Fort Napier Hospital

Specialist Hospital/Clinic | PIETERMARITZBURG , South Africa

Hospital description

Fort Napier Dates was built in 1843 and acted as the British military headquarters in Natal. The Imperial Garrison at Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg, was the base for the British army in Natal between 1843 and 1914. It recieved its name by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Napier. It played a crucial role in changing Pietermaritzburg ‘from a Voortrekker dorp to a firmly Anglophile Victorian colonial capital.’

During the First World War, Fort Napier served as an internment camp for German Prisoners of War and civilians from colonies in Africa. After the war, the premises were unoccupied for some time. In 1927, the dilapidated buildings were turned into a mental hospital, while a large portion of the grounds became a site for housing for white railway workers.

Fort Napier mental hospital came to house only African inmates/patients (later, males of all races), and the premises remain to this day controversial and certainly inadequate for the proper care of psychiatric patients. During the Second World War, Pietermaritzburg had three military camps, including one for Italian prisoners of war.

Strangely artillery pieces are mounted in the grounds. Due to security issuesand concerns for the privacy of the patients, Fort Napier is not generally open to the public.


Hospital type Specialist Hospital/Clinic
Local language English
Funding Status Unknown


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