TQ0966 : Clock Tower at Mount Felix


Mount Felix, a large mansion overlooking the Thames near Walton Bridge, was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century by Sir Charles Barry for the 5th Earl of Tankerville. However it was taken over by the New Zealand War Contingent Association in 1915 and converted to a hospital for New Zealand war victims. It was called New Zealand General Hospital No. 2 (No. 1 was at Brockenhurst in the New Forest). At its peak it had over 1,000 beds and continued till after the end of the war until late June 1919.
During their time at Walton the New Zealand soldiers had many fond memories of the town. One New Zealand medical officer wrote:
“The grounds at Walton (which ran down to the Thames) were delightful with beautiful walks, flower beds and green fields. The garden was well kept, and the fine old English cedars and other trees lent a peculiar charm to the surroundings”.
Over 27,000 New Zealanders were cared for here during the Great War. The people of Walton took the young soldiers into their homes and their hearts, and in 1921 a plaque was erected to remember them. In 1966 Mount Felix was badly damaged by a fire and had to be demolished.
All that now remains of Mount Felix is this Clock Tower on Bridge Close which has been converted to office use and the gate pillars on Bridge Street at the junction of Hepworth Way.