Coppetts Wood Hospital
Coppetts Road, Muswell Hill, N10 1JN
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1899- 2005

In 1888 the Hornsey Local Board of Health built a hospital for infectious diseases on Irish Corner, a piece of wasteland at the bottom of Coppetts Road.  At the time the Isolation Hospital was regarded as a model institution.

In 1893-1894 the Hospital was extended.  More additions were made to the building in 1906.  By 1913 it had 24 beds.

Originally only admitting patients from Hornsey, from 1922 it began treating patients from Finchley and Wood Green, when these parishes began to contribute to the running costs.  Following further extensions in 1926-1927 the Hospital had 130 beds.

During WW2 it was used as temporary accommodation for patients from St Bartholomew's Hospital.

In 1948 it joined the NHS and became part of the Northern Group.  By 1954 it had 144 beds.

Threatened with closure in 1955, a programme of modernisation commenced at the Hospital, with one of the wards being refurbished in 1957.  The Hospital remained at the forefront of research and specialized treatment.

In 1963 it joined the Archway Group.  One ward was adapted for general medical cases, while the remaining wards were taken over by the Infectious Diseases Department of the Royal Free Hospital.  The Department transferred from  Lawn Road to the Coppetts Road site and both services amalgamated.

In 1968 the Coppetts Wood Hospital became part of the Royal Free Hospital Group, when it had 109 beds, 87 of which were for patients with  infectious diseases.

In 1983 it had 77 beds, but by 1996 only 35 beds remained.

Most of the Hospital closed in 2000, when services were transferred to the Royal Free Hospital.  All that remained on the site was the 2-bedded High Security Infectious Diseases Unit, which had gained an international reputation in the treatment and care of patients with hazardous infections, such as lassa fever and rabies.  It was staffed by the Royal Free Hospital when necessary, dealing only with patients suffering from viral haemorrhagic fevers.

In 2008 these high security beds also transferred to the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street and Coppetts Wood Hospital finally closed.

Present status (April 2008)

The main administration building fronting Coppetts Road  looks derelict.  A prefabricated structure looks occupied but inactive.  Much of the original site perhaps has been redeveloped into housing -  the Hospital buildings are almost surrounded by Osier Crescent.

The Royal Free Hospital Trust has been planning to dispose of the site since 2006 and to use the proceeds of the sale to improve the imaging facilities at the Pond Street site.

It has been proposed that the existing buildings, apart from the administration building, should be demolished and seven blocks of 2 to 4 storeys be erected to provide 63 housing units.

Update:  January 2011

The Hospital remains unsold but is now tenanted by 'professional squatters' from the property management agency Camelot, who pay a low rent in return for keeping the building secure and taking responsibility for its general upkeep.
administration building
The main administration building facing Coppetts Road

Hospital buildings
Looking along Coppetts Road from the north, the relatively modern prefab structure is shown on the right and the administration building on the left.

RFH signage
Signage to the Hospital on the south side of the site, with new housing in the background.

entrance gates

Looking through the gateway towards a small building.

building entrance
The former main entrance

south side of main building
The south side of the administration building.

The vehicle gateway on the south side of the site with a glimpse of the buildings beyond.

maybe the mortuary
Another small building which may once have been the mortuary.
References (Accessed 24th April 2015)

Hamilton Hogben G 1952 Report of the Medical Officer of Health. London, Borough of Hornsey, 52.

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