|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Royal Herbert Hospital
Shooters Hill, Greenwich, SE18 4PS
|1865 - 1977
The Herbert Hospital, with 650 beds, was built for the nearby Woolwich garrison in 1865 during the period when Lord Sidney Herbert was Secretary of State for War. It was the first specially designed military hospital in the country and also the first (of many) to utilize the pavilion design, as advocated by Florence Nightingale, comprising six parallel ward blocks connected by a central corridor. Almost half the 19 acre site was given over to parkland, ensuring a peaceful convalescence for recovering patients.
The Hospital opened without ceremony when the first patients were transferred from the old hospital within the nearby Royal Artillery garrison. In 1900 Queen Victoria visited and granted her Royal patronage - it hence after became known as the Royal Herbert Hospital.
It closed in 1977 when the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital opened nearby in Stadium Road, Woolwich. A Grade II listing, together with incorporation into the Woolwich Common Conservation Area, saved the buildings from demolition.
Present status (August 2008)
In 1990 the site was bought by a developer with an interest in historical site restoration. Completed in 1995, the Royal Herbert Pavilions consists of 228 apartments and contains its own leisure centre, comprising lounge/bar and a swimming pool with sauna, spa, solarium and gymnasium.
The administration block, now Galton House
The former main entrance in the centre of Galton House
A former ward block, now Sidney House
A former ward block, now Florence House, as seen from Shooters Hill
Florence House, as viewed from Gilbert Close
One of the two crowned lamps either side of Galton House
Galton House - the original clock on Mennie House, a former ward block, can be seen though the closed gate
Robertson House, also a former ward block, can be seen behind Galton House
Florence House with a plaque for Royal Herbert Pavilions on the gatepost by the current main entrance, leading into Gilbert Close at the north of the site
Florence and Galton Houses.
View down Shooters Hill towards the Royal Herbert and Brook General Hospitals, both on the left
Update: October 2012
Gilbert Close, off Shooters Hill, is the main entrance to the Royal Herbert Pavilions (above and below).
|Severndroog Castle nearby - a triangular 5-storey brick tower which once contained armour and weapons captured at Severndroog, India - was erected by Lady James in 1784 in commemoration of her husband, Sir William James, who had died the previous year. The Castle is now closed up with steel doors and seldom open to the public.
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