Portswood Road

Green Point, Cape Town, SA

+27 21 402 6911

Status: Operational Hospital


Please Share Your Experiences
Name Your Experiences Submit

Somerset Hospital Cape Town.jpg

By <a href="//" title="User:Rodw">Rodw</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, Public Domain, Link


This hospital is the oldest in South Africa.

Built between 1859 and 1864 this hospital was opened to replace another hospital with the same name on Chiapinni Street that had been founded in 1818.

The hospital was originally given it’s name from Lord Charles Somerset the Governor of the Cape Colony (as it was known then) who donated the land on which the first hospital was built on.

All the medical staff for the new hospital were brought over from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing in London. In 1877 Sister Helen Bowden – a fully qualified nurse - was brought from England so the hospital could open it’s own nursing school.

It was the first hospital in what is now South Africa to train nurses who were not white. Unfortunately, in those times this was nothing short of a miracle.

From 1918 until 1937 this hospital was the main partner hospital with the University of Cape Town

Throughout out the 20th century until the end of apartheid in 1994 – finally putting an end to the segregated N and W wings – the hospital continued to grow.

In 2005 with the high incidence of AIDS in the area the hospital became the first antiretroviral distribution centre in South Africa.

Since 2010 the hospital has become a multi-use area with BBC Studios on the top floor for covering the 2010 World Cup, offices, restaurants and a museum of South African medicine.


Paranormal Activity

Stories of full bodied apparitions abound in this hospital. A blonde girl is seen in one of the washrooms forever brushing her hair. A nurse who’s eyes are pure white is known for suddenly appearing and helping patients who need it most before disappearing just as abruptly.

The ghost of Sister Henrietta Stockdale – who was instrumental in the passing of the Medical and Pharmacy Act in South Africa in 1891 – is often still seen in the hospital where she once practiced as a nurse.

Other Reported Activity: apparitions of former patients wandering the halls at night; shadow figures; disembodied voices and other unexplained sounds; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.