SALTASH, Cornwall – St Barnabas Cottage Hospital. 


To the honour and glory of the EVER BLESSED TRINITY.
And in loving memory of RICHARD LEY, PRIEST, who fell asleep Dec 11 1886. Aged 65 years.
This hospital is erected and dedicated to SAINT BARNABAS.

The hospital is in a domestic style, making the whole building look more like a country house than a hospital when viewed from the road. It has managed to avoid the austere appearance of an institution.  The report of the dedication in the Western Morning News of 12 December 1888 gave a very detailed description of the layout of the building, some of which follows.

The handsome Cottage Hospital and Convalescent Home of St. Barnabas…was opened yesterday afternoon with a dedication service.  Internally the premises are not yet complete… The building occupies an elevated site…commanding extensive views of the Hamoaze and neighbourhood.  It is built of red brick, tile-hug with half-timbered oak work, and prominent architectural features are the numerous gables which surmount it, and the colonnaded verandahs which project out from the upper storey on the south side. Another conspicuous feature is the circular end of the chapel on the east side, whilst stucco between the brick and timber work brings the latter out in bold relief.  Internally no expense has been spared to make the arrangements as perfect as possible…

The article goes on to describe the entrance lobby, the waiting room, and the hall with a recess for an ambulance to be kept ready for use at a moment’s notice.  Then there is the operation room, the surgery and a bathroom.  There are men’s and, upstairs, women’s wards, and the sisters’ room, from which a verandah may be accessed.  Further rooms on upper floors included a dining room with balcony, for  convalescent patients.  After describing the chapel – see below – the article concludes:

Each ward has its own lavatory and other conveniences, and there are no drains running under the building, all the pipes being carried away on the outside and ventilated.  The whole building is heated by hot water pipes, supplied by Bennett Brothers, Liverpool, and the wards are fitted with Messrs. Malcolm, Tester, and Co,’s pneumatic bells.  There is also a lift communicating with the upper landing.  A good supply of water is obtained from a well on the premises.  The work has been substantially carried out by Mr. R. W. Rowse, builder, of Mutley, from the designs of Mr. George Fellowes Prynne, architect… Inclusive of the site, the cost has been about £4,500, the whole of which has been defrayed by Mrs. Ley.  On the memorial stone the donor has had placed the inscription – “To the honour and glory of the ever blessed Trinity, and in loving memory of Richard Ley, priest, who fell asleep December 11th, 1886.”

The tiny chapel, so distinctively by Fellowes Prynne, and yet so small, is perhaps best compared with his favoured style of Lady Chapel, apsidal in form and colourful. It is more intimate even than most of his Lady Chapels, having a lower roof, but still with the red brick walls seen in many of the larger buildings. The colour, warmth and intimacy make it ideal for its purpose as a hospital chapel.

The report cited above from the Western Morning News also described the chapel in some detail.

The whole of the east end of the building is occupied by an exceedingly pretty little chapel.  It is apsidal in form, and the interior is of red Berkshire brick, relieved by stone dressings and labels, the archery over the windows being of rubbed, gauged brick work.  The roof is barrel vaulted.  The chapel is lighted by seven tracery headed windows, three of which are filled with coloured glass.  Four brass circular gas pendants also depend from the roof.  The sanctuary is tiled, the steps being laid in mosaic.  The altar, a large one, was made by the contractor.  On it stands a crucifix and a pair of candlesticks… Seating accommodation will be provided for 24 persons.  At one end of the chapel is a small gallery on a level with the upper landing, from which it is separated by a glazed screen.  It is intended for the use of patients in the upper wards, who may be too weak to walk downstairs.  On the north side is an arched recess for the harmonium.  In the opposite wall are two sliding lights, which, when open, will enable the inmates of the male wards to hear the singing in the chapel.  Near the organ recess has been hung the dedication picture, depicting St. Barnabas, painted by Mr. E. Fellowes Prynne.  When completed there will be a division between the sanctuary and the nave, and the panels on the walls will be decorated.


The first image is of the exterior on an undated postcard, then in an illustration from the Academy Architecture and Architectural Review of 1889;  and finally a recent photograph.