I am seeking your support for an appeal to save Winsford Cottage Hospital at Halwill Junction in North Devon.
My concern is for the protection of the building, designed by C F A Voysey as a cottage hospital in 1899. The integrity with which he designed every detail of the building to meet its purpose, and the refined simplicity of his style, altered the course of architectural history at the turn of the century.
Winsford Cottage Hospital was designed at the peak of Voysey's career, and it is a rare example of a public building in a predominantly domestic practice. He designed the hospital with characteristic care, applying the principles of his domestic practice to the requirements of a small country hospital. It has been maintained in good order as a hospital from the date of its opening in 1901 until its closure by the nhs (who took over responsibility for the hospital in 1948) last month.
The present proposal to sell the building and its contents would rob this country of an architectural gem - a rare instance of a Voysey building designed as a public amenity and still in use until recently for its original purpose. This would be a loss of international significance. It would be an act of cultural barbarism in absolute opposition to the liberal benevolence that inspired the original commission. The hospital and its furnishings must be preserved and restored to their local community so that future generations may continue to enjoy them. I appeal for support for the campaign to save this exceptional building,
(Author: C F A Voysey)
Lewes, East Sussex