The house is a Lakeland villa in the Georgian style, built in 1790 by Bishop Richard Watson and listed in 1984.
Bishop Watson was an eminent man in his day and Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey were all visitors. The Watson family kept the house and estate until it was bought by Oswald Hedley in the early 1900s.
The Hedleys converted Calgarth into a hospital during WWI and then a children’s orthopaedic hospital in 1920.
Calgarth was known for its pioneering treatment of conditions such as TB and polio and there was always a waiting list until the 1960s when demand dropped and the hospital was closed.
Calgarth was empty for a couple of years and then got a new lease of life when it was converted into retirement flats. The LDHA was set up on a charitable, not-for-profit basis.
Since 1974, the house has undergone a continual programme of maintenance and the flats have been remodelled and updated. The house is in good hands with stable, experienced management continually working to ensure Calgarth meets the needs of the 21st century.