Annie McCall Maternity Hospital

McCalls Close & 37-39 Jeffreys Road, Stockwell, SW4 6QU

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1889 - 1970


Deeply concerned with the high death rate of mothers during childbirth, Dr. Annie McCall established a school of midwifery in her own home at 165 Clapham Road in 1885.

In 1889 she opened the Clapham Maternity Hospital at 41-43 Jeffreys Road (there was also a Battersea branch at 31-33 Albert Bridge Road which had opened in 1892).  The Hospital, which had 36 beds, was staffed only by women and only women students were admitted.  As a member of the Temperance movement, Dr. McCall did not allow her nurses or patients to drink alcohol.  Smoking was only permitted outside the Hospital.

In 1913 work began on a new building for the Hospital, but ceased on 25th January 1914 due to a builders' strike which lasted until the outbreak of WW1.

On 23rd July 1915 the new purpose-built wing was officially opened by the Duchess of Vendome, Princess of Belgium.  It had cost £8,000 and could accommodate 50 patients; the houses used previously became the Nurses' Home.  

The wing had 12 wards. which were arranged on three floors on either side of the main staircase.  Most contained four beds each, although some were larger.  The beds were furnished with red and white quilts, with red screen covers providing privacy.  The windows, divided into two sections, opened outwards horizontally and simultaneously, and were constructed so to allow in fresh air while preventing anyone gaining entry.  In the three labour rooms, the beds were fitted with narrow slats of wood, which could easily be removed after each case for cleaning.  The babies were placed in a nursery ward at night to allow mothers to sleep. 

The building had a flat roof, where the nurses could enjoy the fresh air when off-duty, and even sleep there during the summer months.

The floors and the walls of the new building were fireproof, but an external iron fire escape was neverthetheless provided.

The Hospital had its own laundry, with soiled linen from the wards dealt with daily.

To prevent cross-infection, each patient had her own numbered crockery and eating utensils.

During the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918-1919 visitors were not allowed to enter the wards, but could look through the glass portion of the ward door.

In 1936 the Hospital was renamed the Annie McCall Maternity Hospital and, in 1938, extended at ground level. It then had 50 beds and an Out-Patients Department. The front elevation, with the main entrance, was in what is now McCall Close.

No. 39 Jeffreys Road was linked to Nos. 41-43 and used as staff accommodation, but the latter buildings were destroyed during WW2 (the site remains vacant today).

The Hospital  finally closed in 1970.

Present status (March 2008)

The premises became squatted.  Recently, Stockwell Studios, a community of artists, had 'occupied' the main building.

The main building is in need of refurbishment and has been sold by Lambeth council for demolition and redevelopment of the site.  The building is currently boarded  up.  

Nos. 37 and 39 might still be squatted.  

The corner, where Nos. 41 and 43 used to be, remains a vacant lot.

Update:  November 2011

On October 2011 the main Hospital building, built in 1915, was listed Grade II by English Heritage.

Update: February 2012

In January 2012 Lambeth Council sold the property to Henley Homes for redevelopment, despite £70,000 being spent on renovation work by the artists and charities using the building.

Annie McCall Hospital

The main building in McCall Close, now Grade II listed (in October 2011).

Main entrance

The main entrance, boarded up.  Signage for Stockwell Studios remains.

Annie McCall Hospital

Site of Nos. 41-43 Jeffreys Road.

Annie McCall Hospital

Nos. 37 and 39 Jeffreys Road.

Annie McCall Hospital

The Battersea branch of the Hospital at St John's House, 31-33 Albert Bridge Road.  It  had previously been the St John's House Maternity Home.

In 1911 a Tuberculin Dispensary was opened at No. 31 so that poor patients could receive free treatment for tuberculosis.


(Author unstated) 1907 The Clapham Maternity Hospital.  British Journal of Nursing Supplement: The Midwife.  19th October, 822-823.

(Author unstated) 1911 Reflections from a Board Room Mirror.  British Journal of Nursing Supplement.  8th June, 439.

(Author unstated) 1914 Clapham Maternity Hospital. Annual Meeting.  British Journal of Nursing Supplement: The Midwife.  27th June, 591.

(Author unstated) 1915 The Clapham Maternity Hospital.  British Journal of Nursing Supplement: The Midwife.  31st July, 102-103.

(Author unstated) 1919 Clapham Maternity Hospital. Annual Meeting.  British Journal of Nursing Supplement: The Midwife.  10th May, 326.


www.stockwellstudios.org.uk (Accessed January 2008) 

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