Stockwood House a hospital for children with hip disease

Alexandra Hospital, Luton, Christmas 1948.
Alexandra Hospital, Luton, Christmas 1948.

Stockwood House in Stockwood Park, Luton, was completed in 1740 at a cost of £60,000 and was the home of the Crawley family until soon after the outbreak of the Second World War.

In1940 the building was converted into a hospital catering for children suffering with hip diseases.

The young patients were transferred by converted single deck buses from the Alexandra Hospital at Swanley in Kent. It was considered to be too dangerous in that area because it was on the edge of the balloon barrage.

Initially there were no X-ray facilities at Stockwood, but these were added later and housed in the stable block. Before that, patients were taken by private car to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, which had opened in 1939.

The house was then named Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease.

The first Alexandra Hospital opened in Bloomsbury, London, in 1867 and was founded by a group of women, two of whom were nurses at the nearby Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Luton Council paid £100,000 for Stockwood House and estate in 1945 and leased the house to the hospital, with the grounds becoming a public park.

It was later proposed that the hospital make a further move to Nyn Park in Hertfordshire, but these suggestions came to nothing and in 1958 the Ministry of Health closed the Alexandra Hospital.

The house, in a poor state, was pulled down in 1964.

The stable block and walled gardens were opened in 1986 as Stockwood Craft Museum and today they form part of Stockwood Discovery Centre.