St Mary's Hospital
for Women and Children
Upper Road, Plaistow, E13 0DL
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1893 - 1985

In 1888 the Vicar of St Mary's, Revd Thomas Given Wilson, established the St Mary's Day Nursery in London and Upper Roads, Plaistow.  In 1889 a further clinic was established as the St Mary's Nursing Home in Howard's Road, a precursor to the Plaistow Maternity Hospital.

The Revd Given Wilson provided a site in London Road for a new nursery and hospital.  In 1893 a building was erected at the expense of the Revd Henry Blisset; it had six cots.  In 1895 it became the St Mary's Day Nursery and Hospital for Sick Children with 22 beds, a Casualty Department and an operating theatre.  By 1896 the number of beds had increased to 30 and, by 1898, to 38.  A Gynaecology Department opened in 1899.

Lord Lister became its first president in 1899, and Queen Victoria a Patron in 1901.

In 1905 the day nursery closed and the institution was renamed St Mary's Hospital for Women and Children.  

In 1911 a new Hospital was built, containing 66 beds.

A Nurses' Home was opened by Princess Mary in 1923.  A New Out-Patients Department was built in 1928, containing an X-ray department and operating theatres.  

By 1930 in-patient beds had increased to 100.  Open-air balconies were added to three floors of the ward blocks during 1931-32.

In 1939 the original (1893) Hospital building was demolished and work began on the erection of a new Out-Patients Department, but this was delayed because of the outbreak of WW2.  The Hospital became part of the Ministry of Health's Emergency Medical Service.  It suffered bomb damage during the War, the unfinished Out-Patients building being destroyed by a direct hit.

The new Out-Patients Department was finally opened by Queen Mary in 1946.  The Rt Hon Lady Helen Seymour had relaid the original foundation stone, which her mother, the Duchess of Westminster, laid in 1892.

In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the West Ham Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.

The West Ham Chest Clinic transferred its patients to new premises built on the Hospital site.

In 1959 the Hospital had 100 beds.

By 1974, following a major reorganisation of the NHS, it came under the administration of the Newham District Health Authority, part of the North East Thames Regional Health Authority. 

The Hospital closed in 1985, together with Queen Mary's Hospital in Stratford, when the new Newham General Hospital, with maternity beds and a special baby care unit, opened in Glen Road, Custom House.

Present status (February 2008)

The main building, Lady Helen Seymour House,  is now used by East Potential as a hostel for local homeless young people who require support, either for employment, education or training.

Lady Helen Seymour house
Lady Helen Seymour House

across Lister gardens
The building from across Lister Gardens, named after Lord Joseph Lister, a physician at King's College Hospital who introduced   antiseptic techniques during operations, drastically reducing mortality

side view
Side view of the building from Upper Road
main entranceMain entrance

Outbuildings from Upper Road

(Author unstated) 1946  Nursing echoes.  British Journal of Nursing (November), 126.

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