland.

The need for an extension of these facilities was recognised fairly soon and on the 28th June 1897 the President of the Hospital Board, Mr F. W. Webb, of Newstead Abbey, laid the foundation stone. The new wing was to be named Newstead Ward, and provided a further ten beds.

With the rapid growth of industry in the town, so the population increased. By 1928 it was approaching 48,000. The local hospitals had kept pace with the growth, the Victoria Hospital (prior to 1897 had been known as the Poor Law Institution), was still the largest unit with 164 beds including a maternity unit, while the Mansfield General had grown from it’s modest 5 beds of 1890 to 108.

In 1950 the Mansfield General celebrated a further extension. This was a new ward block which was officially opened by Sir Eric Sykes. This new block provided a further 60 beds.

With the majority of the services being transferred to the new Kings Mill Hospital over a period of years, sadly the Mansfield General closed it’s doors in 1992.

Comments about this page

  • I started my nursing career as a nursing cadet at Kings Mill in 1956/7 ish and proceeded into the then Dorothy Whitley Training School of Nursing. Training between Mansfield General and Kings Mill. What happy memories.
    I remember Drs Pease, Chapel and Mac….forgot full name. Unsure sp.for Dr Chapel, he was an orthopaedic surgeon. I noted Miss Cotton and Sister Shaugnessy names were mentioned in other postings. Lovely ladies!
    I moved around some between Great Britain, India and finally settled in the U.S. I lost track of friends and colleagues. I am in my 80’s. I would just love to make contact with old friends
    Caz, I remember that old creaky lift.

    By Susan Denby-Wadhwani (04/01/2024)
  • My mother, Hetty(ie) Haigh (nee Spafford)was a probationer at Mansfield General Hospital some time before 1926. Is there by any chance any records of that period

    By Joan Thornley (23/09/2023)
  • My late husband was rushed into Mansfield General in July 1983 following a serious road accident involving a fire engine at the Four Ways crossroads in Woodhouse. He spent a short time in ICU, then was transferred to Bolsover Ward where he was wonderfully cared for by the staff.
    I especially recall a Dr Whittaker in ICU and the wonderfully wise Dr Knight. An amazingly kind and compassionate nurse named Karen Witton features in my diary of that time along with another by the name of Tina (?). I was assigned a social worker called Bob Foreman who I believe was involved with the hospital pantomimes.
    Sadly Tony died after being in a coma for just over 13 weeks. The time he spent on Bolsover Ward is etched on my memory and I would love to get in touch with any of the staff who remember him.

    By Kate Miller (11/04/2021)
  • I started my pupil nurse training at Mansfield General on the 5th May 1975. My first ward was Hollins ward and I developed my desire to work on the medical side of nursing from that moment and return to Hollins ward twice more during my training.
    Once qualified I worked on Haldane ward at Kings mill. Like many SEN nurses I eventually did a Conversion Course at King Alfred’s College Winchester finishing my career as a clinical lead /department manager in Rheumatology at King’s Lynn Hospital. During my career I have worked in many hospitals around the country in including Hull Royal, Worcester Royal, Cheltenham General, Hinchingbrooke and finally King’s Lynn. I worked mainly in Gastroenterology and Rheumatology and enjoyed both specialities.
    I loved reading the many recollections on this site and can remember all the consultants and some of the junior doctors. The only registrar that really stands out is Dr Kasios, who I believe was Greek, mainly because he had most of the nurses weak at the knees. He had us line up down Abbott ward corridor one Christmas and went down the row kissing each if us in turn. As a quiet timid girl back then I was mortified, oh happy days.
    I loved every minute of being at Mansfield General and was sad to leave but I had my children, and my husband’s job moved us around the country, however the training I received must have given me a solid foundation on which to develop in my career. Unfortunately I was medically retired a few years ago due to the nurses common injury, my back, which has required three operations and pins to fix. I miss nursing more than I can say. If I was asked which moment in life would I like to return to it would be that day in 1975 when I stepped on to Hollins ward for the first time. Apologies to my children but that day wins.
    Thanks for the memories

    By Susan Sisson (nee Roberts) (11/03/2021)
  • I trained at Mansfield General Hospital in 1975, have had many years of happiness during the last 44 years in nursing, I have developed great skills and worked in many areas of nursing. When I qualified as a Registered Nurse I then moved and continued to work at the Nottm City Hospital in theatres. I am proud to say that I still have my hospital badge that I was given on completion of nurse training at Mansfield Hospital.

    By Marilyn Arboine Nee booth (04/09/2020)
  • I worked as a senior house officer to Dr JP Caley in 1975 in general medicine. Dr Angela Bramwell probably replaced me, I left in 1976. Her comments are 100% accurate. Reading those remarks gave me intense nostalgia. Dr Caley and Pease were excellent physicians.
    It is sad to see that the building where we were put through the mangle is no more. After working there without any extra duty payments trained us to very high standards .
    Bless Mansfield and District General Hospital and those who worked there. Thank you.

    By Dr I M QURESHI (26/07/2020)
  • Recent comment on the Woodhouse Living History, a gent attending a funeral in Tipperary whilst walking round the cemetery noticed a gravestone with the inscription to the O’Donovan family, GPs in Mansfield and Woodhouse in the 1960s. What a coincidence, one of the O’Donovans was my late Father’s GP in Woodhouse.

    By TGSHEAD (24/01/2020)
  • I was a student nurse from 1986 to 1990 and loved walking the wards at Mansfield General hospital , waiting for the ambulances to arrive , Anne Hayward ( written previously ) I was your student on district . Still nursing 35 years later but miss the good old days … Hollins and Abbott ward holds fond memories for me !

    By Denise Gradon ( Akbani) (28/03/2019)
  • I too trained at Mansfield and Worksop School of Nursing. My intake being September 1977 so perhaps Angela Bramwell we know each other. I keep in touch with two of my intake and often wonder what the other student nurses are doing. My senior tutor was Reggie Clifford. does anyone remember going to the allocation boards to see where they had been placed, searching for the ward or department and then saying and I am on nights again.

    I trained between Mansfield General and Kings Mill Hospital and had placements on Hollis, Portland, Turner, A&E and theatre at the general. I remember most of the ward sisters names that ran the wards. There was a small canteen at the side of Turner ward which only opened for morning breaks and was always full. The one at Avenue House was only used for lunch and supper breaks. Above this was the accomodation for trained staff and the top floor for doctors.

    The surgeons at that time where Mr Ball ( did anyone elso have the pleasure of feeding him sandwiches in theatre ) and Mr Mc Ewan Smith. 

    Excellent memories of a wonderful hospital and training school.


    By Sharon Hotson (01/04/2018)
  • Lovely to read your experience at MGH Philip Dodgson.  You would have been there when I was a student nurse (started training in 1976).  In the December of 1977 my training placement was A & E.  I worked Christmas Day and our first casualty that morning was a Dad who had been road testing his son’s skateboard, consequently he hadn’t mastered the tecneque and had broken his wrist!  It was a great hospital with a great team, and it was my privilege to have been part of it, I wouldn’t have swapped my training from those days for today’s training.  

    By Angela Bramwell (24/12/2017)
  • I worked as a junior doctor at Mansfield General Hospital for 6 months during 1977. The medical “firm” I worked for consisted of Dr J.C. Pease (consultant), Dr Hegde (registrar) who was replaced by a Dr Kasios while I was there, Dr Yoganathan (senior house officer or SHO), and then myself as junior house officer or JHO. The other medical firm at MGH was headed by Dr J.P. Caley as consultant. There were two other medical firms located at the old Kings Mill Hospital. These were headed by Drs Clancy and Lloyd-Mostyn.

    In those days, the hours for junior doctors were quite long, and I suppose I averaged an eighty to ninety-five hour week, day and night. Fortunately, I was only 24 years old and had a lot of stamina! A weekend working and on-call would consist of an 8 o’clock start on Friday morning, with no guaranteed break until 5pm on the following Monday. I often spent these weekends with little or even no sleep at all, padding continuously between my room, Casualty, the Intensive Care Unit, Hollins and Abbott wards, and with occasional forays into the canteen.

    This was a residential post and I was provided with a permanent (for the six months) room in a block just to the rear of the main hospital, but still on site. A huge, black and probably 1930s telephone with a very loud bell sat on the bedside table. The bed itself was only 2’6” wide – presumably to inhibit any attempt to share it with anyone, as these were not married quarters, and I was there rent free!

    Occasionally I slept (or attempted to) in a small room located within the Intensive Care Unit. This would be whenever a particularly ill patient was under my care.

    At that time, Mansfield was at the centre of an extensive coal mining area. As a result, there was an awful lot of respiratory diseases including coal workers pneumoconiosis, and because the prevalence of smoking was quite high, also COPD, lung cancer, pneumonia and associated cardiac problems and so on.

    The standard of nursing care on the wards I was associated with (Hollins and Abbott) was very high and in my experience superior to the care I had witnessed in other hospitals (Nottingham and Sheffield).

    After this job, I went on to GP training (2 years at Kings Mill Hospital plus 1 year as a trainee with Dr Peter Reeves at the St John Street Health Centre), got married, had three kids and seven grandchildren and worked as a GP in Derby for 32 years, retiring in 2012.

    By Philip Dodgson (18/12/2017)
  • Great to read the comments. I trained at the Mansfield and Worksop School of Nursing, starting in March 1987.  Back then there was a nurse intake every two months. We did a two week block in school, two six week placements where you learned on the job via the SRN’s, SEN’s and Auxillaries and then back to school for two weeks to consolidate your learning.  Assignments done whilst working full time and that dreaded final year exam.  Some of the best three years of my life.  Made lifelong friends, travelled the world thanks to Nursing and retuned full time to the NHS four years ago.  I was just listing the wards at MDGH, KMH, Bassetlaw and Mansfield Community (known as the workhouse by our older patients and dreaded) to compare my training with modern day!!  If only we could go back to that style, earning while you learned and 6 intakes a year I’m sure the National Nursing shortage would be eased.  Glorious and wonderful memories – Mr Ivan Day and Miss Campbell, John and Anne McCulloch and many many more wonderful people who shaped me and influenced me all those years ago.  Find Regards, Anita Jackson 

    By Anita Jackson (23/08/2017)
  •  Marjorie if you do ever visit Mansfield again you will be sadly disappointed.  I was born in Mansfield 1942 left in 1973.  It is so sad to see what has happened to the town.  No bustling market now which I think is common throughout the country. But we still  have our memories.

    By Val (21/08/2017)
  • Tonight I took a notion to look up Mansfield and District General Hospital where I trained as a nurse in 1961!!! I was so sad to learn that it no longer exists. I came over to Mansfield from Northern Ireland as a very inexperienced young 18yr old. I will always remember the day I arrived at the Hospital. Lunch was almost over, but I was taken under the wing of a lovely lady who turned out to be the mother of Shane Fenton. I remember unlocking the door in the nurses home at night to let those nurses in who didn’t have a pass. I got caught by Night Sister who had an office near the door. I remember so many things about my life in Mansfield and at the General. The Ward Sisters were hard task-masters but the standard of nursing could not be beaten anywhere. I remember giving my first injection to a brave coal-miner-I always had a great admiration for the miners ever since-such brave men. My first day on the wards was on Bolsover  I am now thinking of paying a visit to the town and the area which was so lovely. I have a photo taken at Kingsmill Hospital with the reservoir in the background. I’m sure there have been many other changes to the area since I left it. Its a strange thing but I always get a longing around September time to be back in Mansfield. It had such an effect on me. Marjorie McKay Co. Antrim, N. Ireland.

    By marjorie mckay (14/08/2017)
  • Wonderfull comments about the towns hospital, sadly long gone.

    My memories are regarding attending the A and E many times, can anyone remember the gentleman who seemed to be in the A and E maybe of a Scottish accent I think he wore glasses always there with other staff but all very helpful ,didn’t take him long to tell what was wrong with you stitches and all .I’m sure staff like the hospital are just memories ,remember also Colin the head porter who went to the KMH ,true gentleman and gave very high standards .A lot to look back on as the hospital long gone but memories live on .


    By G.Burton former Woodus lad (17/11/2016)
  • I trained at Mansfield & District School of nursing as a State Enrolled nurse in 1975. I worked as a SEN on Hollins ward, Turner & Bolsover wards before continuing my nursing career as a community nurse qualifying in 1981. In 1993 I qualified as a RGN at Portsmouth University facuilty of health studies. I retired from nursing in 2012 having spent the next years as a District nurse in Somerset. Now living in Bournemouth. My training at Mansfield general hospital was excellent also have fond & happy memories. Anyone thought about a nurse reunion?


    By Philip Tyrrell (10/11/2016)
  • I trained at the School of Nursing in Mansfield . And have very fond memories of Mansfield District General Hospital . 

    I can still remember my first placement on Turner Ward as a first year student nurse . Sister Potter was in charge on there then . 

    I’m really upset that it’s gone . Always hoped they’d make a museum out of it or something . 

    By Sharon Clark ( new Orridge) (16/06/2016)
  • At the beginning of this year, around January time, I had cause to do some work around the now named “business units” which I believe where once the nursing training centre/accomodation for nurses? Either way I had to access the old hospital site,which now contains many cubic metres of hardcore overburden, the actual crushed remnants of the General Hospital. One thing which caught my interest was that the former dedication stones (which were laid on the founding of the old hospital), were on pallets (x2) on the site at the West Hill drive end. Possibly one hopes for integration in whatever new scheme of construction occupies the site in the future. It is also interesting to note, at one end of the Ashfield Avenue site I worked at, was the bricked up gateway/entrance from the training centre to the hospital. But the actual function is discernible still if you look.The business units have a real late twenties/thirties feel to them, staircases,skylights etc,and I was really impressed at how in such good order this place is kept. The history of old Mansfield is there,if not always actually shouting it’s presence out loud.

    By John (22/06/2015)
  • I trained at Mansfield hospital in 1959. Started work there as a hospital porter in /57. Some of the happiest and most memorable years of my life. Matron Eddie was most definitely In charge … Of everything … Miss Cottom the night super tyrant with a heart of gold. Miss Shaunessy head of nurse training. A trio that through tough discipline turned hundreds of frightened young girls and the odd boy into some of the best nurses in the country. The west wing, that in my early days housed the hospital switchboard, was opened by Anna neagle, a very famous film star. And of course we shouldn’t forget Debdale convalescent hospital. On the top floor next to the two operating theatres (where student nurse could be found repairing, yes repairing and powdering surgical gloves) was the hospital pharmacy. Have been retired now for many years from my post as DNS of a University teaching hospital but never forget my nurse training. And very happy days at Mansfield Hospital.

    By Ron Thompson (19/02/2015)
  • Simon, thanks for alerting me about Professor Walter Whitehead’s time at Mansfield Woodhouse, the dates would fit the Cholera outbreak of 1866 when Hospital Row was used for patients.  There is a lot of info on the internet and as you say mentions his Practise in our Village. I am a Member of the Old Woodhouse Society and this fills a gap about Hospital Row. Thanks again Simon!!

    By Tom Shead (12/02/2015)
  • Tom, I’m not sure of the address. The hospital was established in 1866 by Walter Whitehead (1840-1913), a recently-qualified doctor from Bury in Lancashire who bought a Mansfield Woodhouse practice in 1864 and also worked as Medical Officer for the Poor Law Union there. He left the area in 1867 but the hospital continued. He eventually became President of the BMA and was a highly respected (if frightening – removing tongues with scissors was a speciality!) surgeon at various Manchester hospitals. After he left Mansfield, the Duke of Portland gave some land etc that enabled the hospital to expand such that by 1902 it had 43 beds – this is the “purpose-built hospital” that this article refers to and it is the words “purpose-built” that neatly avoid the problem of “first hospital”.

    My information comes from a host of sources, including an article on page 9 of the Manchester Courier, 30 July 1902. I’m writing a biographical article about him that will eventually appear on Wikipedia but not until it has been published elsewhere (a complex issue relating to avoiding accusations of plagiarism of my own writing!) I don’t think I can post links here, otherwise I might consider linking to the draft.

    By Simon Tushingham (08/02/2015)
  • Simon!! are you referring to Hospital Row, a row of old cottages on Park Hall Rd. which was used during a Cholera outbbreak?  The address is still Hospital Row, Park Hall Road.

    By Tom Shead (24/01/2015)
  • I’m afraid that the opening of this article is saved by the skin of its teeth;) There was an eight-bed cottage hospital in Mansfield Woodhouse eleven years before 1877 but I’m not certain whether it was “purpose built” or used an existing building. At that time, it was 14 miles from the nearest public (ie: charity) hospital.

    By Simon Tushingham (22/01/2015)
  • I trained at Mansfield and Worksop School of Nursing, once qualified spent the happiest years of my nursing at Mansfield General,with the best nurses, I remember Miss Jahn,Sister Gallagher, and many more,the saddest day was when I saw it being demolished, good memories and good times gone. 

    By Janet ROSS (30/09/2014)
  • I  worked as a Staff Nurse on Hollins Ward and was a Sister on Abbott Ward before continuing my career in the community.I have some very good memories of Mansfield General Hospital. Which ever ward or department you walked in we supported each other to ensure we gave the best service to our patients that we could give. This still carries on in the community services which is a quality that NHS Staff have.

    By Anne Haywood nee Bower (10/08/2014)
  • Hi, I only ever went inside the General Hospital once & that was to A&E with a nasty gash under the eye. I am so fascinated with hospitals but I am especially interested with this one for the simple reason that I cared for my dad but he passed away, then I cared for my Auntie Winnie but she sadly also passed away. While I was caring for her she bosted about working at the hospital as a cleaner. I really wish I could have looked around the hospital before it closed its doors. Can remember Winifred Sowter?

    By Linz Phillipson. (15/02/2014)
  • Hi, I trained as a nurse at Mansfield General and Kings Mill Hospital from 1964-68, at that time Portland Ward was female general surgery and orthopaedic. Manvers, Harrop White, and Eddie wards were not there then. Eddie was named after the matron before matron Hammond who was the matron during my time. I now live in NZ so its good to see all these things about Mansfield.

    By Elaine Jennings Nee Darcy (30/08/2013)
  • Wards at the General: This is from local searches of the names – please let me know if any are incorrect. Bolsover ward named after the Bolsover mining company who owned many local pits. Manvers named after Earl Manvers who owned Thoresby Hall. ITU Harrop White ward named after John Harrop White who was a local councillor and Chairman of the hospital. Day Case Eddie ward named after a Matron “Miss Eddie” Abbott Ward possibly after Luke Abbott who owned Sherwood Foundary. Portland Ward named after the Duke of Portland. Turner Ward possibly after Mr F J Turner, agent to the Duke of Portland’s estates. Hollins ward possibly after William Hollins who owned Pleasley Mill and Viyella company – or his decendants. (Ive redone this comment with more full stops as it is easier to read and should replace my earlier comment)

    By Caz Harris (14/03/2011)
  • Wards at the General: This is from local searches of the names – please let me know if any are incorrect. Bolsover ward named after the Bolsover mining company who owned many local pits, Manvers named after Earl Manvers who owned Thoresby Hall, ITU Harrop White ward named after John Harrop White who was a local councillor and Chairman of the hospital, Day Case Eddie ward named after a Matron “Miss Eddie” Abbott Ward possibly after Luke Abbott who owned Sherwood Foundary Portland Ward named after the Duke of Portland Turner Ward possibly after Mr F J Turner, agent to the Duke of Portland’s estates Hollins ward possibly after William Hollins who owned Pleasley Mill and Viyella company – or his decendants

    By Caz Harris (13/03/2011)
  • Prior to Manvers ward (a female surgical ward) being on the top floor, the ward was a children’s medical ward called Robin Hood which moved to Kings Mill when the Dukeries was built. There was also a small bay on Portland ward on the floor below which had children with head injuries/trauma – I think this was called Little John. Portland was a female trauma/orthopaedic ward Hollins ward was beneath on the ground floor and was male medicine and cardiac ward. Along this floor was Turner ward which was male surgical and, further along into the newer building, Bolsover which was male trauma/orthopaedics Above this was Abbott ward which was female medicine and cardiac and above, on the top floor, was Harrop white ward which was intensive care. On the same floor was Eddie ward (daycase) and theatres. There were three theatres, one for trauma/orthopaedics, one for general surgery and one for emergencies. Outpatients was in the basement area and xray was off the corridor between the old and new part of the hospital on the middle floor. There was a wing to the right of the hospital called Clifton wing which was a private patient’s unit – however was offices and ultrasound by 1989. It was reached by an old creaky lift that had a metal door that you used to have to open and close manually. The nursing school was in Avenue House at the rear of the hospital and here was the staff canteen on the ground floor……complete with ashtrays! The building on the right of the middle picture had staff changing rooms on the first floor which was very old and creepy, especially on night shifts. Accident and Emergency was at the front of the hospital and, by today’s standards, was very small. It had the waiting room at the front and the ambulance patients used a different entrance. I’ve written all this from memory so please correct me if anything is incorrect.

    By Caz Harris (13/03/2011)

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