City Hospital Chapel


The chapel was built as part of the Bagthorpe Workhouse site. Following the demolition of the Nottingham Union workhouse in the 1890s to make way for the Victoria Station (since closed and demolished), a new workhouse was built at Bagthorpe to designs by Arthur Marshall (1899-1903).

The Workhouse Infirmary became the nucleus of the City Hospital. The Medical Superintendent of Bagthorpe Workhouse until 1929 was Dr H G Ashwell. To commemorate his 42 years of service a plaque was put up on the wall of the main corridor of the City Hospital, where is can still be seen. It is about half way along, on the north side.

The chapel was probably completed in September 1902, but baptisms between 1898 and September 1902 are recorded in the parish register of St Augustine’s, New Basford. The hospital itself lies within the parish of St Aidan’s. The new church was a private chapel for the use of the Workhouse inmates and staff. It was not consecrated.

The chapel continued in use for much of the twentieth century. In 1975 a new floor was laid, new central heating was installed, and some new windows and extra lighting added. There used to be a painting on the west wall by L Pompignali of Florence, who copied a 16th century tryptich of the crucifixion by Pietro Perugino.

With the approval of Church and Hospital authorities it was decided to dedicate the building in honour of St Luke the Evangelist and patron saint of physicians. The Hospital Church of St Luke was re-dedicated at a service on 25th May 1978 by the Archdeacon of Nottingham. By this time the church consisted of the following:-

A nave with space for seating and wheelchairs
A Roman Catholic Chapel in the north transept
A Morning Chapel to seat twelve
A Chapel of Unity with Holy Table
A font area using the old choir stalls at baptisms.

Until the mid-1980s the Hospital Church was opened daily for private use by patients, staff and visitors. The various services included Anglican and Ecumenical Holy Communion, Roman Catholic Mass, Ministry of Healing with the laying-on of hands, and Prayer Groups.

It was decided to close St Luke’s in 1988, when the present chapel on the main corridor of the City Hospital was opened. One of the drawbacks of the old church was having to cross an open space to get to it. There was a closing service but it did not have to be de-consecrated.

Since its closure as a chapel the building has been used by the hospital as a store. It still stands today (in 2009) but is starting to look dilapidated.