Southwood Hospital
70 Southwood Lane, Highgate, N6 5SP
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1941 - 1991


Radlett House for chronically ill patients opened in 1941.  It occupied a large mansion which had been extended for use as a children's home.

The original mansion, The Limes, had been built in 1815 and belonged to the owners of Southwood.  In 1921 it had been bought by the Furniture Trades' Provident and Benevolent Institution, who converted and extended it for use as a children's home "for fatherless children of members".  The orphanage was named Radlett House, after the Institution's former children's homes in Radlett, Herts, which had been established in 1905.

In 1940 the charity was offered a large house in Aspley Guise and the orphanage moved there.  Radlett House was leased to the Middlesex County Council, who converted it into a hospital for chronically ill patients needing nursing care.  It had 45 beds. 

In 1948 Radlett House joined the NHS under the control of the Northern Group Hospital Management Committee.

By 1951 it had 77 beds and had been renamed Southwood Hospital.

By 1983 the number of beds had been reduced to 44 and, by 1987, to 30.

The Hospital closed in 1991 with 22 beds.

Present status (May 2009)

The Hospital building is now called Southwood Court.  In 2004 it was converted by Cityshape into a terrace of six large family houses of 5 bedrooms each.

A 5-bedroom bungalow - Linear House - was built on part of the Hospital gardens.  Its western side, running parallel to the Hospital building, is 27 metres long and is sunk into the hillside.  The eastern side overlooks Southwood Lawn Road.  The house is almost invisible from the north and the west.  Most of its roof is covered with meadow flowers and grass.

Southwood Lane  Southwood Court

Walking towards Highgate village along Southwood Lane, with the former Southwood Hospital on the left.

gateway with crest  crest by doorway

The closed doorway now bears the legend 'Southwood Court'.  The partly eroded crest to the right of it shows a winged spur and has the Latin motto 'nunquam non paratus', meaning 'never unprepared'.

Southwood Court

One of the entrances to the former Hospital.

Southwood Court

On the right of the building is the driveway to the car parking area.  The gate beyond gives access to Linear House.

Southwood Court from the north.

References (Accessed 5th November 2016)

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

Hammerson M Highgate from Old Photographs. Stroud, Amberley Publishing.

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