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The story of Galley Hill unravels

Posted onPosted on 3rd Sep
The story of Galley Hill unravels

Thanks to insight provided by local residents, the National Trust is starting to piece together the story of the isolation hospital at Galley Hill, close to the site of The Workhouse at Southwell. Early findings are to be revealed at the Discover Greet House event on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September, noon to 4pm.

‘We have been delighted with the response to our appeal for information,’ says volunteer researcher Katherine Onion, ‘it has been fascinating to see deeds and maps held by local residents but we are still keen to find out more’.

The deeds have enabled the accurate dating of both an isolation hospital for scarlet fever (1913) and a diphtheria cottage (1903) on the Galley Hill site. It is not just documents that have been a revelation, personal stories such as the gift of a doll given by The Workhouse matron to a little girl in the isolation hospital in 1929 and letters to the child’s parents show a softer side to institutional care. Workhouse staff would have operated across both The Workhouse and the Galley Hill sites but the majority of patients at the hospital would have come from the wider countryside. This was also true of Firbeck House, The Workhouse infirmary, which by the 1920s provided hospital and maternity care across the county.

The Discover Greet House event (19 and 20 September) gives visitors the opportunity to explore, through self-guided tours, previously unseen parts of The Workhouse not normally open to the public. From the peeling wallpaper in the infirmary to first-hand accounts from those who lived and worked in the building during the twentieth century visitors can discover more about The Workhouse site, known as Greet House during this period. Information gathered about the Galley Hill site will be featured and researchers will be on-hand for anyone who has further stories to share.

For further information about The Workhouse, opening times and admission prices see