Belfast Union Sanitorium

Most of you will have realised this is McCaughey House at Whiteabbey Hospital.

Following Charles Lanyon’s death in 1889 his house and its extensive grounds were sold at auction in Belfast. The house lay derelict until 1897 when it was purchased by the Granville Hotel Company, who intended to convert the house into a private tuberculosis treatment centre.

It was soon realised that Belfast needed a dedicated hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis, and in 1904 The Abbey was purchased by Belfast Union to function as a sanitorium. Plans were drawn up to build 4 pavilions and a two-storey hospital block to accommodate 265 patients. It opened in 1907 as an auxiliary workhouse for the treatment of tuberculosis; the 1907 annual report for ‘The Abbey Sanitorium for pulmonary tuberculosis’ stated that 311 patients were treated at the hospital, and 31 of those patients had died over the course of the year.

The hospital block still exists but only two of the pavilions remain.

You probably also already know that it this building which was set up as our Nightingale Hospital.

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