Yesterday I took my Dad to the hearing clinic to see about a hearing aid. There are still many pockets of Kent I don’t know and although I know many of the hospitals (my Dad is a retired doctor) I didn't know the one we needed - Preston Hall.
Before long I was instructed to turn left and immediately right into the entrance of Preston Hall. Just look at this fabulous building:
And of course Dad knew a bit about its history too and how it came into the hands of the National Health Service.
He told me that the owner, a railway magnate had boasted that he owned everything he could see from the hall. My research suggests that the father, Thomas Brassey was the railway magnate and that he bought Preston Hall for his second son Henry Arthur Brassey sometime after 1850. Much of the original property dates back to the 12th century and the reign of King John when it remained in the Culpeper family.
Later owners let the Hall to the Red Cross during the First World War for use as a convalescent home for servicemen with TB and then the British Legion took over in 1925 followed by the NHS in 1948. A village was built in the area around it to provide homes and workshops for the convalescing men. One famous patient was George Orwell who received treatment at Preston Hall between 15 March - 1 September 1938.