Hospital building fails to make grade

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BUCKINGHAM’S community hospital, which Florence Nightingale used as a base for training nurses, is not set to become a listed building.

Buckingham Town Council asked English Heritage to consider adding the hospital, built in 1886, to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

After consideration, the heritage group has concluded it is not worthy of listing but recognised the building’s local interest.

Its report said: “While the exterior is crafted to a high standard and is for the most part intact the interior is of lesser interest.”

Buckingham Hospital was designed as a nursing home by John Oldrid Scott, the son of Sir George Gilbert Scott, under the patronage of J. G. Hubbard, later Lord Addington and formerly MP for Buckingham. He had it built as a thanksgiving for the recovery of his son, who had been injured in a riding accident.

Florence Nightingale used it as a base for training rural nurses, the predecessors of district nurses.

Deputy chairman of Buckingham Town Council’s planning committee, Paul Hirons, said: “I think it’s probably fair. On the one hand, it’s quite a good-looking building but inside it’s been changed and knocked about a lot. The NHS hasn’t got a wonderful aesthetic sense for interior decoration.

“Overall, what we want is to make sure we have a hospital and I’m not sure listing it would have a great effect either way.”