All Saints' Hospital

Austral Street, Southwark, SE11 4SL

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1911 - 1986

Specialist.  Later, psychiatric.

The All Saints' Hospital was founded in 1911 by the distinguished Irish surgeon, Edward Canny Ryall, to improve operative techniques for the treatment of kidney and bladder disease.  Its name had been suggested by Mr Canny Ryall's wife - they had been married in the All Saints' Church in Margaret Street.

Mr Canny Ryall for many years bore the main burden of the Hospital himself, financially and otherwise.  The Hospital, at 49-51 Vauxhall Bridge Road, dealt only with out-patients.  However, when the chauffeur of the then Prime Minister Mr Balfour fell ill, the Prime Minister insisted that he be treated at the All Saints' Hospital.  A bed and bedding was urgently procured and installed in an unused upstairs room.  The patient survived his operation and the Hospital began to admit in-patients.  By 1912 it had 10 beds and 1 cot.

During WW1 it became the All Saints' Hospital for Wounded Soldiers, a section of Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital at Millbank, and had 22 beds for officers.

After the War it was renamed the All-Saints' Hospital for Genito-Urinary Disease and in 1920 a large house at 91 Finchley Road was purchased for in-patients.  The Vauxhall Bridge Road building reverted once more to dealing with out-patients only.

In 1932 the Hospital moved to Austral Street, near Lambeth Road.  It had become the largest urological hospital in the UK, with 52 beds.

During WW2 the Hospital was closed as, with other small hospitals, its staff had been depleted by the war effort.

It reopened in 1946 with 32 beds.  With the implementation of the NHS approaching, association with a larger hospital was felt desirable.  All Saints' became one of the units of the Westminster Hospital and (until 1952) was renamed the Westminster Hospital Urological Centre.

A new Nurses' Home - three one-storey prefabricated huts - was opened in 1948 at the rear of the Hospital building.  One hut was for Sisters, one for nurses and one for recreational purposes.  A new state-of-the-art operating theatre was installed in the same year.

In 1951 the number of urological beds was reduced and the gynaecological beds from the Westminster Hospital were transferred to the 1st floor wards.

In 1960 the urological beds on the ground floor moved to the Gordon Hospital, which was also a member of the Westminster Hospital group.  The ground floor, containing the Canny Ryall and Frederick Lane Wards, was taken over by the Westminster Hospital psychiatric department the following year.

The gynaecological beds returned to the Westminster Hospital in July 1971 and the All Saints' Hospital became a minimum care unit with 24 beds.  It was staffed by a Sister, a Staff Nurse, 2 State Enrolled Nurses and 8 nursing auxiliaries.

Following a major reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 the Hospital became a psychiatric and minimal care unit with 45 beds under the control of the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Area Health Authority (South District), part of the North West Thames Regional Health Authority.

By 1982, after another reorganisation of the NHS, it was a psychiatric unit with 31 beds for the Victoria District Health Authority.  In 1985 it came under the control of the Riverside Health Authority.

The Hospital finally closed in 1986.

Present status (January 2008)

In 1986 the Imperial War Museum acquired the site; the building is now used as an annexe to house its audiovisual archives.

Vauxhall Bridge Road

The original site of the Hospital on Vauxhall Bridge Road has been redeveloped (above and below).

Vauxhall Bridge Road  Vauxhall Bridge Road


91 Finchley Road91 Finchley Road

The in-patient building at No. 91 Finchley Road was destroyed by bombs during WW2. Its site is now occupied by the Hilgrove Estate.

91 Finchley Road

The sculpture between Redfern House and Langhorne Court on the Hilgrove Estate is roughly on the site of the former Hospital. The sculpture, commissioned by the LCC at the building of the estate is The Pursuit of Ideas by Leon Underwood.

All Saints Hospital

The Hospital building in Austral  Street.

Brook Drive

The building as seen from Brook Drive.

entrance doorway

The main entrance in Austral Street.



(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

(Author unstated) 1948  Westminster Hospital Urological Centre.  British Medical Journal 1 (4564), 1247




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