Want present day pics of your old haunts? Researching your family tree and need location pics? Pictures taken to order - low cost - any job considered (not just derelicts!). Much cheaper than professional photographers
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Croydon General Hospital
The demolition of Croydon General Hospital has been underway since the end of June 2004 and is expected to take around five
months to complete. The building has been condemned due to its age and state of disrepair. The demolition process is
lengthy because the demolition firm aims to salvage most of the brick, timber and tiles. These will be sold to offset the cost
of the demolition. Some stone work from the existing building will be conserved and incorporated into the new development.
A £2 million ecofriendly community centre will soon be built on this site. The building is going to provide space for more than
30 community groups in north west Croydon.The crowning glory for the new building on the former Hospital site will be a "green
roof" expected to be a habitat for wildlife and plants
In 1900, Sir Henry Chester left £75,000 and Sir William Lancaster donated a site which resulted in Putney Hospital.
The hospital has been empty since 1999 Its future use has been complicated by questions over where its boundaries with
Putney Common lie and by the existence of a covenant. This states that the land, given to the people of Putney for a hospital
100 years ago, must not be used for any other purpose.Latest reports say the site has been announced as the chosen location
for the new Putney Primary Care Centre.which would house three Putney GP practices.
Scenes from the film "Nuns on The Run" starring Robbie Coltrane were shot at Putney Hospital.
"Wandsworth Council is demanding urgent talks to resolve the delay, expressing concerns over the cost and time taken to get
plans off the ground.It is calling for a public meeting to discuss architects' latest proposals for the medical centre, amid claims
maintaining the empty building has cost more than £1million.John Horrocks, of the Putney Society, said the project manager for
the site, Tony Johnstone, met with the society four years ago and told it he was spending £320,000 a year on security.Mr Horrocks
said if this figure is multiplied by the six years the site has lain empty, together with architects' fees, it is easy to see how total costs
would spiral upwards to more than £1million."
Barnes Common is said to be haunted by the spectre of a man dressed in convict’s clothing, including broad arrows, who is
said to glide around the common as if intent on committing a crime. A man described how, whilst he was crossing the common
one night, he saw the figure walk out of a pond and move noiselessly past him. He turned round only to find that the figure had
disappeared, although there was nowhere for him to have hidden. It is thought that the figure was the ghost of a convict who
had escaped from nearby Putney Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment, and had drowned in the pond whilst
being chased across the common.
Colindale Hospital (Central London District Sick Asylum)
Officially closed in 1996 . A few buildings are still used for elderly mental health patients though most remains derelict
Central London District Sick Asylum was erected in 1898-1900 "in the country" at Colindale. The site cost £12,500
and the foundation stone was laid on 6th June, 1898. Its layout was based on the pavilion system with separate blocks
connected by a central linking corridor. A central administrative block contained offices, nurses' rooms, the boardroom
and chapel, with kitchens and laundry to the rear. At each side were placed two two-storey ward blocks: one for TB patients,
one for children, one for infectious children, and one for casualty cases. In 1913, the hospital was sold to the newly formed
City of Westminster Union. In 1920, it was taken over by the Metropolitan Asylums Board as a sanitorium for advanced TB
cases. In 1930, control passed to the London County Council then, in 1948, it joined the new National Health Service &
renamed Colindale Hospital.
Any places you think should be on this site? Let me know!
Also info (however trivial) or stories/personal memories on any of the buildings would
or make a donation to derelictlondon:
Hackney Hospital (formerly Union Workhouse)
Built in 1841 as a workhouse. In 1930, the workhouse came under the control of the London County
Council, becoming Hackney Hospital. Services at Hackney were transferred to the nearby Homerton
Hospital which opened in 1987. The final hospital departments closed in 1995 and the site is
awaiting redevelopment. Described as "arguably the worst general hospital psychiatric facility in the
country. The site was cramped & the monolithic workhouse became ill suited to modern medical standards."
Annie writes: "I remember working at Hackney Hospital back in 1978 as a student nurse on the geriatric unit. Back then it
was a dreadful place and it looked much as the photos do on your pages, except, of course, the place was full of patients.
The geriatric blocks were at the back and incredibly run down. My ward was at the top and had not been updated so was
exactly the same as it was when it was a workhouse. In the linen room (where I used to go just for five minutes peace)
the old victorian window panes were still in place as proved by the poignant words Jas 1898 which had been etched into
the glass 80 years earlier. To get to the geriatric blocks from the main entrance you had to walk across a wilderness of
old derelict buildings and the remains of a fire that had taken place some years before, all overgrown rubble and
blackened timbers. It was a hellhole and I'm glad they shut it down. Mind you, the staff canteen had fantastic food!"
The German Hospital, Dalston
Set up in 1845 to care for "all poor Germans and others speaking the German language." under the joint protection of
Queen Victoria, Queen Adelaide, The King of Prussia and Prince Albert. The Duke of Cambridge was elected chairman
At that time there were thought to be over 30,000 Germans living in the UK and all the medical staff and servants were
German and was supported by the German Royal Family
The nurses were called "Deaconesses" and provided patients with spiritual as well as medical care.
Florence Nightingale visited the hospital on two occasions and was inspired by the nurses’ example to enrol for
training in Germany.
When it opened, the hospital had just 12 beds, but later expanded to include four wards and a sanatorium for patients
"not belonging to the lower classes". The hospital was strongly supported by the local community, until the outbreak
of the First World War led to suspicions of spying.
The hospital survived, but in World War Two all the staff were moved to an internment camp on the Isle of Man.
In 1947 the hospital became part of the NHS, remaining in use until 1987.
The inspiration for BBC1's Eastenders Albert Square was in Fassett Square a quiet Victorian square positioned
behind the German Hospital.
Miriam Oreilly writes:
"This is the hospital where my great great grandfather died! His name was Davis Levy. He was a Jewish Lithuanian, I presume
the German's must have liked the Jews at that stage! He never spoke English so I assume that is why he ended up in a German
speaking hospital. He died of some terrible skin infection at the age of 70 in 1908. He was a master furrier and had built up a good
business in London. It is quite amazing to see the photos as I live in Ireland and God knows if I will ever get an opportunity to visit."
South London Hospital for Women, Clapham
Despite confrontations with security guards I managed to get pics just before demolition....... (Feb 2004)
Entirely staffed by women, the hospital was founded in 1912 and opened by Queen Mary on July 4th 1916.
It was enlarged in the 1930s and closed down in 1984.
"The crumbling South London Women's Hospital will finally be demolished Feb/March 2004 by supermarket giant Tesco.
The vacant hospital site in Clapham South has been the subject of bitter legal wrangling after Wandsworth Council brought
two judicial reviews against the proposed superstore.
It objected to former Secretary of State Stephen Byers's decision to overrule his inspector and grant planning permission,
claiming a new store would jeopardise businesses in Balham from low supermarket prices and 156 free
car parking spaces. It said Lambeth Council and Mr Byers had ignored planning regulations protecting town centres.
The 2,500 sq m Metro store, which will also host a 104-flat complex, is due for completion in 2005."
Streatham Guardian 31/1/04
"We're delighted to start demolition in February" said a Tesco spokeswoman in the Streatham Post on 24/1/04
Derek Dow writes to Derelict London: "I'm currently writing an article for my monthly medical history column in New Zealand Doctor
on one of the hospital's founders, Dr Eleanor Davies-Colley. She was the first female fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
(1911), a fact commemorated a couple of years ago when the college began raising 1/4million for a Davies-Colley lecture room
- it's ironic therefore that her hospital should be unceremoniously removed. "
Sadly upon visiting the site in October 2004 only the facade still stands:
Vickie Beamish writes:
In January 1934 my sister Joan was born there. Mother had all her children at home except for this last child. It had been discovered that
mother had an abdominal tumour, so she had to have a caesarian section - dangerous in those days. The baby was very tiny and they
had no incubators so the nurse placed the baby in one of those wire soap dishes that spread from side to side of a bath. The bath was
kept filled with hot water to produce steam and that was the baby's crib for several days. I think this was to maintain her body heat. Mother
then had to undergo a second abdominal operation to deal with the tumour. In line with the rules at that time this tiny baby was not allowed
to stay in the hospital as my mother was no longer a patient in the obstetrical department, so she was sent home to be looked after by
whoever was handy. Luckily my cousin Eva Carey-Hammond was able to stay with us and took good care of her.
Whilst Mother was recovering from the second operation the hospital had some kind of fund raising drive, and produced a little booklet to
hand out. Mother was a fine knitter and had made herself a pretty bedjacket and her photograph was on the front of the booklet, showing
her sitting up in bed wearing the bedjacket. I wish I could find a copy of the booklet now as it was one of the few photographs taken of my
mother and I would love to have a copy.
Later that year or early in the next year I developed rheumatic fever and was sent to the same hospital. They did not seem to have a bed
in a children's ward for me and I was put in with the grownups. A long ward with at least ten beds on each side. I hated being there. For
one thing they made me stay in a crib with bars which I found an affront. This was probably to make me stay in bed as total bed rest
was part of the treatment. In addition they had strange ways of dealing with diseases in those days. The doctor taking care of me
thought that diet would be a good cure and I was fed three things ONLY - boiled chicken, boiled fish and boiled potatoes - and I do
mean nothing else - three times a day. Since I am a vegetarian I literally lived on boiled potatoes with the occasional mouthful of fish
out of desperation when I got hungry enough. Sometimes one of the other patients would sneak me a slice of bread when the nurses
were not lookiing, but they got into trouble when caught. Another part of the treatment was an injection of some kind of new drug which
was extremely painful. I remember that these two injections were given by a Dr. Pritchard and I always referred to her as Dr. Prickhard
as she hurt me so much. Another part of the treatment was the regular administration of enemas.
The doctor told me that as I was growing up I should not try to remember unimportant things as these could be written down for later
reference, but I should concentrate on remembering only important things. Otherwise I would use up my brain!! That was almost
seventy years ago and I remember this quite clearly. I guess I thought it was an "important thing". I was not allowed visitors as in those
days this was thought to upset children. Visiting hours for the grownups were on Sunday afternoons for two hours and again in the
evening, plus either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon for a couple of hours. Everyone on the ward had visitors except me which was
The grownup patients on the ward were well aware that I was near to starving and fretting away and apparently put their heads together
to decide what to do. One of these ladies got me to whisper my address to her husband when he visited and the nurse was not looking.
He then went to visit my mother and told her what was going on. He also gave mother his wife's name and said she could use it. In
those days one had to give a clerk, sitting at the entrance to the hospital, the name of the person a visitor was going to see, so this
patient's name was needed to get on to the ward. Mother was herself unwell at that time and Dad was at work so she sent my two older
brothers Ern and Ted to the hospital to check things out for her and they made their plans. Using the other patient's name, they were
able to get on the ward, pretending to be her sons. When the nurses tried to stop them from speaking to me they took no notice and
grabbing the crib ran with it down the hall trying to get me to the front door where they had a friend waiting to help - they were going to
steal me. Some men working for the hospital stopped them doing this and there was quite a scene. The next day my parents came to
the hospital and discharged me against medical advice. Once I was at home the family doctor was appalled at my condition. I had
been in hospital for several weeks and the enemas combined with the lack of food resulted in my being very weak and as thin as a
rake. He called regularly and I was nursed through this illness at home and soon put on weight and got better. It was during this time
at home that my Dad taught me to play cribbage, and when I was able to return to school I found I was really good at mental arithmetic
as a result.
Another thing I remember about the grown up patients is that a couple of them were anaemic and were also treated with a diet. They
were required to eat slices of raw beef liver once or twice a day and were refused other food unless they complied. I remember that
one of them put on a blindfold and pinched her nose so that she could not see or smell the liver and could pretend it was something
I make this place sound awful I suppose, but these people were doing the best they could in the light of their knowledge at that time."
Queen Elizabeth Childrens Hospital, Hackney
Now disused but still in pretty good condition..............
In 1870, a small 26-bed hospital was opened & known as North-Eastern Hospital and Dispensary.
In 1893, a new building fund began, this allowed the Hackney Road site to be expanded and new ward accommodation
to be added. 1942, amalgamated with the Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital for Children, Shadwell to become The
Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children.
1948, the hospital became part of the newly created NHS. 1996, the hospital became part of The Royal Hospitals Trust,
now Barts and The London NHS Trust. Michael Jackson made a visit in 1992.
1998, the services of the hospital were relocated to The Royal London Hospital, where they retain their historical identity
through their current name, The Queen Elizabeth Children's Service a title granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
The hospital had one of the country's most important pathological laboratories for the investigation of child diseases
Lambeth Hospital (formerly Lambeth Workhouse)
This was one of the earliest pavilion-block workhouse designs built in England - built in 1871-2 it was designed
to house 820 inmates. In 1896, future star of the silent screen Charles Chaplin (then aged seven) briefly became
inmates of the Lambeth workhouse, together with his mother and his younger brother. In 1922, the workhouse
and infirmary were amalgamated and renamed Lambeth Hospital. In 1930 its administration was taken over by
the London County Council. Hospital shut about 1976. The infirmary and most of the workhouse have now been
demolished, although the water tower survives. Some more modern buildings at the back remain derelict.
The Children's Hospital Hampstead
The Children's Hospital Hampstead was founded in 1875 as a voluntary institution, situated in Maida Vale,
moved to College Crescent, Hampstead in 1904.At the outbreak of World War Two the hospital was requisitioned
by the War Office. Throughout the war years various plans were proposed for its future use, including a merger
with the Hampstead General, but these never materialised. The hospital joined the Royal Free Group when the
NHS came into being in 1948, and the building was used firstly as the School of Nursing Preliminary Training
School (PTS) and then as a nurses' home from then until its sale in 1990. The trust, which closed the dilapidated
College Crescent building because it did not meet fire standards, says it already has too many single rooms and
say it would be “uneconomic” to renovate.
Greenwich District Hospital, Maze Hill
The 1962 Hospital Plan for England and Wales proposed that St. Alfege's Hospital, Greenwich should be redeveloped
to form a District General Hospital of 800 beds.
In May 1963, the Minister of Health gave a press conference at which details of the new Greenwich District hospital were
released. The main problem was how to fit an 800-bed hospital onto a site of less than 8 acres.
The construction methods would be revolutionary - all lateral engineering services were to be contained in a 6-foot gap
between floor and ceiling of each pair of floors so that repairs and maintenance works could be carried out without
disturbing ward or department routine. All wards would have natural light but the service departments e.g. x-ray,
pathology and operating theatres would be in the centre and artificially lit.The whole hospital was to be ventilated
mechanically and none of the windows would open so that the air in the wards would be as ‘pure’ as possible.
The hospital was closed down in 2001. Scenes from the film "About a Boy" starring Hugh Grant were filmed at the
closed Greenwich District Hospital
Greenwich District Hospital was demolished Autumn 2006.
The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, Euston
Named after its founder,who was one of the first women to qualify in medicine. The hospital started in 1866 as a dispensary and the present building dates from 1889.The foundation stone for the Hospital's new building was laid by the Princess of Wales in 1889. Closed down recently and will be replaced by a £442million new hospital being built down the road." Our new hospital will do away with the Dickensian way of working, replacing our scattered, out of date
buildings with a single, state-of-the-art complex.
Queens Hospital,Thornton Heath
Built in 1865. Before the creation of the modern Welfare State, individuals or families who were unable to support themselves
had to turn to their local Board of Guardians, for help many people seeking poor relief were forced to live in their local Workhouse
After the abolition of the Board of Guardians in 1930, the workhouse (now called the Queen's Road Homes) was taken over by the
County Borough of Croydon. It continued to perform the same functions as the workhouse, though with a growing emphasis on
the care of the elderly. During the Second World War it was reclassified as a Class 2 Hospital under the Emergency Hospital
Scheme, and was severely damaged by bombing in April 1941. It was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948, when
it was renamed Queen's Hospital, and became a geriatric hospital. It closed in 1987.
The buildings have all been demolished apart from the 50ft listed tower (entrance block) to make way for new homes. I found
out about this place too late - just as the demolition had been completed.
Middlesex Hospital, Central London
The Middlesex Hospital's history goes back 250 years. The Middlesex Infirmary opened in 1745 with 18 beds to
provide medical treatment for the poor. Funding came from subscriptions and in 1747, the hospital became the first
in England to add 'lying-in' (inpatient) beds.The foundation stone on the present site was laid in 1755 and in 1757,
The Middlesex Hospital opened on its current site. Over the years, extra wings were added but in 1924, it was
decided that the building was about to collapse and something had to be done. Huge efforts were put into a "The
Middlesex is falling down" campaign to raise the necessary million pounds plus to rebuild the hospital. Finally,
without ever having closed its doors, the new Middlesex was opened in 1935 and eventually closed in December 2005
Finally, a couple of ex Hospitals which rather than being demolished,are now used for other uses:
Waterloo - Royal Hospital for Children and Women (1905-1936)
Now a University
Acton - The Passmore Edwards Cottage Hospital (c.1900)
Now a day care centre.