Hospital Round

A short and sweet post this evening. Which is kind of apt given it has a link to the Cadbury family.

I found myself at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham today. After dropping my patient off, I spotted this intriguing building. It’s part of a house known as The Woodlands, donated to the institution by George Cadbury in 1907. It’s such an unusual structure and whoever compiled the listing building text agreed. It describes it as being a later addition to the main house, which dates to around 1840, and an ‘…unexplained circular painted brick structure with circular windows with leaded lights, dentilled brick frieze and low conical roof’.

The Woodlands, Royal Orthopaedic

I think it’s quirky and fascinating but I can’t tell you much more about it! I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on it though – did it have a specific purpose do we think, or is its design purely aesthetic? Maybe the city of Birmingham just has a thing about buildings of this shape….




1 thought on “Hospital Round

  1. An interesting question!

    On the British listed building site The Woodlans is described as a Grade II Listed Building … “To the left, a later unexplained circular painted brick structure with circular windows with leaded lights, dentilled brick frieze and low conical roof. Another similar circular structure at the back of the house near the former stable court, now aid out as a garden with fountain.”

    In November 1907 George Cadbury presented “a fine residence, known as the Woodlands, with four acres of gardens and grounds, Northfield, to the Birmingham Crippled Children’s Union. The building will be converted into an open-air sanatorium for the treatment of tubercular and rickety children.”

    It’s interesting that the Birmingham Daily Gazette says… “To no class of the unfortunate or afflicted is the sympathy more readily extended than those to whom Nature has denied the full and free use of limbs; nor is there any class which is more deserving of sympathy, for while misfortune of this kind is often aggravated by the ignorance of parents it has its ultimate origin in cases over which Nature has not yet vouchsafed mankind any effective control…”

    A year later in 1908 “an architect was exercising great care in remodelling the house. The stabling being brought into requisition, and lofts being turned into open-air wards…and the possibilities of extensions being duly provided for.”

    As stabling is mentioned in the listed description and in 1908, then maybe the structures were added at that date. However there was a new ward 1914, more planned 1927.

    I will pose the question to the Birmingham History Forum Blog, with a reference.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s