Site of Caerphilly Miners' Hospital
Site of Caerphilly Miners’ Hospital
Above the cycle path at Lôn y Llyn is the site of Caerphilly District Miners Hospital. In 1917 members of the South Wales Miners’ Federation decided to pay a weekly levy of one penny towards creating a cottage hospital, to treat injured and sick miners. In August 1919 they purchased for £5,000 The Beeches, home of mining contractor Frederick Piggott from c.1911. He’d moved from Lancashire in the 1890s.
The miners increased their levy to 2d and then 6d in 1920. With funds of nearly £30,000 they were able to equip the house as a hospital, with 32 beds. It received its first patient on 2 July 1923. The Board of Management, consisting of delegates from the collieries, extended the hospital in 1930 to 84 beds to serve the needs of miners’ families.
The hospital employed its own nurses and domestic staff. Local GPs looked after some of the patients. Consultant surgeons, based in Cardiff and Newport hospitals, visited as required. There were X-ray and massage facilities and a busy outpatients’ department.
The miners had strict rules about who could become subscribers and users of the hospital. However, when the Second World War began the Government made the hospital, like all other voluntary and public hospitals, relax its rules. Civilians who suffered from the German bombing of London, Cardiff and Swansea, were admitted to the Miners’ Hospital, for which the Government contributed funding. The Masonic Hall, the Wesleyan Hall and the Van Hotel became annexes to the main hospital.
In October 1945 the Board of Management purchased Redbrook House, a large property in St Martin’s Road, to serve as a nurses’ home and base for nurse training.
The hospital became part of the National Health Service when the NHS was founded on 5 July 1948. Improvements by the NHS included the addition of a maternity unit, in 1950. The wards were named after local collieries. Scenes for the BBC TV programme Dr Who were filmed in the hospital in 2006 and 2007.
The hospital closed in November 2011, replaced by the new Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach. The site was mostly cleared for new housing but The Beeches, the original hospital building, survives.
With thanks to Dennis Sellwood of Caerphilly Local History Society
Postcode: CF83 2WW