The History of Burrell House

The History Of Burrell House

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Burrell House is owned by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is located on the main hospital site at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, just to the side of the Emergency Department along Romsey Road. In 1927, Burrell house, or as it was then called West Highlands was brought by the Voluntary Hospital on the site (which was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948). Between 1924 and 1927, West Highlands was occupied by Bishop Frank Theodore Woods (Bishop of Winchester 1924-1932), while Wolvesey Palace was being prepared as a home for the Winchester Bishops. Before that, West Highlands was owned by Captain Clayton Mitchell, RN.

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West Highlands became Burrell House in about 1930. During the First World War three huts were put up in the grounds of the Hospital for military patients. They were funded by two very generous benefactors, Lady Portal of Laverstoke and Miss Augusta Burrell of Fairthorne Manor, Botley. The huts were called Blighty, Bluebell and Burrell. Later a fourth was put up and named Beatrice after Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter who opened it.

Augusta Burrell was born in 1839, she was the youngest daughter of John Burrell of Durham, a wealthy mine owner. The family lived in the village of Kildale in the Yorkshire Moors, however after the death of her two elder sisters, in 1879, Augusta came to live with her brother, Robert, at Fairthorne Manor, in Botley.

The benevolence of Augusta Burrell was apparent very early after their move to Botley. Although Augusta was a very modest person, she was an exceptionally generous benefactor of the Hospital in Winchester. In 1910 her brother died at the age of eighty-one and in his memory, she endowed a bed to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital and the Accident Wing of the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton. She gave Winchester Hospital its first lift in 1912, and then donated £500 for the balconies on the south side of the Butterfield building in 1913. A further donation enabled a third floor to be built onto the Ashley Nurses’ Home and for the extension of the operating theatre to be completed. In 1918, Augusta gave a further £1,000 to the Hospital in Winchester.

When one of the nurses who had been living in the huts in the First World War, moved into West Highlands in 1930, she suggested that in appreciation of the generosity of Augusta Burrell, West Highlands should be renamed, thereafter, West Highlands became known Augusta Burrell Nurses’ Home. During that period, the nurses lived on the top floor of the house, whilst the Preliminary Training School was located on the ground floor.

With your support it wont be long until Burrell House can be restored back to its former beauty and can become the site of a much needed hospice in Winchester.