|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Billingsgate Mission Hospital
19 St Mary at Hill, Eastcheap, EC3R 8EF
|1890 - 1990
The Billingsgate Christian Mission had been founded in 1878 and incorporated the humanitarian aims of the Billingsgate District Association with its own missionary work within Billingsgate Fish Market. The Mission met at the Weigh House at No. 31 King Street until it could move into its own building opposite the market gates. Building work for this began in July 1889 and was completed in 1890.
As the need for medical care within the Fish Market became more evident, a dispensary was established in 1897. The enterprise was then renamed the Billingsgate Christian Mission and Dispensary and was predominantly funded by subscriptions and donations from those companies and businessmen associated with the Fish Market. Free first aid treatment was also provided to the buyers, porters, salesmen and clerks working in or around the market.
In 1905 an ophthalmic ward was opened. Clinics were held by surgeons on Tuesday evenings, from 6 to 8 o'clock, so that dock labourers could be treated quickly without having to lose half a day's pay in order to attend an ophthalmic hospital.
Until the mid 1950s the Mission also trained nurses and those preparing to undertake missionary work aboard.
Dockside deliveries to Billingsgate Market ceased in the 1950s, but the Dispensary remained in operation until 1982, when the fish market was relocated to a new site in the Isle of Dogs. The Mission closed on 31st December 1990.
Present status (December 2012)
In 1994 the charity was handed over to the trusteeship of the Fishmongers Company.
The premises are now advertised to be let as 'small office suites'.
Update: December 2014
The building is now being converted into nine residential apartments, with a street address of 53 Monument Street.
The Monument Street elevation with an entrance door to the office suites. The top of the gable is missing, as is the dome of the corner oriel - presumably due to bomb damage during WW2. There had originally been a Post Office on the ground floor, with its entrance on the corner.
The St Mary at Hill elevation.
The entrance in St Mary at Hill.
Old Billingsgate market, seen from the Hospital.
29th December 2014)
(Author unstated) 1905 Reflections from a Board Room Mirror. British Journal of Nursing, 18th November, 424.
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