Whanganui Hospital will offer a free tour as part of Whanganui Heritage Month, marking its long history, with a lineage stretching back 175 years.

Heritage Month, the celebration of European and Māori-built heritage, will mark the 100-year anniversaries of the Sarjeant Gallery and Durie Hill elevator.

However, hospital services pre-date them both and Whanganui Hospital will host an event on Saturday, August 10.

On that date, the public will be able to follow the story of the hospital through a tour of the main corridors.

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The free tour will be on offer between 10am and 2pm and will feature a series of historic photos as well as volunteer guides on site to assist.

Whanganui Hospital is offering free tours between 10am and 2pm on August 10 so that the public can find out more about its history during Whanganui Heritage Month. Photo / Stuart Munro
Whanganui Hospital is offering free tours between 10am and 2pm on August 10 so that the public can find out more about its history during Whanganui Heritage Month. Photo / Stuart Munro

Rev Richard Taylor set up the first hospital at Putiki in 1844 and Dr George Rees was appointed as its Native Medical Officer that year.

This was followed by military hospitals at the Rutland Stockade, built in 1847 and in Ridgway Street in 1849.

They were followed by the Colonial Hospital built in St George's Gate by the river, which opened with 26 beds.

The present Whanganui Hospital site, covering 33 acres, was bought for 800 pounds and was opened by Prime Minister Richard Seddon on March 12, 1897.

It comprised three wards, 68 beds and a two-storeyed administration block.

More than 120 years since it opened, Whanganui Hospital has continued to expand and develop to encompass a vast array of services.

The inaugural Whanganui Heritage Month will run from August 2 until September 15.

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