Before the First World War
Coed Bel had been built in 1865 for Welshman, William Mostyn and his wife. A substantial house with large grounds, specimen trees and a tennis court, standing proud above Lubbock Road, it lent itself superbly to institutional use. It had been a school since 1877.
During the First World War
The slighter cases from the church hall were sent over the road to the sanatorium of Coed Bel private girl’s school. The facility was lent by the headmistress Miss Fox. There were only 8 beds but the little house cared for the wounded until March 1919.
Mrs Gibson acted as a trained nurse during the day and Miss Gibson by night.
During the Second World War
The house became a prisoner of war camp during the Second World War and then under the ownership of the Ministry of Defence it was run as a hostel for apprentices from Woolwich Arsenal.
The site today
The house no longer exists having become derelict and several detached houses now stand on the site. The little sanatorium is still standing however, known now as Willow Lodge. It was quite clearly the coach house of the original big house with its upstairs accommodation above a large ‘garage’ space. When the current owners were remodelling the house they even found a small clay pipe and a horseshoe amongst the sand at ground level.