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Voysey hospital closes as sale threat looms

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A listed hospital designed by C A Voysey for a local benefactor was closed by the health authority last week. Now locals fear that it will be sold for private use and that original artefacts, already removed from the building, will be lost.

Winsford Cottage Hospital in Halwill, Beaworthy, was designed in 1899 and opened in 1901. Commissioned by Mrs Maria Louise Medley in memory of her husband, the hospital was part of a bequest including a trust fund intended to benefit local people, and to ensure that the hospital would continue in perpetuity.

One of the few Voysey buildings to remain open to the public, the hospital has been at the heart of village life most of this century.

Devon-based achitect Hans Eisner, who is leading a campaign to save the building for the public, told the aj this week that attempts would be made to change nhs rules requiring disposal of redundant properties on the open market where, as here, there was a specific public interest; to seek funds, possibly including Lottery money to prevent permanent closure; and to seek return of all furniture and other objects associated with the original building.

The single-storey building is described in Pevsner as having a 'well preserved interior full of delightful Voysey details'.

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