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Montage of three nurses. All images © Wellcome Library, London. References: L0010490, L0018470, L0010789. Hospital Records Database
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Details: Hertford County Hospital, Hertford

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Present name

Hertford County Hospital 

Previous name(s)

Hertford General Dispensary (1822 - 1832)
Hertford General Infirmary (1833 - 1907)  


North Road Hertford SG14 1LP 

Previous location

General Dispensary occupied a room in Hertford Castle

Foundation Year




Administrative authorities

Regional Hospital Board (1948-74)

North East Metropolitan 

Hospital Management Committee (1948-74)

Hertford No. 1 Group 

Regional Health Authority (1974-82)

North West Thames 

Regional Health Authority (1982- )

North West Thames 

District Health Authority (1974-82)


District Health Authority (1982- )

East Hertfordshire 

County (before 1974)


County (1974-1996)


County (after 1996)



Pre 1948


Post 1948



Pre 1948


Post 1948


Other information

Hertford County Hospital began its life as a General Dispensary which was established in one room of Hertford Castle, in 1822, 'for the relief of the sick poor by affording them gratuitous advice and medicine.' Medical advice was given to those who most needed it twice a week by the attending surgeon, and by the physician once per week, at his own house, on condition that the patient could produce a letter of recommendation from a subscriber. Medicine was dispensed four days a week and in 1828 it was also decided to supply the poor with trusses. In early 1832 the Revd Thomas Lloyd had begun a campaign to build a new hospital. By April of that year a meeting had been held to elect a surgeon, a medical resident and a matron. The foundation stone was laid on 17 July of that same year by the Bishop of Lincoln. The General Infirmary, as it was then known, received its largest initial benefaction of over Ł11,000 from Mr Henry Cowper of Tewin Water. The hospital opened to patients on 3 July 1833 when four patients were admitted. As with all the voluntary hospitals, the benefactors were allowed to recommend out-patients, but any person who had met with an accident or who required immediate surgery was to be admitted without any recommendation at any time of day or night. This was not the case with all voluntary hospitals. Beer was brewed on the premises. In 1834 there was a recommmendation that the brewhouse should be moved to the end of the stable because the steam from the brewery was 'injurious and unwholesome' to the inmates of the hospital. In 1839 Sebright Ward was opened for children and a mortuary was built in 1859. In 1886 a ward was opened for male patients and in 1895 a special children's ward was built. In 1908 the hospital changed its name to Hertford County Hospital. In 1916 the hospital was closed for external alterations and a new sanitary system and during that time the patients were treated at Elmsfield, in Hagsdell Road, Hertford. On 5 July 1948 control of the hospital passed to the Minister of Health. The hospital is still open and occupies its original site on the North Road in Hertford.

Records can be found at:


  Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Record type

Date range


1832 - 1948


1838 - 1948


1904 - 1922



   Private Papers

1832 - 1832

Finding aids

Finding aids


Location of finding aids

At Repository(AR), National Register of Archives (NRA)


At Repository: CAT: HV3

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