Seaside convalescence was popular in Victorian times. Salisbury General Infirmary, for a time, rented accommodation in the Dorset seaside town of Charmouth for the benefit of patients to take in the sea air. In 1858 the home opened with 47 patients admitted during the first year and 60 in the second.
In a bundle of documents from our archives, we see that in 1859 ‘a bathing-machine has been purchased for the use of the patients…’ costing £9 11s 7d and owing to the distance from the beach a donkey and chaise was acquired so even the most infirm could visit twice daily.
The Charmouth Home was finally given up in 1868 when a more permanent home was set up at the Herbert Convalescence Home in Bournemouth.