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Ransom Wood is located in the heart of Sherwood Forest. It is a site rich in history. Legend has it that Will Scarlet (one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men) is buried in a local church.
The Hospital Days – 1902 to 1987
At the turn of the twentieth century, the site was developed as a privately and NUM funded hospital, renowned for the fresh air (a common method for curing illness was to have patients sleep on the open verandas of the wards).
Doctors, nurses and sisters accommodation was provided on site and it was in every way a living, working community.
The woodland was mostly replaced with Victorian style planted parkland, including decorative gardens with ponds for patients to relax around. There were approximately 20 buildings on site, all of a significant size with solid foundations. The whole park was heated from a central coal boiler fed by an underground network of ducts of which at least half a mile still exists and are large enough to be walked through.
World War 1
With the arrival of World War 1, the nearby Clipstone camp used the huge area of neighbouring forestry to the east for military training and a massive network of trenches were dug over thousands of acres of woodland. The forestry has now taken much of these works back into nature.
Strawberry Knoll was known for the two heavy machine guns mounted on its summit known particularly well by the soldiers who had to crawl up that hill under live ammunition fire as a final part of their training. A local retired post-master tells of how his father used to make deliveries to our site in around 1913 and of how he recalled that you couldn’t see the trees for the troops that streamed through this site at the time and how he remembered two tanks parked up in the car park.
Almost the whole British army was de-mobbed at Clipstone and every one of those passed this site to get there.
Continued Hospital History
The site continued as a hospital through the century, serving the local community in many different ways and there are still people alive today who had operations there. The NHS eventually came onto site and the central administration building, Ransom Hall, become the area PCT. Eventually however, new treatment methods and centralisation meant that the site was no longer viable as a hospital and in 1990, the site was sold to Mansfield Sand Company, with the intention of quarrying the high quality sand beneath. Many of the buildings on site were dangerous and had to be cleared or demolished for public safety.
Recent History – 1999 to Present Day
It looked as though Ransom Wood’s story was about to come to an end. However Ransomwood Estates took on the site in 1999, leading to the site becoming what it is today.
Today, we are well on our way to not only re-building this working community, but taking it into the 21st century and beyond with an environmental and quality remit that is second to none.
Published: 24th May 2019
Life at Ransom Wood is about little stories that make the place a community – here we look at a few of our stories that make us more than just a business park.
Published: 24th May 2019
As part of our 20th anniversary we are writing a history series on all our properties. In this latest article we look at Ransom Hall from 1902 to the late 80s.