Sisters Hospital
Folly Avenue, St Albans, Herts AL3 5PL
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1893 - 1950


The Sisters Hospital for Infectious Diseases opened in 1893 in Folly Mead, St Albans.  It was financed by Sir John Blundell Maple (1845-1903) at a cost of £5000.  His two daughters, Winifred and Dorothy, had died of scarlet fever in successive years and the Hospital was named after them.

Sir John and his wife presented the fully equipped hospital to the City of St Albans.  The City Council provided the administration and all patients received free treatment.

In 1911 a diphtheria block was added.

In 1938 the Hospital moved to a new building in Folly Avenue.  It had 45 beds.

On joining the NHS in 1948 the Hospital was absorbed by the adjacent St Albans City Hospital, coming under the control of the Mid-Herts Group Hospital Management Committee.  It was then renamed the St Albans City Hospital (Sisters Unit).

Like many other infectious disease hospitals, with the advent of antibiotics, it became superfluous.  It closed in 1950.

Present status (September 2008)

The Hospital buildings are now Harriet Heights and The Sisters Lodge in Goldsmith Way, a new road.

Harriet Heights  Harriet Heights

Harriet Heights
The former Hospital building is now Harriet Heights.

Sisters Lodge  Sisters Lodge

Sisters Lodge  Sisters Lodge
Various views of The Sisters Lodge beside Harriet Heights.

Sisters Lodge  Foundation stone
The front elevation of The Sisters Lodge bears the original foundation stone of the Hospital built in Folly Mead.

Goldsmith Way
Perhaps some  gate posts of the original entrance to the Hospital by the footpath at the end of Folly Avenue.

St Albans Hospital
The St Albans City Hospital looms over the former Sisters Hospital buildings.
Sir John Blundell Maple was the son of John Maple, who had a small furniture shop in Tottenham Court Road.  He took over management of the business and developed it into a highly successful firm which, by 1890, had a capital of £2m.

He became the Conservative MP for Dulwich in 1887 and was knighted in 1892, and made a baronet in 1897.  He was a generous public benefactor.  As well as the Sisters Hospital in St Albans, he also donated the land for a public park and sports ground close to his home, Childwickbury, to the north of St Albans (more recently the home of Stanley Kubrick).  He also paid for the rebuilding of University College Hospital in Gower Street, adjacent to his furniture store, Maples.

A keen race-goer, he owned a large stud of racehorses which from 1885 won many important races (racing at first under the ownership of 'Mr Childwick').  He died in 1903 at the age of 58 from Bright's disease (nephritis), two months after he was admitted to the Jockey Club.

His only surviving daughter married Baron Hermann von Eckardstein, first secretary of the German Embassy, in 1896.  In 1907 she brought an action for separation on the grounds of cruelty, mainly for making her pay his gambling debts, which amounted to $2m.
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