Fonds NNH - Records of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

Identity area

Reference code



Records of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital


  • 1770-1971 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

740 pieces

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

At St Stephens Road, Norwich. The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital was founded in 1771 by William Fellowes of Shotesham Park.
In 1758, Benjamin Gooch, apothecary surgeon of great ability and near neighbour and friend of Fellowes, was asked by Thomas Hayter, Bishop of Norwich, to visit all the great hospitals in London, concerning erecting a general hospital for the County of Norfolk and the City of Norwich jointly. After Bishop Hayter's death in 1762 Fellowes eventually stepped in to 'revive and vigorously prosecute the plan'.
The hospital became a training centre for nurses in 1875.
In 1925 the Norfolk and Norwich Eye Infirmary was amalgamated with the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and in 1930 a new building was opened for eye, ear, nose and throat patients.
In late 2001 most services left the N&N with the last departments leaving in January 2003 for the new university hospital at Colney.
Arthur J. Cleveland in 'A History of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital from 1900 to the end of 1946' (Norwich, 1948) includes an interesting chapter (chapter IX) on 'The Nursing Staff'. Dr Cleveland states : In 1900 the staff consisted of a lady superintendent (known after 1906 as the Matron), a superintendent of night nurses whose salary was £40 a year, seven ward sisters, and thirty-eight nurses trained and in training. In addition there was a housekeeper, cook, and twenty maids. After 1906 the housekeeper had to be a trained nurse. There was also a private nursing staff of twenty to thirty, who were in considerable demand for attending patients in their homes. From 1904 trainee nurses were required to undertake three years of training and a fourth year on the private staff. The nurses were accommodated in the Leicester Home (opened in 1903 by the Countess of Leicester) and, as their numbers rose, in Windsor House, 3 Newmarket Road (purchased in 1923 to house 24 night nurses) and in hutments in its garden. In 1932 the situation was much improved when H.M. the Queen opened Queen Alexandra House, which had accommodation for 103 nurses. In 1922 a Sister Tutor was appointed and in 1924 the Government examinations were held by the General Nursing Council, Norwich being one of the selected centres. This standardisation of the requirements for qualification was a much-needed reform. Hitherto each hospital had held its own examinations and awarded its own certificates. In 1929 the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital took over responsibility for the nursing at the Jenny Lind Hospital. In 1933 the Preliminary Training School was established which gave 12 applicants the opportunity to attend a three-month course to see if they were suited to nursing. Shortly after the inception of the National Health Service, the United Norwich Hospitals (Norfolk and Norwich, West Norwich, Jenny Lind and Isolation Hospitals) School of Nursing was established in 1949. The registers listed below relate to nurses who received their training at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and (from 1929) at the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital. The later volumes appear to include nurses trained at the United Norwich Hospitals School of Nursing. The first eight nurses' registers (NNH 114/1-8) give the following details for each nurse: name, address, age when began training, dates of joining and leaving the hospital, wards served on, notes on character and progress and sometimes on later career. Some volumes include photographs of individual nurses in their uniforms. The registers are arranged alphabetically by the first letter of surname and chronologically with each letter, with some extra entries at the back. They include letters from nurses later in their career requesting proof of their training and experience.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 4 December 2009 (ACC 2009/272 numbered NNH 14/13, NNH 15/20, NNH 60/5, NNH 64/16-18, NNH 65/34-37, NNH 117/1). List amended December 2009 (JW).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes records from the Jenny Lind Infirmary/Hospital and the Norfolk and Norwich Eye Infirmary.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The following items are still retained in the Sir Thomas Browne Library of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital: A Record of the Stone Patients in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, 1772-1818, made and presented to the Governors 6 March 1819 by Revd C.J. Chapman and intended to be continued; Analysis of Calculi, 1772-1871; Catalogue of Calculi, 1909; Pharmacopoeia in usum Nosoeomii Norfolco Norvicensis, 1852 (2 vols); Volume of Medical Portraits Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Bicentenary, 1971 (volume containing newscuttings, photographs, invitations etc.).

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Rules and/or conventions used




Accession area