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Former Bootle Borough Hospital, including mortuary chapel, nurses' home, outpatients' department, boundary walls, railings and gates

A Grade II Listed Building in Linacre, Sefton

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Latitude: 53.4454 / 53°26'43"N

Longitude: -3.0002 / 3°0'0"W

OS Eastings: 333665

OS Northings: 394756

OS Grid: SJ336947

Mapcode National: GBR 716.0X

Mapcode Global: WH870.WNJK

Entry Name: Former Bootle Borough Hospital, including mortuary chapel, nurses' home, outpatients' department, boundary walls, railings and gates

Listing Date: 31 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1419251

Location: Sefton, L20

County: Sefton

Electoral Ward/Division: Linacre

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bootle

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Bootle St Matthew with St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

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Former borough hospital, now laboratories and offices, 1870-2 with additional wing of 1885-7, both by C.O. Ellison. Red brick with sandstone, pressed-brick and blue-brick dressings, pitched and hipped slate roofs. Eclectic style. Nurses' home of 1915 in Edwardian Baroque style by F B Hobbs & O D Black, and Outpatients' department of 1932 in neo-Georgian style, both of red brick with sandstone dressings


Former borough hospital, now laboratories and offices, 1870-2 with additional wing of 1885-7, both by C.O. Ellison. Red brick with sandstone, pressed-brick and blue-brick dressings, pitched and hipped slate roofs. Eclectic style. Nurses' home of 1915 in Edwardian Baroque style by F B Hobbs & O D Black, and Outpatients' department of 1932 in Neo-Georgian style, both of red brick with sandstone dressings

PLAN: the hospital site lies to the east of Brocklebank Dock and Langton Dock and on the west side of Derby Road, and is dissected laterally by Nelson Street; the main hospital building and the mortuary chapel are situated on the north side of the street, whilst the former nurses' home and outpatients' department are located on the south side of the street. A mid-late C20 detached single-storey block that lies to the south-west of the former nurses' home and is connected to the home via a covered walkway is excluded from the Listing. A small and much-altered late-C19 detached block (now reduced in length and raised in height to 1 1/2 storeys) that lies to the north-west of the main hospital building is also excluded from the listing.


MAIN HOSPITAL BUILDING: the hospital's original 1870-2 range is located at the north end of the site and is constructed of mellow red brick with sandstone, yellow-brick and blue-brick dressings, including banding, lintels and stringcourses, and cast-iron rainwater goods. The range is of 2-storeys plus basement and a series of chimneys along the ridge line have been truncated. It has a wide 5-bay front elevation facing east onto Derby Road with shaped gables to the two outer bays and large gableted, mullion and transomed oriel windows to the first floor in carved sandstone, incorporating carved depictions of a lighthouse and sailing ship (a lighthouse being the emblem of Bootle). To the centre of the ground floor is the hospital's original main entrance, which has since been converted into a window. Set to the head of the former entrance is a pink-granite foundation stone, whilst above is a sandstone carving of the Bootle coat of arms and a banner bearing the borough's motto: 'Respice, Aspice, Prospice' - 'look to the past, the present, the future'. Recessed square-headed sash windows exist to both floors; those to the ground floor additionally have chamfered reveals and are set underneath Gothic-arched lintels and carved tympanums, whilst those to the first floor have carved stones set above a continuous hoodmould. A lamp, which is supported by a decorative wrought-iron bracket, projects from the first floor and was installed in the 1980s; a corresponding lamp on the 1885-7 wing was also installed in the 1980s. The range's 5-bay north return is lit by tall windows on the first floor that break through the eaves line as half-dormers with shaped gables and sandstone lintels incorporating keystones; the central window's original sashes have been replaced by a uPVC unit, but those to the other windows survive. The ground floor is lit by four windows similarly styled to those on the front elevation. Due to the site's ground level sloping down from east to west the 1870-2 range's rear (west) elevation appears as 3-storeys due to a full basement level that is visible on this side. Mirroring the front elevation the outer bays of the rear elevation have shaped gables, but on this side the bays also project forward slightly. Set immediately in front of these bays are two narrower and slightly lower projections (containing toilet facilities) with plain gables and corbelled wall stacks that rise from the first floor and break through the gable apex. The central bays include an external first-floor level walkway that connects to two doorways in the side returns of the outer bays (leading into two former wards) and a later door to the centre, which has been converted from a window. Windows on this elevation are of varying size and arrangement, including tripartite windows lighting the basement and ground-floor levels of the projections; those to the north end have been altered. Many of the windows retain their sashes, although a few have been replaced in uPVC and a small number have been blocked-up or boarded over. Segmental-arched yellow-brick lintels exist to the windows lighting the two lower floors, with sandstone lintels to the top floor.

The 1885-7 wing, which has an irregular stepped L-shape, is attached to the south side of the 1870-2 range and has an asymmetrical composition. The 1885-7 wing is of 3-storeys plus basement with a 2-storey section connecting to the 1870-2 range to the north. It appears to have a fireproof cast-iron frame construction (cast-iron beams and columns are visible internally) encased in red brick with sandstone, pressed-brick and blue-brick dressings, including banding, and cast-iron rainwater goods. Windows are of varying size and arrangement, although nearly all have sandstone sills and lintels. Many of the windows contain original sashes (some with ventilators above), but some have been replaced by uPVC units, mainly on the south side of the wing. The front (east) elevation incorporates a pinnacled water tower above the main entrance; the narrow uppermost section of which (depicted in a photograph of 1907) has been removed. Dominating the front elevation is a wide bay set beneath a large shaped gable and incorporating a 2-storey gableted and canted, mullion and transomed bay window to the ground and first floors. Like the oriel windows to the 1870-2 range the first-floor level of the bay window is in sandstone and the gablet above incorporates a decorative foliate panel in terracotta with stylised relief lettering reading 'BOOTLE BOROUGH HOSPITAL'. The main entrance is located at the base of the water tower and is recessed underneath a pent roof. Replaced double doors and sidelights are accessed via a flight of shallow stone steps. The 10-bay south side elevation facing Nelson Street also incorporates two shaped gables with pressed-brick detailing; that to the west end is set over a full-height projection. Set to the left of centre of the elevation and to the east end are two projections rising from the basement to the first-floor level with tall pressed-brick and sandstone parapets incorporating raised arched heads and decoration. A small rectangular single-storey mortuary with a lantern roof is linked to the wing at the western end and incorporates two doorways on its west side facing into a small internal yard area shared by a c1908-10 detached mortuary and chapel building to the south-west of the main hospital building, and a further doorway on its east side. The 1885-7 wing's west end elevation also has a shaped gable and incorporates a wide arched passageway at basement level, which provides access to the building's lawned area and car park. Surmounting the passageway is a 2-storey bay window; the north lights of which have been altered to form doorways accessing a later wrought-iron spiral fire escape; an additional doorway is provided from the top floor via another converted window. The 1885-7 wing's north elevation is much plainer and is in brown brick. It incorporates a large 6-light stair window with replaced glazing to the first-floor left, which lights the wing's main stair, and a number of the other windows have also been replaced. Set to the roof is a dormer window lighting a stair accessing the second floor. Two c1940/50s red-brick extensions have been added on this side, including a 3-storey cross-wing attached to the western end and a much smaller neighbouring first-floor projection supported on brick piers; both extensions are excluded from the listing. A later lift shaft, which has been added to the rear of the link adjoining the 1870-2 range, is also excluded from the listing.

MORTUARY CHAPEL: a larger detached mortuary chapel was added c1908-10 to replace that connected to the 1885-7 wing, and it lies to the south-west of the main building alongside Nelson Street. It is constructed of red brick with red-sandstone dressings and a slate roof, and is of 4-bays with a cross-gabled bay (chapel) to the far left of the south elevation incorporating a tall Gothic-arched window with simple tracery. The bays to the right are lit by 2-light mullioned windows with segmental-arched heads and abstract-patterned leaded glazing incorporating blue fleur-de-lys motifs, all set within red-sandstone surrounds. Dividing the bays are pilaster strips topped by square sandstone caps that project above a parapet. The west return is rendered (missing in places) and three small dormer windows exist to the roof; two further dormers exist on the east side of the roof (all are covered over internally). The entrance to the chapel lies on the east side and is set within a small yard area shared with the earlier mortuary. The rear (north) elevation of the cross gable is also rendered and a large later window has been inserted into the rear of the adjacent bays.

NURSES' HOME: the nurses' home, which is of 3-storeys plus basement and attic, lies to the south side of Nelson Street and fronts onto Derby Road. It is in a restrained Edwardian Baroque style and is constructed of red brick with sandstone dressings, including an eaves cornice and parapet copings. The building has a slate roof that is largely hidden from view by a parapet incorporating sandstone panels at intervals, and cast-iron rainwater goods. The roof has pitched sides to the front and rear, but the apex is flat to accommodate a small plant room and to provide access to the chimneystacks and parapet. The building is lit by 3-over-6 and 6-over-6 sash windows, many with flat-arched, gauged-brick lintels and sandstone keystones, and has a 9-bay front (east) elevation. Bays 2 and 3 and 7 and 8 project forward slightly and are paired underneath broken pediments adorned with carved cartouches. Behind the pediments the parapet steps up in sandstone with scrolled supports at each side. The ground floor of each pedimented bay projects forward even further as a large canted bay window, whilst the upper floor windows share sandstone surrounds; the windows to the second floor have round-arched heads, eared architraves and triple keystones. Flanking these bays, and also set to the outer edges of the elevation are rusticated-brick strips in the style of quoin strips. The main entrance lies to the centre of the ground floor and consists of partly-glazed panelled double doors flanked by quoin strips and rusticated-stone reveals. Above the doorway is a broken segmental pediment containing a cartouche decorated with Bootle's coat of arms and Latin motto 'RESPICE ASPICE PROSPICE', with a panel below inscribed with the date '.A.1915.D.'. The flanking ground-floor windows and those to the first floor above are treated in the same way as those to the pedimented bays, with simpler detailed windows incorporating single keystones set to the second floor and all floor levels of the two outermost bays. Set to the roof behind the parapet are a series of dormer windows (boarded over externally), which are replicated on the rear elevation, along with a series of chimneystacks. The side elevations are plainer with windows lighting the internal corridors and bathrooms; the corridor windows are replaced on the north side by a series of original doorways set to each floor, which access a fire escape stair.

Like on the northern part of the hospital site the land on this southern part of the site also slopes downwards from east to west. Consequently, the nurses' home's basement level is visible on the rear elevation. The centre bay at the rear projects forward slightly with quoin strips set to the outer edges, a doorway set to the lower floor and stair windows above, with a broken segmental pediment and keyed oculus set to the parapet. A stair enclosure projects above the parapet to roof level to provide access to the roof. A number of the windows on this side have been replaced by uPVC units, but all retain their flat-arched heads and sandstone keystones and sills. The two outermost bays on each side have narrower windows that light the bathroom facilities internally.

OUTPATIENTS' DEPARTMENT: the outpatients' department, which is in neo-Georgian style, is set to the north-west of the nurses' home and runs down the south side of Nelson Street. Its height varies from single-storey to 2-storeys, both with basement, and it is constructed of red brick with sandstone dressings. The roof, which is largely hidden from view by a parapet, has a single tall chimneystack and is variously flat, pitched and hipped. The building is lit by 6-over-6 sash windows with 3-light ventilators above. Between the ground and first floor levels is a sandstone stringcourse, with a further flatter raised band at parapet level. The front (east) elevation has a 3-bay entrance projection incorporating a ground floor in sandstone with two wide doorways containing partly-glazed panelled double-doors with plain overlights flanking a central window. Above the entrance is a carved inscription reading 'THE ROBERT M. COX MEMORIAL'. Three windows above are separated by rusticated brickwork. A sandstone lintel band sits above the first floor windows, whilst the ground floor windows have flat-arched heads with sandstone keystones; both are replicated on the other elevations. Flanking the entrance projection are two single-bay single-storey, flat-roofed projections surmounted by a sandstone parapet. The 10-bay north elevation alongside Nelson Street has windows to both floors; that to the ground floor of bay-2 has been bricked up. The sloping site means that the basement is at ground level at the western end. The rear (west) elevation is similarly styled to the north elevation, but with narrower windows containing 4-over-4 sashes with 2-light ventilators above. The southern side of the building is single-storey plus basement and is similarly styled to the rest of the building.

BOUNDARY WALLS, RAILINGS & GATES: enclosing the main hospital building site on the north, south and east sides is a brick wall with sandstone copings, in part surmounted by cast-iron railings incorporating circular patterning and interspersed with sandstone gate piers with chamfered corners and flattened pyramidal caps (the caps were originally surmounted by short lamp standards). One of the entrances on the Derby Road frontage has been filled in and a section that originally wrapped around an ornamental fountain (now removed) has been re-aligned with the rest of the walling. The western side of the main hospital building site is enclosed by a high brick wall with rounded copings.

Enclosing the nurses' home site on the east side are metal railings incorporating cross-shaped motifs and two sets of brick piers with metal gates. Surmounting the railings is a late-C20 guard rail added to raise the height of the railings and discourage trespassing. Forming the north boundary of the site is a high brick wall with sandstone copings that connects to the north wall of the outpatients' department.


MAIN HOSPITAL BUILDING: large former wards are located at each north and south end of the main hospital building's interior and contain some later partitioning*, which is not of special interest. There are vinyl and floorboard floors throughout the building. Some cornicing and coved ceilings are also present, although many of the ceilings are hidden by later suspended ceilings* that are not of special interest. Fireplaces have been removed throughout, but some chimneybreasts survive. Numerous original doors (some boarded over and some with overlights and sidelights) also survive within the building, but others have been replaced by modern fire doors* that are not of special interest.

The hospitals' former wards, treatment and surgical rooms, and offices are now occupied by: workshops, storage, modern laboratories and a canteen in the basement; offices and a modern laboratory on the ground floor; modern laboratories, offices and production space on the first floor; and a laboratory, offices and residential flats on the second floor of the 1885-7 wing. A lift*, which is not of special interest, has also been inserted to the rear of the link section adjoining the 1870-2 range.

The main stairs in both ranges survive; that to the 1870-2 range is set to the centre of the range and consists of a long single-flight stair lying parallel with the building's frontage and incorporating two half-landings and a curved return at the top accessing an L-shaped landing. It has a simple carved newel post, carved-timber handrail, and a panelled balustrade (simple timber balusters are understood to be present underneath). A separate stair flight leads down into the basement below, which has a decorative encaustic-tiled floor to the main corridor, and mainly quarry-tiled floors elsewhere, although at least two rooms have a parquet floor and a stone-flag floor. The 1885-7 wing contains a large square stair hall set behind the main entrance with corridors leading off to the west and north. A former ward (now office space) to the south side of the stair hall has replaced internal windows facing into the hall; the corresponding windows to a former ward on the floor above have also been replaced. The stair hall has panelling to the ceiling edges and contains a wide open-well stair leading up to a landing on the first floor that wraps around the east and south sides of the hall and is supported by slender cast-iron columns and corbels. The stair has wide curtail steps, a carved-timber handrail, short timber newel posts (some of the urn-shaped finials surmounting the newel posts have been removed), and stone treads hidden by later coverings. The original cast-iron splat balusters have been removed and replaced by a panelled balustrade, and the 6-light stair window's glazing has also been replaced. A plain timber stair on the northern side of the 1885-7 wing provides access between the first and second floors. The basement of the 1885-7 wing originally comprised the outpatients' department and is accessed via a stair underneath the main stair, which has a carved-timber handrail and slender cast-iron columnar balusters.

MORTUARY CHAPEL: the mortuary chapels interior is much altered and the later partitions*, suspended ceilings*, inserted floor* and stair* are not of special interest. Two of the former chapel's king-post collared roof trusses and side purlins are visible above the inserted floor and are supported by carved corbels; one of the trusses is arch-braced.

NURSES' HOME: original 2-panel and 4-panel doors can be found throughout the interior of the former nurses' home, along with cast-iron radiators. Parquet floors exist on each floor level except for the basement, which has tiled floors. The building's layout consists of a spine corridor running the length of the building with rooms off to the front and rear, and a central stair hall. Some dividing walls separating the former bedrooms have been removed, and later partition walls incorporating doorways* have been inserted on each floor level where the corridors meet the stair (these later walls and doorways are not of special interest). An entrance vestibule containing partly-glazed panelled double doors set within a glazed screen leads into a stair hall from which a stair with a narrow open well, curtail step, painted cast-iron balustrade incorporating shaped panels, and late-C20 tread coverings on some of the flights, rises up to the roof level; the stair's upper landings have been boxed-in with later glazed screens* and doors* that are not of special interest. The ground floor has two larger rooms lit by large bay windows, which are set to the front of the building and are believed to have been communal sitting and dining rooms originally; that to the north retains a timber and tile fireplace with an overmantel incorporating a horizontal mirror. The rest of the rooms on the ground floor and those on the upper floors flanking the spine corridor consist of former single bedrooms, with bathroom and toilet facilities located to the rear of the building at each end. Kitchen and service facilities would have been located in the basement. A cast-iron fire surround with a central rose motif survives in one of the former bedrooms on the ground floor (three identical fire surrounds also survive within a caretaker's cupboard), but all the fireplaces in the remaining bedrooms have been removed, although chimneybreasts survive. The wall plaster has been removed in the attic leaving exposed brickwork, and the roof structure is also exposed revealing that a small number of timbers have been replaced. The basement is plain and is accessed via a stair flight underneath the main stair.

OUTPATIENTS' DEPARTMENT: the interior of the outpatients' wing, which is used as laboratories in the basement was not inspected. However, it is understood that at the centre of the building is a long top-lit former waiting hall with rooms off to the sides.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


In the early-C19 Bootle was a bathing resort, but from the mid-C19 onwards the area rapidly expanded and became heavily industrialised as docks and warehouses were constructed. The population also increased dramatically as workers arrived to work in the dockland areas, and concerns were raised over the health and welfare of the town's residents, prompting efforts to erect a dispensary in the town and subsequently a hospital.

Bootle Borough Hospital was constructed in 1870-2 to the designs of C.O. Ellison of Liverpool at a cost of £4200, and was extended in 1885-7 by the same architect. The land for the hospital was gifted by the 14th Earl of Derby and the foundation stone was laid on 29 August 1870 by the 15th Earl of Derby and the Mayor of Bootle. The hospital's construction was funded by voluntary contributions, including donations provided by Thomas Henry Ismay, shipowner and owner of the White Star Line, who also contributed to the hospital's running costs.

The original part of the hospital building, which is located at the north end of the site, was opened on 10 April 1872 and was constructed to accommodate 26 patients. The hospital was extended southwards in 1885-7 at a cost of £8930 when a new wing running down the north side of Nelson Street was added.

In 1883/4 Liverpool became the first town or city in Britain to have a regular, hospital-based, horse-drawn ambulance service and Merseyside led the way in terms of its provision; Bootle Borough Hospital's ambulance service is believed to have commenced in c1889.

In the early-1900s the hospital was granted a royal charter and became known as Bootle Royal Borough Hospital and in c1913 it was decided to rebuild the hospital as a memorial to King Edward VII. Six prominent local architects' firms submitted plans in a competition and those of F B Hobbs & O D Black were selected. The outbreak of the First World War disrupted plans and only Hobbs & Black's nurses' home was constructed in 1915 on the south side of Nelson Street. Due to the war the nurses' home was first used to accommodate wounded soldiers and was not used for its original intended purpose until after the end of the war in 1919.

An outpatients' department was constructed to the rear of the nurses' home alongside the south side of Nelson Street in 1932. The outpatients' department contained a large waiting hall, record office, casualty redressing room, massage, electrical, dental, gynaecological, skin and aural departments, medical and surgical consulting rooms with examination cubicles, operating theatre suite, dispensary, and venereal disease department.

The hospital was evacuated in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War due to its close proximity to Bootle's docks and fears of it being damaged or destroyed by bombing. It re-opened in 1947 following renovation works. The hospital's casualty department closed in 1966 and the hospital closed entirely in 1974. The site, including the neighbouring nurses' home and outpatients department situated on the south side of Nelson Street, was subsequently bought by Mast Laboratories for use as laboratories and offices.

Reasons for Listing

The former Bootle Borough Hospital, including mortuary chapel, nurses' home, outpatients' department, and boundary walls, railings and gates is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural quality: it is an imposing and impressive group of buildings with strong architectural detailing that reflects the wealth of Bootle in the late-C19 and early-C20; carved symbols, including a lighthouse (the emblem of Bootle) and the Borough's coat of arms being used to convey the status of the Borough and the hospital;
* Site completeness: it is a good example of a complete late-C19 urban hospital site, extended in the early-C20, that retains both its main building and ancillary buildings, including mortuary chapel, nurses' home, and outpatients' department
* Degree of survival: overall the buildings are largely unaltered externally, whilst internally their original internal arrangements and functioning remain clearly legible, and numerous original features survive;
* Architect: the main building was designed by the notable Liverpool architect C O Ellison who has numerous listed buildings to his name, and it is a good example of his work that is comparable with his other Grade II listed health and welfare-related buildings;
* Historic interest: constructed adjacent to Langton and Brocklebank Docks it reflects the Borough's efforts to tackle the health and welfare concerns raised by the town's rapid population expansion in the mid-late C19 due to an influx of dock workers as the port of Liverpool expanded northwards

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