Gun Hill Park: History of Aldershot | Weston Homes
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Gun Hill Park History

Aldershot is still home to the British Army and is a nationally important site. Its garrison was the first purpose-built military town in Britain and was vital during both World Wars.

Prior to 1854, when the military garrison was first established, Aldershot was a small agricultural village. During the Crimean War and the years following, it rapidly grew into the largest military garrison in the British Empire, with its own schools, hospitals, power station, water supply and sewage works, food production, police and fire brigades.

Over the 160-year period since it was established, Cambridge Military Hospital has been involved in most military campaigns, including playing a key role in the First and Second World Wars, both as a training camp and in the care of war casualties.

A new Heritage Trail will weave through Gun Hill Park and Aldershot, enabling residents to delve into the town’s remarkable past and discover Aldershot’s legacy.

Gun Hill Park

 

FOLLOW THE TIMELINE AS WE TAKE YOU THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN GUN HILL PARK’S HISTORY

1854
Military Garrison first established in Aldershot

1875
The Cambridge Military Hospital was built between 1875-79 by Messrs Martin Wells and Co. of Aldershot. The design was influenced by Florence Nightingale.

1879
Opened on 18 July, 1879, it was named after HRH Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, cousin of Queen Victoria and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895.

1890s
Aldershot Garrison was the home for all kinds of military specialisms. In the 1890s, a factory for balloons and airships was established.

1893
By 1893 two new angled pavilion wards were added at the ends of the main corridor.

1897
The Louise Margaret Hospital was opened in 1897 to treat the wives and children of soldiers

1899
The Cambridge Military Hospital was used to treat troops from the Boer War (1899 – 1902) through to the Gulf War (1990 – 1991).

1907
Gun Hill House, opened in 1907, providing accommodation for nursing sisters working at the main hospital.

1914
The Cambridge Military Hospital was the first British hospital in history to receive casualties directly from the battle front; injured soldiers were brought here from the battle of Mons in 1914.

1915
It has been described as the birthplace of plastic surgery, as Harold Gillies set up a Plastic Surgery Unit in the hospital at the end of 1915.

1958
In later years the Louise Margaret became a maternity hospital treating both civilians and military personnel. Many people of Aldershot were born here until its closure in 1995.

1960s
In the 1960s a series of textured concrete buildings, using the prevailing technologies and designs of the day, were constructed.

1996
The hospital was closed on 2 February, 1996 in a ceremony attended by HRH Princess Margaret. The closure was due to the high cost of running the old building.

2011
On 2 March, 2011 Grainger Plc was appointed as the Development Partner by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO) for the delivery of the Aldershot Urban Extension scheme, now known as The Wellesley Estate, of which Gun Hill Park forms the centre piece.

2014
Proposals to convert the hospital into housing were approved in March 2014.

2021
Cambridge Military Hospital is revived as a unique new residential address called Gun Hill Park.

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