In 1836, plans for a new single workhouse in Sudbury were instigated with the purchase of the former Sudbury parish workhouse and its grounds. The contract included 'two cottages near adjoining one of which was used as a nursery for the Small Pox and was also called the Pest House and the other was made and converted into a stable.' In addition, an adjoining one and a half acres of land called Workhouse Piece was acquired.
A variety of problems delayed progress on the construction work. On 5th October 1836, the architect found faults in some of the brickwork including arches at the centre of the building which had to be rebuilt. The clerk of the works was dismissed for being incompetent, but his successor turned out to be illiterate. In November 1836, a fire destroyed workmen's tools resulting in a £339 insurance claim.
By March of 1837, the Master and Matron had been appointed, together with a schoolmaster and schoolmistress. In June 1837, the workhouse received its first inmates. In December 1838, there was an outbreak of smallpox in the workhouse and admissions were suspended. The following year, sick wards were provided by alterations to the buildings in the entrance courtyard.
The workhouse comprised a single range running north-south with a number of cross-ranges at each side.
A separate hospital block was erected at the north-west in 1875-6 at a cost of £650.
In the 1920s, a new receiving block was built at the east of the workhouse.
By the 1920s, the workhouse was known as Walnuttree House, then after 1930 as Walnut Tree Hospital.
2014 saw the closure of the hospital after 90 years of service. The past 2 years have seen an interest in buyers and contractors to convert the buildings into flats. A local historian wants the hospital demolished so the land underneath can be subject to an archaeological dig.
Having first looked at Walnuttree in early 2015 after a tip off from a girl I know in the village and having spoken to various others on the subject of the place. I visited in early 2015 and failed to get in, I have revisited the site a number of times and eventually in June while out with @slayaaaa we cracked it. Well his stupid ability to have no fear did lol.
Once we got inside, it was pretty nice still and still smelt like a hospital
A lot of the original fixtures and fittings are still in place as you can see in the pictures
Various alarms etc kept going off inside but we ignored them and carried on regardless
Enjoy the pics