From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Cookridge Hospital
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County
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Condition
Age
Admission
Hospital
West Yorkshire
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Derelict
1869
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Cookridge Hospital is located near Horsforth and Cookridge in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Designed and built in a Gothic vernacular style in 1869. It has provided cutting edge cancer treatment since 1952 but has been replaced with a £220m cancer centre at St James Hospital, which is now one of the largest of its kind in Europe and has about 1,600 staff.

Originally known as Cookridge Convalescent Hospital it was built at a cost of £10,000 to provide care and to promote recovery for patients who had been treated at Leeds General Infirmary. The area of Cookridge was chosen as it was a remote location from Leeds, 'where patients could be cheered up among the bracken and pure air'. The urban sprawl of Leeds soon engulfed Cookridge. John Metcalfe Smith of Beckett's Bank in Leeds, donated much of the money towards the building of the convalescent hospital.

As it was built in the days before the NHS, the patients had to pay for their own care. It cost approximately eight shillings a week for a three week stay but there was some charity, benefactors provided free beds for the needy. This was not an easy stay for the patients, they had to abide by a list of rules which remained the same until 1934. One of the rules was to 'obey the Matron and to perform all services in the house and grounds as she may appoint'.

The hospital played an important role in the World Wars; the hospital was requisitioned for the care of wounded servicemen. It briefly housed the Leeds Maternity Hospital in 1939.

In 1929 small scale experiments using radiation started in the treatment of cancer at the Cookridge but it wasn't till after World War II that the hospital embraced cancer treatment and patients. Leeds Regional Hospital Board took over the hospital, redeveloping the original convalescent hospital and building a new complex during the 1950s and 1960s.

The hospital continued to be at the forefront of cancer research and developed new technology as well as pioneering better, more effective treatments which improved the chance of survival in patients.

Finally the hospital grew too small, the outdated buildings could not support further growth so the hospital was abandoned in 2008 and sold. It was replaced with a £220m cancer centre at St James Hospital, which is now one of the largest of its kind in Europe and has about 1,600 staff.

The Met Police used the hospital for training purposes for a while.

After the hospital closed it was used to film the series 'The Royal Today' but it only lasted one season.