St Ann’s Hospital Memorial Bell at North Tees Hospital

This bell is on display near the west wing entrance close to the cafe of the North Tees Hospital. I’d walked past the bell many times without reading the plaque only to find that when I did read it it has quite a lot of history attached to it. That area of Portrack Lane is often featured on Picture Stockton, particularly St James School in Union Street East which must have stood very close to the hospital and St James Church. All now sadly gone but nice to see that this bell ‘rings out’ to a well loved and remembered part of the town.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

7 thoughts on “St Ann’s Hospital Memorial Bell at North Tees Hospital

  1. Anyone know the name of the foundry where this bell was cast please? St Ann’s was originally a workhouse and later became a ‘geriatric’ or care home. My late granddad Sidney Johnson died there in about 1968. My late mother was terrified of ‘old people’s homes’ but I think she assumed time hadn’t moved on and that they still had 10 beds to a ward. Any photos appreciated.


    • Hello

      This is a link to a Victorian photo of the Stockton Workhouse in Portrack.
      There are other photos in the same folder that may be of interest.

      This is a posed shot with what looks to be staff members in the garden.!Ajpj0BgkXQUQgzw9CkphA4CobzcQ?e=mTXhs3

      This can be downloaded by anybody who is interested, if you wish I can email you directly if you want to contact me here:

      This building features in my family history, in 1934 my Great Grandfather, Joseph Handley, went missing from his home in Port Clarence, he was found the next day wandering about in Stockton, he couldn’t remember who he was, he was taken to the workhouse and later died there.


        • Hello

          You are quite right, I did intend adding a waiver to the image as I don’t have any evidence that the image is as named, the lad who sent it to me is always very reliable and does research any images he sends.

          I too have seen this image on a number of occasions in various places and they all claim it to be of the Stockton Workhouse, of course once it has been named it is accepted as being right.

          I too thought the smaller building was a chapel of some sort, not unusual in such places, I once took a friend of mine to visit a family member in the Winterton Hospital in Sedgefield and there was a full blown church on the site.

          If I had been sure of its provenance I would have posted it on the PSA site, I would think it almost impossible to prove it to be the Workhouse.

          I worked in the Portrack area in the 1960s and remember seeing the building but I can’t recall what it looked like.

          It would be great if somebody could add any further information as to what the building is.

          I have a couple of friends who worked in Browns Foundry in the 1960s I will ask them if they can remember the building, they must have seen it many times.


  2. With the introduction of the Poor Law Union Act of 1834 the Stockton Workhouse which had stood on the corner of Bishop Street and Knowles Street (formerly Workhouse Street) since 1730 was replaced by a much larger building occupying nine acres of land in Portrack between St.James’s School on Union Street East and Barrett Street, this Stockton Union Workhouse was opened in April 1851, in 1930 it was renamed the Stockton Public Assistance Institution, in 1948 renamed the Portrack Geriatric Hospital and in 1962 St.Anne’s Hospital, the building was demolished in the 1970’s. St.James’s Church stood on the corner of Portrack Lane and Hanlon Street opposite the workhouse.


  3. Warner and Sons also operated the brass foundry in Norton which made the original bell for Big Ben in 1856. I wonder if the bell for Portrack Hospital was made at Warners works in London or locally at Norton?


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