The Foundation Stone

The foundation stone of the Royal Victoria Military Hospital, a 2 tonne Welsh granite stone, was laid by Queen Victoria on 19 May in 1856. Queen Victoria arrived by Royal Yacht at a red-carpeted jetty constructed especially for her visit.

This occasion was marked by the firing of a Royal Salute. Unfortunately one gun fired prematurely and two sailors were killed outright whilst others were injured. Despite this, the laying of the foundation stone ceremony still went ahead. Beneath the stone a copper casket containing the plans of the hospital, the first Victoria Cross, a silver Crimea medal with all four campaign bars and coins of the realm were laid.

An inscription on the stone said: 

"This stone was laid on the 19th day of May in the year of our Lord, 1856, by Her Most Gracious Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland as the foundation stone of the Victoria Military Hospital intended for the reception of the sick and wounded soldiers of her Army."

During the demolition of the hospital the foundation stone was removed and Queen Victoria’s time capsule was discovered, although in poor condition. The foundation stone has been at Aldershot Military Barracks since then, and there are plans to reinstate the stone at the Royal Victoria Country Park in Autumn 2018.

foundation stone