~ Cefn Ila Maternity Hospital ~

Updated 23.4.17

Cefn Ila has a long and colourful history, it once belonged to one Edward Trelawney who was a close friend of Shelly and Byron. The house that most people knew as Cefn Ila Maternity Hospital was built on the site of an earlier Cefn Ila house by Joseph Lister in the 1860's, he also made various improvements to the estate, this work was carried out by architect Alfred Waterhouse (July19, 1830 – August 22, 1905). Joseph Lister died in 1885 in a riding accident and the house and estate was sold by Lister’s widow. By the turn of the 20th century the house belonged to Gerard Gustavus Ducarel, the 4th Marquis de la Pasture who had escaped with his family from France during the revolution. In 1925 Cefn Ila was annexed to Pontypool Hospital and opened as 'The Kate Ayres Gustard Convalescent Home', and as such it provided a convalescent home for 24 women and children. By 1939, due to the 2nd world war, it was used as a sick bay for children evacuated to the area from London and other cities. In 1947 Cefn Ila was brought back into service by Pontypool Hospital as a maternity home with accommodation for 18 patients, in 1948 it was taken over by the National Health Service, continuing as a Maternity Unit. Cefn Ila Maternity Hospital closed on 3rd September 1973 and it's patients transferred to the County Hospital in Griffithstown, near Pontypool.

During the early hours of Friday 14th September 1973, less than two weeks after it had closed, fire broke out at Cefn Ila. The time of outbreak and the remote location of the house ensured that the fire had a good hold before the arrival of the fire brigade, there was also restricted access for the fire engines a lack of water for fire fighting which made things worse. The fire consumed everything except the shell of the house. Today, all that remains of this once grand house is a pile of moss-covered bricks and stone. The coach house and stable block remained in relatively good condition until 2010 when they were demolished and replaced with a bat roost, the walled garden is still there to be seen.

A new chapter in Cefn Ila's long history started in 2007 when most of the estate was sold by auction to the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw). The Woodland Trust

If you need any more information about Cefn Ila or want to know where it was....or, on the other hand, if you have any photos of Cefn Ila, information or memories just get in touch, click here


Click the photos to enlarge.

June 1960 - In the photo (left to right) Violet Jeffries with daughters Molly, Joan and Marlene - Photo by Alan Henderson.

June 1960 - In the photo (left to right) Joan Miers and Molly Schuneman - Photo by Alan Henderson.

Scans of the complete 1925 book commemorating the opening of the 'The Kate Ayres Gustard Convalescent Home' (Cefn Ila) including some exciting interior photos!!!!

Fascinating report about the opening of Cefn Ila from the Friday, October 9th, 1925 edition of the Free Press of Monmouthshire.

The Cefn Ila Estate sale catalogue from 1897


The Cefn Ila Estate sale catalogue from 1918

'Monmouthshire sketchbook No. 227' by the distinguished local historian and artist Fred Hando
from the 24.5.57 issue of the South Wales Argus.

The terraced lawn steps photos

The coach house and stable block, April '09 photos

The demolition of the coach house and stable block photos

Cefn Ila 'Now and then' photos

Some history of the early years of Cefn Ila here from Bradney's A History of Monmouthshire.


From the 'Argus' 14.9.73


Me, March 1958 at Cefn Ila!

Great aerial photos of Cefn Ila taken in 1947 - the year Cefn Ila became a maternity hospital. The photo on the right clearly shows the walled garden neatly laid out with rows of fruit and veg! Click the photos.


Today (10.9.07) at Cefn Ila, all that remains of the once beautiful terraced lawns.

A map of the Cefn Ila estate, 1846 - click to expand.