The treatment and isolation of contagious diseases were serious problems in the 19th century and more so in ports which were often full of mariners returning from exotic and tropical locations. In the 1860s Southampton’s Contagious Diseases Hospital was located in two houses in the populous Newtown district, hardly a suitable area for quarantining people with infectious diseases. In 1873 the council purchased two houses on West Quay and converted them into a new Isolation Hospital, or Fever Hospital, by the following year. This location was preferable to the Newtown site, but still not ideal. The 1892 Annual Report of the Medical Officer listed its disadvantages, it being close to the courts and alleys of the old town and situated adjacent to the busy West Quay Road. In 1893 an ex-passenger ship, the City of Adelaide, was purchased, converted into a fever hospital and moored off Millbrook Point. In 1900 a new Isolation Hospital was built on Mousehole Lane (now Oakley Road) in Shirley. The City of Adelaide continued as a smallpox hospital until 1924 when it was replaced by a new facility on Millbrook Marsh. The Isolation Hospital later became the Chest Hospital and was eventually demolished to make way for a Tesco supermarket. A small part of the hospital survived becoming Western Community Hospital.

Isolation Hospital, West Quay

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A section of the 1897 OS map showing the Fever Hospital at West Quay/

City of Adelaide Hospital Ship

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Photograph, 1893

see also

Further reading:
Public Life in Southampton, Volume 1, by James Lemon, p52-53. (HS/l)
Public Life in Southampton, Volume 2, by James Lemon, p195-198. (HS/l)
Millbrook: The Hidden Past, by Rosaleen Wilkinson, p77. (HS/h)
Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health, Southampton, 1892.
City of Adelaide Hospital Ship, by Veronica Green, Southampton Occasional Papers 7, 2013. (HS/pd)


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