Built Heritage: Garrison Hospital
BUILT HERITAGE: June 2022 By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust
This post is part of a series of architectural articles by the Bermuda National Trust that highlight some of Bermuda’s endangered historic buildings.
Located to the east of what once was the Royal Barracks with views of the sea on one side and the parade ground on the other is the old Garrison Hospital. It was built away from the barracks to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to benefit from the ocean breezes then thought to be essential to the recovery of invalids. The Garrison Hospital was the largest and the last of the four military hospitals in St George’s and was built around 1819 on nine acres purchased from the Honourable Joseph Hutchison. A Member of Council and the health officer for the port of St George’s, Hutchison sold the War Department another ten-acre tract in 1830 before he returned to England.
The new hospital was intended to cope with the yellow fever epidemic which was proving particularly devastating to garrison personnel. It is interesting to compare the sentiment of some then to some in our current Covid situation today. When the Bermuda Gazette of 23 October 1819 reported that the number of deaths had exceeded 250, it was accused of an “invidious attempt to exaggerate the destructive effects of fever … and having no scruples of injuring the mercantile interests of St George’s”.
Click here to read the full Built Heritage article on Garrison Hospital