Site of Llandudno cottage hospital

Site of Llandudno cottage hospital

Photo of Sarah Nicol Memorial Cottage Hospital, LlandudnoLlandudno’s 30-bed cottage hospital was opened in 1885 at the corner of Trinity Avenue and Caroline Road. It was pioneered by Dr James Nicol and his wife Sarah Ann. She died in February 1884 at their home, Warwick House in Church Walks.

The Sarah Nicol Memorial Cottage Hospital was funded by public donations. Lady Augusta Mostyn was the management board’s “lady superintendent”.

There was a unique form of health insurance: every annual subscriber was entitled to nominate a patient to stay for four weeks free of charge, for each guinea the subscriber donated. In the early days, May Day Parades made a detour past the hospital to enable patients to enjoy the spectacle.

In 1904 two Native Americans were treated here while visiting Llandudno with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Their names were not recorded. They were 25 and 26 years old. The younger man suffered from pneumonia. The older had broken his right leg. They are shown with staff in the photo below. The matron at the time was Mary Ann Wright and is probably the seated figure.

Photo of staff and patients at Llandudno cottage hospitalRailway accidents brought several patients to the hospital, including platelayer (track maintenance worker) John Savage. He died of injuries after being hit by a train east of Mochdre in 1904. In 1905 a worker on a company outing was preparing to return to Brighouse, Yorkshire, when the crowd at Llandudno station surged towards the incoming train, pushing him off the platform. He was dragged, face down, by the train and died here three days later, leaving a widow and four children.

Sergeant Trumpeter Walton, 36, of the Shropshire & Staffordshire Artillery, died in the hospital after cutting his throat in 1894. He had suffered depression when staying at the army camp in Deganwy because in 1891 he and a fellow soldier had been cut off by the rising tide in the Conwy estuary. His comrade had drowned.

In 1916 a quarryman recuperated in the hospital after his foot was crushed at the Little Orme quarry. His employer claimed he had deliberately injured himself to avoid army conscription.

The ‘Sarah Nicol’ would not treat infectious diseases, so the local authority built an isolation hospital at Maesdu, now Llandudno General Hospital’s annexe. The general hospital opened in 1939. A decade later, the ‘Sarah Nicol’ became a successful youth centre. The building fell into ruin before it was demolished and replaced by housing in 2020.

With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society, and Pauline Dodd

Postcode: LL30 2NQ    View Location Map