Sunday, 15 July 2012

Morteonhampstead Cottage Hospital, Devon

Morteonhampstead Cottage Hospital is located in Ford Street on the edge of the town . This was a gift to the town in 1900 from Lord Hambledon, the Lord of the Manor, and it still remains an essential part of local health care. The hospital was built for the benefit and accomodation (with or without payment) of poor persons suffering from disease or accident and being resident in the parishes of Moretonhampstead, Lustleigh, North Bovey, Manaton, Chagford, Drewsteignton, Bridford and Dunsford. It was run by a local committee and was kept by legacies, subscriptions, donations and the proceeds of the local carnival. It was taken over by the government in 1945 under the National Health Acts.

On the 12th June, Lowry was admitted to the hospital while staying with his friend James Travers in nearby Chagford. Lowry was admitted suffering from "dysentry" contracted in Spain, though Clarissa Aiken reported that he had gone in for drying out. ( Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 159). He stayed at the hospital for several days. Bowker states that Lowry was "strangely threatened by the hospital physician, a Dr Dixey, who told him the authorities knew all about his conduct at Cambridge and elsewhere and were only waiting a chance to 'get him on the mat'." (Pg. 160). Lowry left the hospital sometime in mid-June, Arthur Lowry arranged for him to stay at the Vernon Court Hotel in Torquay, in order to recuperate.

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