Central Middlesex Hospital

Acton Lane, Park Royal,  NW10 7NS

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1903 - current

Acute, maternity

In 1897 the Willesden Board of Guardians acquired a 64 acre site in Acton Lane from the Twyford Abbey estate.  They built a new workhouse and infirmary, which opened in 1903, providing accommodation for 400 people, including 150 sick.  By 1907 only sick paupers were admitted to both buildings, which were now known as the Willesden Workhouse Infirmary.

The buildings were extended in 1908, 1911 and 1914, when the Infirmary was renamed the Willesden Institution.

In 1921, it became known as the Park Royal Hospital.

In 1930 the Middlesex County Council took over its administrative control and it was renamed yet again in 1931, becoming the Central Middlesex County Hospital, with 689 beds.  With even more extensions it had 890 beds by 1939.

During WW2 the Hospital was badly damaged by bombs.

When the Hospital joined the NHS in 1948, it was grouped together with the Neasden, Kingsbury and Willesden General Hospitals under the North-West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.

In 1951 the Hospital had 842 beds.

In 1966 a further building was added for the maternity unit, which had 28 beds but, overall, the number of beds had been reduced to 736, mainly for acute admissions.

In 1997 construction work began on a new Hospital building - the Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Centre  (ACaD) - what we used to call the Out-Patients Department - which opened in 1999.  Clinical services transferred from the old buildings to the new, and the second phase of rebuilding began in 2003.  The in-patients wing - the Brent Emergency Care and Diagnostic Centre (BECaD) - opened in 2006, with 214 beds.

Present status (November 2008)

A PFI deal costing more than £80m has enabled the Hospital to be rebuilt behind the original buildings.

The future of the Brent Birth Centre, built in 2004, is already under threat of closure because of a lack of demand for the service.

Most of the old buildings have been demolished (the Out-Patients Department was the first to go) but the Old Refectory remains.  The original site is now the foreground to the new  buildings and contains a bus station.  Some of the material from the demolition was used in the foundations for the new car park and roads.

It had been hoped to preserve the facade of the clock tower but this proved impossible.  An old cupola and a flagpole are preserved on the wasteland at the back of the site.  Two turrets, the Acton Lane gates, the clock and the foundation stones were saved from demolition. Some of these artefacts are now displayed in the new Hospital grounds.

The remainder of the site will be developed by the Network Housing Group for key worker housing and businesses.

Old Refectory

The Old Refectory is now used as offices for various disability groups and the North West London Trust.

old wall

Perhaps the original wall of the Hospital in front of the piazza.

old ward building

An old ward building used by Hammersmith Medicines Research

old cupola

A cupola preserved from one of the old towers.



Research building

The Hammersmith Medicines Research building as seen from across the wasteland.

former entranceformer entrance

The former entrance of the Hospital in Acton Lane.

planning notice

Public notice announcing redevelopment of the site.

remembrance garden

The foundation stones of the old Hospital are placed on the outside wall of the Memorial Garden.

remembrance gardenremembrance garden

The entrance to the Memorial Garden (left). Dedication plaques are mounted on blocks of wood inside the Garden.

remembrance gardenremembrance garden

Dedication plaques commemorating lost children (left) and another of the cupolas from the old Hospital towers preserved in the Garden.

history panelhistory panel

history panelhistory panel

Various panels describing the history of the Central Middlesex Hospital are on display in the corridors.


A vitrine containing an art installation by Barbara Lee, using salvaged medical glassware from the demolished Nurses' Home,  is also on display.  It is located off the main foyer by the lavatories.

new Hospitalnew Hospital

The new Hospital seen from Acton Lane (left) and the view from Central Way (right).

new Hospitalnew Hospital

The new Hospital from across the piazza (left) and from across the wasteland (right).

Acad building

The Acad building as seen from the Brent Birth Centre.

Brent Birth CentreBirth Centre

The bunker-like Brent Birth Centre (left) with its main entrance.

Birth Centre

The northern elevation.

Birth CentreBirth centre

The rear elevations of the Brent Birth Centre - with graffiti.

Keith Moon, drummer of The Who, was born here.


McNicol MW 1984 Central Middlesex Hospital. St Mary's Gazette 90. 34-36.


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