Hertiage 31 Shotesham Cottage Hospital

No. 31                    Shotesham Cottage Hospital

Erected 1731-54 (arguably the first Cottage Hospital in England),

The hospital and nearby mortuary (Oak Lodge) had space for twelve patients, while the mentally disturbed patients were housed in the Infirmary (Archers House). To the left of the Infirmary is the Doctor’s House and the Nurse’s House. To the right was the Victualler’s House (Dairy Cottage).

The hospital was built by William Fellowes (Man of Shotesham) under the guidance of the eminent surgeon Benjamin Gooch who dedicated the first edition of his treatise on Cases and Practical Remarks in Surgery (1758) to his patron: “It was your erecting an Infirmary for the benefit of the poor which gave me an opportunity of making some of the following observations in surgery; and when the opinion of my friends inclined me to publish them a sense of my obligations to you called for this profession of my gratitude   ……Providence, that wisely orders all things, has blessed you with an ample fortune; it is a blessing because you employ it to the best purposes.”

In another publication Chirurgical Works, Gooch refers on a number of occasions to the treatment and observation of his surgical cases in Shotesham Infirmary. His debt to William Fellowes for founding this cottage hospital for the people of the village of Shotesham was considerable and this Gooch publicly acknowledged. Gooch and Fellowes went on to become involved with the foundation of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in 1771 where Gooch was the first consulting surgeon.