THE building may have faced the bulldozers but the rich history of Haydock's Old Cottage Hospital will live on in public displays.

The hospital was built in 1886 as land was donated by Lord Newton along with an area to be used for the recreation of patients.

Official records state that Florence Nightingale requested copies of the hospital plan and in a letter dated June 10, 1885, made observations on every detail and suggested improvements for the hospital, which got her overall approval.

Meanwhile, the colliers of Haydock raised the princely sum of £290 by a halfpenny a week from their wages and, in consideration the committee decided that the miners of Haydock, Parr and Pewfall could be treated free of charge and given free treatment for accidents.

Following several local colliery closures - coupled with new safety measures imposed on owners by the Coal Mines Act which meant less accidents – the hospital was eventually opened up to all residents from Haydock and surrounding areas in 1930, until its eventual closure in 1975.

The building was bulldozed in 2016 and the Star reported earlier this year when plans to build five houses at the Clipsley Lane site submitted by landowner Issam Jabrow were given the nod.

However, the hospital's history will be commemorated in displays including a time capsule containing annual reports which were put into a glass bottle on its opening day.

Haydock ward councillor Martin Bond has secured pieces of the hospital's history including a 130-year-old foundation stone, entrance arch and the time capsule.

Cllr Bond held successful discussions with Mr Jabrow to claim possession of the entrance arch, the foundation stone which was laid by coal mine owner Mrs Josiah Evans and the time capsule containing two annual reports of the hospital and copies of the Wigan Observer and Earlestown newspapers, which were put into a glass bottle on the opening day of the Cottage Hospital on August 7, 1886.

Cllr Bond said: “I am absolutely delighted that through the generosity of Mr Jabrow, we can ensure that the memory, history and heritage of the Cottage Hospital can be preserved in Haydock.

“I come from a mining family and am profoundly conscious of what we owe to our forebears, who put life and limb at risk every day of their working lives.

“Not only did the mining industry power the Industrial Revolution that founded the wealth of the whole of the UK - it kept the home fires and foundries burning during two world wars.

“Now that the pit heads have gone, the time capsule and decorative masonry from the Cottage Hospital will take pride of place in Haydock, so that future generations can learn the story of how and why the hospital came into being."

It is planned to display the time capsule at Haydock Library – while the foundation stone and entrance arch will be sited in a different location in the Haydock area later this year.