Warwick House Open Evening - Tuesday 31st October 2017 - 5.00pm - 8.00pm Register Interest

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Warwick House is situated in the historic market town of Southam in Warwickshire. Southam has a rich history and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It played a significant part in the English Civil War, as the town had previously minted its own currency, which Charles I used to make coins to pay his troops.

Warwick House was originally built by Dr Henry Lilley-Smith (1787–1859), who was born in Southam, and who created the first self-supporting dispensary on the site which specialised in the treatment of eyes and ears, as local folklore maintained that the natural spring water, found at the nearby Holywell, was instrumental in the curing of eye ailments.

The hospital, which was built on land owned by Dr. Smith, contained approximately 14 beds and was supported by voluntary donations. The hospital treated over 12,000 patients during its first forty years, two thirds of whom were cured.

The Infirmary, which passed into the hands of trustees when Dr. Smith died, continued for a few years but fell into financial difficulties and was forced to close in December 1872. Attempts were made to reinstate the hospital but financial constraints meant that none were successful.

In September 1889, a stone monument was presented to the Trustees to be placed at the site of the original Dispensary cottage with inscriptions detailing some of the charitable work Dr. Smith encouraged, including Allotments for Boys, the Maypole Holiday and the Dispensary itself.

There are few records of the use to which the building was then put, but we have sketchy details that regular dances were held during the 1930s and that it was used as a community centre for local residents.

It was finally turned into a guest house (Eastleigh Guest House) and then transformed into the Stoneythorpe Hotel in 1965 and remained so until 2010 when The Tabor Group purchased the property in January of that year. The grand opening of Warwick House took place on the 27th November 2010 and the first wedding was held the following week on the 4th December 2010.


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