Heatherwood Hospital is an NHS hospital in Ascot, Berkshire, part of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The hospital was opened in 1922 for the United Services Fund and later taken over by the London County Council giving priority to children of ex-servicemen from London. After formation of the National Health Service it became a general hospital serving the new town of Bracknell. Frimley Park NHS Foundation Trust acquired Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in October 2014 to form Frimley Health.
Originally a Victorian country residence built in 1876, possibly for the Farrar family (whose motto 'Ferre va Ferme' appears over the front door), Heatherfield as it was then known was in the ownership of the Ponsonby family between 1881 and 1891, when the Hon. Ashley Ponsonby, a Justice of the Peace and cousin of Sir Henry Ponsonby, Equerry to Queen Victoria, and his family had their country seat there.
In 1891 the gardener, Richard Saunders, lived at the Lodge, while the coachman, Cornelius Banister, lived at the Stables (now demolished).
The New York Times reported that on 28 January 1891, Claude Ashley Charles Ponsonby, Ashley's son, married Miss Haller Gross Horwitz of Baltimore in the USA at All Saints church in Ascot. Claude's brother Eustace was the best man. The paper reported that the church was "crowded with representatives of a number of the most aristocratic English families and was handsomely decorated with palms and lilies of the valley". After the wedding, the bride's mother Mrs Horwitz "...gave a dejeuner at Heatherfield, which was largely attended".
By 1900 the estate was known as Heatherwood and had been acquired by Sir Thomas Lucas, Bart., who was described as "of 12a Kensington Palace-gardens, and Heatherwood, Ascot...." in a notice of his forthcoming marriage in the Times. Sir Thomas was the son of Thomas Lucas who, with his elder brother Charles Thomas, founded Lucas Brothers, Builders. The brothers' prestigious list of building contracts in London includes the Royal Albert Hall, Covent Garden Opera House and Alexandra Palace.
The estate was offered for sale at auction by Messers Chancellor and Sons in 1906, but failed to find a purchaser.
There is a Bronze Age barrow at Heatherwood, indicating there has been human occupation on the site for thousands of years.
The house and estate was eventually acquired (possibly in 1919 when the estate was offered for sale at auction but more likely in 1920 when it was sold by private treaty by Hamptons) by the United Services Fund and converted to a hospital for the children of ex-servicemen from the 1914-1918 war, specialising in the treatment of children suffering from surgical tuberculosis and other orthopaedic diseases. Patients were admitted from 1922 and the new hospital was officially opened by the Duke of Connaught in May 1923. The house itself, recently converted to private apartments, was at that time used as a nurses home.
The first consulting surgeon was Sir Henry Gauvain.
Heatherwood was used as the exterior of "Finisham Maternity Hospital" in Carry On Matron (1972).
The birth unit was closed in September 2011 due to staff shortages. The minor injuries unit is set to close in January 2014 and relocate to Bracknell.