Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot

Ghost Town: Aldershot's Abandoned Military Hospital

You won't find many better examples of Britain's rich military history than the famous Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot Garrison...

Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot

You won't find many better examples of Britain's rich military history than the famous Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot Garrison.

The once state-of-the-art Hampshire hospital, which served Aldershot's various Army camps, was opened on 18 July 1879, and named after Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, a cousin of Queen Victoria.

How the hospital looked in the 19th century

Arguably the town's best-known landmark, it became the first base hospital to receive casualties directly from the Western Front during the First World War, and has been described as the birthplace of plastic surgery in the British Empire.

One of the hospital's wards, with once state-of-the-art lighting fixtures hanging from the walls

It is also reported to have pioneered the supply of portable operating theatres and supplies for frontline duties.

The hospital's dimly-lit main ground floor corridor is a quarter of a kilometre long, extending as far as the eye can see

Civilians were later admitted to the hospital after the end of the Second World War, which saw a decline in Britain's military commitments. 

One of the hospital's old children's wards

But the building's long history as an active hospital came to an end in 1996 due to the high cost of running the old building, the emergence of more modern facilities in the local area and the discovery of asbestos in the walls.

Tons of toxic asbestos was found at the site

And that's when nature began to take its course, with time causing paint to peel from the walls, and the slow but creeping spread of rust, damp and mould.

Rust took hold of the hospital's electrical equipment after years of disuse

Cobwebs began to cover the darker corners of the hospital, which became infested with spiders and littered with dead flies, whilst one floor became thick with guano due to a pigeon infestation.

It's now set to be converted into 134 units of housing, around 47 of which will be affordable.

The view from the hospital's clock tower, one of the highest points in Aldershot. The tower's now set to be restored as a viewing and heritage area, with landmarks like Guildford Cathedral clearly visible in the distance

Just click below to take one final tour of the famous hospital before it changes forever...

Want to see for yourself? This Halloween Forces Network will be running a live stream from the abandoned hospital to try to catch a glimpse of the Grey Lady...

With thanks to Sophie Garrett for photography.

More - Aldershot's Abandoned Military Hospital: From Past To Present