The History of BMI The Priory Hospital

The history of The Priory Hospital is incredibly rich and has evolved so much since its humble beginnings as a home and a school. Find out more about the history of BMI The Priory Hospital.



John JaffraySir John Jaffray

Born in Stirling and educated at Glasgow Hospital, John Jaffray lived in Park Grove.

He had an eclectic career; when he was 26 years old, an advertisement brought him to Birmingham and with £20 as his sole worldly possessions he entered heart and soul into working at the Birmingham Journal. Mr Jaffray's resolute independence, energy and rare business capacity contributed more than anything else to the ultimate triumph of the Birmingham Journal. 

He also worked at the Weekly Post and the Daily Mail, he was president of the Birmingham General Hospital and was a magistrate for two counties. However, we know him most for opening The Jaffray Hospital.


The Jaffray Hospital

The Jaffray Hospital was founded in 1885 due to lack of medical provision in the area. Standing in eight acres of ground, it was built and equipped by Mr Jaffray and opened by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) on 29th November 1885.

It was where the helpless would be properly looked after and brought back to good health. It was also for chronic cases transferred from the General Hospital and had 56 beds.


Edgbaston College

In 1889, Miss Mary Bailey founded Edgbaston College in a house on the corner of Sir Harry’s Road and Bristol Road. As the school grew, it moved to two large houses near Priory Road.

There it catered for girls from 5 to 18 years and boys from 5 to 7. The school soon expanded and opened a boarding house on the other side of Bristol Road.


Mr Harold Shay's Preparatory School

Stanley House was a boy’s Preparatory School run by Mr Harold Shay from 1913 – 1962. The Headmaster retired and sold the school to Mrs MacGeoch where Edgbaston College was relocated. Mrs Mary MacGeoch was the Head of the Junior School across the road, which was affectionately known as ‘Mother MacGeoch’s’.


Mrs Mary MacGeoch retires

In 1973, Mrs MacGeoch retired and the school was acquired by Mr and Mrs Audley Dowell Lee. 

The following year, the new Headmaster decided to change the name of the school to Park Grove. It reinstated the senior section and took pupils through to GCE O Level.


Edgbaston College once again

In 1987, Mr Dowell Lee retired, selling the school to Offa Schools Limited.

In 1988, nearly a century later, Stanley House once again became Edgbaston College, an independent school for boys and girls from the age of 2 to 18+.


The Priory Hospital

Stanley House was leased from Calthorpe estate by The Priory Hospital. In 2003, the refurbishment of Stanley House by the main contractors G.F. Tomlinson Building Limited took a period of nine months at a cost of £3 million.

Stanley House is a Grade II listed building, The Priory Hospital made sure to retain much of the original structure architecture and internal features. We use Stanley House mainly for consulting suites for patients. We feel the setting and original interior provides a calming, unique atmosphere for our patients.


£4 million investment

In 2017, BMI The Priory Hospital is investing to refurbish the main hospital building.

The financial investment, which will fund changes over the next 12 months, is just the first phase in a comprehensive improvement programme, which demonstrates BMI Healthcare’s commitment to the hospital and its patients. You can find out more about the investment here.