Some of the most frequently visited (and googled) posts on this blog have featured the elegantly stylised design work of the English architect and talented all round designer C.F.A Voysey - without a doubt there are many fans of Voysey's Arts and Crafts designs to be found around the world.
A few months ago I received a lovely comment on my blog from Daniella, the Project Manager of the Winsford Trust in the UK. The distinctive C.F.A Voysey design of the Grade II listed Winsford Cottage Hospital was commissioned in 1899 by Maria Webb-Medley in memory of her husband George for the community of Halwill, a small village located in North Devon, England.
Voysey's sublime Arts and Crafts design for the Winsford Cottage Hospital took into account its rural location. The hospital is a single storey building with a deep slate roof and projecting wings with a sheltered veranda between them.
Although the exterior displays some of Voysey's most recognisable features, the rather austere interior of the hospital was conceived to combine both the sanitary and practical considerations of the requirements of patients and nursing staff alike. The hall, corridor and veranda were paved with a yellow mosaic tile, contrasting with green painted doors. The kitchen floor was constructed from massive slabs of slate, and the floors were built on one level so that both beds and wheel chairs could be moved with comparative ease.
The Bluebird Wallpaper, designed by Voysey c.1900
Voysey's signature design aesthetic was apparent throughout the interior - his characteristic attention to detail was applied to the ventilation grills, wallpaper, ironwork door hinges and latches, and mantelpieces.
Voysey's birds decorate this ventilation grill
Voysey applied his signature heart motif to the ironwork door furnishings
The Winsford Cottage Hospital served the local community for a hundred years before being deemed redundant to the needs of the NHS in 1999. The Winsford Trust secured ownership for the benefit of the local community shortly after, and now aims to restore the Voysey designed building back to its former glory. The Winsford Trust hopes to make this building a national (and in my case, international) focus for the Arts and Crafts movement. I would love to visit the finished result one day, as some of my ancestors farmed in the district. It's a small world!