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Dates of existence
John Stansfield Gayner was born in County Durham on 3 May 1872, the son of Robert H. Gayner and his wife Emily. A member of the Society of Friends, he was educated at the Quaker Oliver’s Mount School in Scarborough before studying medicine at university. By 1901 he had qualified as a surgeon and was working in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.
In 1902 Dr Gayner moved to York and began working at York County Hospital. In 1906 he married nurse Alice Maud Edwards and the couple settled at the recently built model village of New Earswick outside York the following year. Mrs Gayner was the Matron of the old York County Hospital at Monkgate, York.
The Gayners lived at Hall Cottage, a property built in New Earswick at the request of Dr Gayner by the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust. A prominent local figure, Dr Gayner was a member of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and the York and District Field Naturalists. He was a keen botanist and frequently opened his garden to the public. In 1936 he co-authored a pamphlet on ‘Late Glacial Lacustrine Conditions in the Vale of York and the Tees Basin’ with Sidney Melmore, having given it as a paper to the Geological Society of London the previous year.
Dr Gayner died at Hall Cottage on 19 May 1954.