Conquest 21 : Hospital courtyard renovations


(Click the arrows on the pictures to scroll left and right)

Conquest 21 is a project to restore and reinvigorate the 21 Courtyards of Conquest Hospital. The hospital was originally designed around 21 courtyards as it is believed that open spaces, nature and fresh air help with patient recovery and improve the morale and energy of the medical staff working there. The design of Conquest Hospital was enlightened for its time and proved very popular. Sadly, over the decades, due to funding constraints the gardens were slowly left unattended and gradually fell into disuse. Many are now completely closed.

The project was started by the Kowitz Family Foundation of Fairlight Hall who have restored the first garden and started on a second. We’ve also attracted a number of local professional garden designers who have offered complimentary designs. The Friends are providing the labour and we have assembled a team of volunteer gardening enthusiasts to help with the building and maintenance of each courtyard who will work under the supervision of the Trust’s Gardening Team.

We do need funding, for gardening tools for the volunteers, for plants and materials and for some of the bigger courtyards building materials. If you would like to support us you can donate in general to the project or select a specific garden or part of a garden. We will do our best to accommodate “in memoriam” gifts too. Organisations may wish to take on or adopt a complete garden and we can discuss sponsorship and naming rights possibilities.

Enquire about Conquest 21



An estimate which may change as the work unfolds

We have now completed a number of the courtyards including The Pineapple Garden, the Special Care Baby Unit and the Murray Ward Courtyard. Work is in progress for the Richard Ticehurst Surgical Unit Courtyard and for the McCartney Endoscopy Courtyard. We have two amazing designs, one for MacDonald Ward, which will be a secluded garden for elderly and frail patients, and one for Benson Ward which includes beautiful secluded seating around a pond setting. We also have designs in progress for the Theatres Courtyard and for the Egerton Discharge Lounge. We are actively fundraising for these four courtyards.

We have a number of designers working on other courtyards and our plan is to show the designs here and keep you updated. So please do come back and visit this page to see how we are getting on.

Featured Garden

MacDonald Ward Courtyard

 We aim to restore the courtyard to its original purpose which was to provide a tranquil and beautiful space for patients and visitors to enjoy. Being able to sit outside in the fresh air will be of great benefit to patients physical and mental wellbeing as well as providing a lovely setting for family and friends who visit. Many patients on MacDonald Ward are frail and elderly, and some are cognitively impaired so the courtyard will be sympathetically designed to met their needs as best we can.

We are delighted that Elaine Wigg, a professional garden designer, and member of the Royal Horticultural Society has offered to design the garden. We can also count on volunteers to help us with planting and maintenance.

The new design includes a network of paths for strolling two abreast with safe surfaces and to be wheelchair friendly. Handrails will be added where needed.

The garden will include a step, in a safe space, as many patients have an external step to access their property and this can be hard for staff to mimic in the wards in order to assess their patients safety once they leave hospital. A range of seating for patients and visitors, plus somewhere staff can take their break in the fresh air. Raised beds to allow patients to see and smell plants and be able to touch them.

Our Partners