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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 79    1964  page 10

The Chetney Hill Lazaret

By P. Froggatt, M.A., M.D., D.P.H.

   How close the lazaret approached Russell's and Howard's specifications is not known since seemingly no plans, prints, or pictures, have survived. The trades represented on Wyatt's accounts include 'finishing trades'; thus part at least of the lazaret was completed (see Appendix). Also, maps suggest its size and shape. The 1-inch Ordnance Map of 1819-20 shows three buildings, one substantial in the centre of the island and two smaller ones in the north-west, consistent with Russell's proposals. The 6-inch map of 1864-5 shows none of these; but there are now two buildings in the south-east, one about 75 ft. by 20 ft., and the other about 20 ft. square. The 6-inch maps of 1896 and 1906 show only the larger of these which by then had lost a projecting block. These may well have been farm buildings.72 The 1947 Aerial Survey Map shows foundation footings of a considerable rectangular building running north-west to south-east (Plate II). Regular compartments seem to be set off from a central corridor, again consistent with Russell's proposals. The composition of additional storeys is not known, but the Marseilles lazaret, the presumed model, was multi-storeyed, as were the other European lazarets. Some fragments of walls are still standing and are locally believed to be the remains of a former 'college' (Plate III). The architectural style is unknown.

   Work started in 1801. The first payment, 20,000, was made on 10th November, and by 12th April, 1806, 95,000 had been paid,73 30,000 above the original provision. Parliament noted the extra in April, 1804.74 A Treasury scrutineer, George Saunders, subsequently debited Wyatt's account 1,258 13s. 6d. (see Appendix). On 3rd May, 1810, an additional 21,000 was appropriated from the Consolidated Fund.75 This time the accounts were approved.76 Subsequently a further 55,000 was advanced by the Customs.77 Incredibly, after 10 years of work and nearly 200,000 expense, the lazaret was not completed; but there is some doubt as to what extent even its incomplete buildings were ever actually used for quarantine purposes. Baker says that it was used 'for some years',78 and certainly salaries and disbursements of the lazaret attendants were paid from 1807 to 1820 (although they dropped sharply after 1817), and 'contingent expenses' from 1806 to 1818.79 The
72 The 1842 Tithe and Apportionment is blank. The occupier is William Crayden, Esq.; the usage is pasturage.
   73 P.R.O., A.O. 1/2499/434.
   74 J.H.C., lix, 233; 44 Geo. in, c. 110 (1804).
   75 J.H.C., lxv, 681.
   76 P.R.O., A.O. 1/2601/448.
   77 Select Committee (1824), op. cit., Preamble.
   78 S. Baker, The Laws Relating to Quarantine, London, Kegan Paul (1879).
   79 Accounts and Papers, 1821 (656) xxi, 337.

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