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Hospital at Britannia Royal Naval College

A Grade II Listed Building in Dartmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.3544 / 50°21'15"N

Longitude: -3.5876 / 3°35'15"W

OS Eastings: 287152

OS Northings: 51705

OS Grid: SX871517

Mapcode National: GBR QS.R1X9

Mapcode Global: FRA 38C3.B47

Entry Name: Hospital at Britannia Royal Naval College

Listing Date: 23 February 1994

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1297082

English Heritage Legacy ID: 387217

Location: Dartmouth, South Hams, Devon, TQ6

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmouth

Built-Up Area: Dartmouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Dartmouth Townstal

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text


673-1/5/91 (North side)
Hospital at Britannia Royal Naval


Sanatorium to the Britannia Royal Naval College. 1899-1905 by
Sir Aston Webb, who later built the main college (qv).
Flemish-bond brick with Portland stone dressings; stacks with
stone-banded shafts, some connected with a round-headed recess
between; slate roofs. Free Palladian style to the ward blocks,
administration block and doctor's house with some Regency
PLAN: 3 parallel detached isolation ward wings, connected by
covered corridors, one with a water tower at the end. A fourth
parallel block, slightly north of the others, is the
administrative wing, with former doctor's house at right
angles at the south end.
EXTERIOR: The ward wings have austere south-east fronts,
designed to provide balconies for convalescent patients. Each
wing has a 3-window front, the ground floor high above ground
level because of the slope of the land.
Centre bay broken forward with a pedimented gable and pierced
at ground- and first-floor level to give 2 tiers of recessed
balconies: the upper balcony has a moulded round-headed stone
arch, springing from the parapet; the lower balcony is divided
into 3 bays by square-section stone piers with moulded
capitals and bases and matching responds. Upper balcony has a
small-pane segmental-headed timber window to the ward; lower
balcony a square-headed window.
The outer bays are short projections (probably containing
stairs), roofed at right angles; first-floor oculi with
keyblocks; ground-floor windows tucked into open recesses
flanking the ground-floor balcony. 9-bay return walls with
deep boarded eaves; small-pane timber sashes, some with
transoms; chimney shafts with convex shoulders.
The ward wings are linked by colonnades between them at the
north-west ends, with substantial cast-iron columns with
moulded bases and capitals. One of the corridors has a
first-floor glazed corridor above.
Slender Venetian water tower has a peaked lead roof with eaves
brackets, clasping pilasters with bands of stone, and
unornamented except for 3 tiers of narrow windows on the
north-west side and 3 stone slit windows on each side at the
top, below the cornice.
The administration block has a symmetrical 3:1:3-bay front
with deep eaves with a moulded eaves cornice with brackets.
2-storey bows to left and right, central porch formed by a
flat roof on Tuscan columns between the bows. Round-headed
doorway flanked by side lights. Windows mostly original timber
small-pane sashes, with some replacements.
The doctor's house has a similar treatment to the south-east
front but with canted bays to left and right.
INTERIOR: Not inspected but likely to be of interest. Pevsner
mentions a chapel and a 1908 bronze bust of George V, when
Prince of Wales, by Hamo Thorneycroft.
HISTORY: This is an impressive design and seems likely to have
been influenced by the remarkable 1787 Royal Naval Hospital in
Stonehouse, Plymouth, by Alexander Rowehead, the earliest
example in Europe of a hospital on a pavilion plan where the
ward blocks are separated by colonnades to avoid the spread of
In 1863 The Admiralty stationed HMS Britannia in the Dart as a
training ship for naval cadets. In 1865 she was joined by HMS
Hindustan. By 1875 it was decided to build a land-based
college at Dartmouth but the land was not acquired until 1896.
Work began on the terraces for the main building in 1898 but,
when 2 cadets died of influenza on the Britannia, the
sanatorium was built before the rest of the college.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner, Nikolaus: Devon: London:
1989-: P.325; Freeman, Ray: Dartmouth and its Neighbours:
Phillimore: 1990-: P.156-8/P.177-8).

Listing NGR: SX8715251705

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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