About this image
A tiny house, a stones throw away from Chesterfield's crooked spire, opened its door to patients on 12 June 1854 - and the Chesterfield Hospital was born. Only five years later the Mayor laid the foundations for the town's 'new' hospital - with two wards and a dispensary. Five more wards were added over the next 60 years and in 1919, the King gave his permission for the hospital to use the word Royal. Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital was officially adopted. In the difficult years of the 1920s, developments were only possible through donations. The Chairman of Staveley Iron and steel Company gave £10,000 to fund Staveley Ward and a £10,000 legacy from Mr T Murphy meant Murphy Ward was created. These names are still used today. Over time it was clear the town centre hospital was not big enough to cope with increasing numbers of patients. In 1945 land was bought in Ashgate for £5750 - but it soon became clear the new hospital would be better located to the east of Chesterfield - close to the new motorway. The hilltop site at Calow was chosen and in 1977 the foundations were laid. At a cost of £29 million the new Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Royal Hospital NHS Trust opened its doors to patients on April 29 1984. It became one of the first district general hospitals in the country to have a CT scanner - thanks to a local appeal. Shortly afterwards, work began on one of the first extensions - a 75 bedded, 40-day place mental health unit - now named the Hartington Wing. Her Majesty the Queen opened the hospital in 1985 and in 1986, work began on the maternity and gynaecology unit. The opening of this in 1989, meant the old facilities in the town centre were finally closed. To keep part of the tradition the hospital opted to call the unit Scarsdale Wing - after the old maternity hospital. (information from Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital NHS Trust website) This view was photographed by George Washington Wilson of Scotland who flourished c 1870 to 1900.