North London Hospital
for Consumption and
Diseases of the Chest
85-86 Hampstead High Street, Hampstead NW3 1RE
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1860 - 1881


In the late 1850s a group of businessmen held a meeting to discuss their concerns about the care of the poor suffering from tuberculosis (TB).

It was decided that a hospital should be established for such patients and, in 1860, the North London Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest opened in a large mansion house in Hampstead High Street.

The house had been built around 1730 and was owned by Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867), a theatrical scene painter, successful marine landscape painter and a member of the Royal Academy.  He was a great friend of Charles Dickens and painted the theatrical sets for his performances.

The first four patients were admitted on 5th May 1860 (5th May became the Founder's Day for the Hospital).  Stanfield may still have been resident when the patients arrived and may have had TB himself.  In the event, he was advised to go to the countryside and in 1865 he moved to Northaw in Hertfordshire.

The Hospital treated the poor who could not afford to pay for treatment, although it did have two rooms for paying patients.  Patients came from all parts of the United Kingdom - Leeds, Manchester, Shropshire, Devon - on the recommendation of a local referee.  The dry, bracing air of Hampstead was considered to be more beneficial to recovery from less advanced disease compared to the warmer softer air usually recommended, and even alleviated the later stages of consumption.

An Out-Patients Department with offices for the Hospital opened at 216 Tottenham Court Road in 1861. 

Stanfield House was sold in 1864 and the Hospital then leased it.  The lease expired in 1874 but was extended on a yearly tenancy.  

In 1877 the Hospital Committee bought 3 acres of land in Hampstead with the intention of building a 110-bedded hospital there, an ambitious project considering its poor income and the £4000 mortgage on the land purchase.

Work began on the new hospital in 1880.  The first phase was completed  in 1881 and the patients were transferred from Stanfield House to the new building in Mount Vernon.

Present status (March 2009)

Only one-third of the original building remains.  The other two-thirds were demolished to make way for Prince Arthur Road.   The surviving remnant was renamed Stanfield House and became a school.  From 1887 until 1966 it was the Hampstead Public Library.  It then became a Christian Science church but is now a private dwelling.

Stanfield House
The surviving northern section of the original building is on the corner of Prince Arthur Road and Hampstead High Street.  It became a Grade II* listed building in 1950.

No. 86 now contains consulting rooms for a  psychiatric clinic for 
children and adolescents run by the London North Thames Private Hospitals.
entrance door
The front door of Stanfield House has a commemorative plaque to Clarkson Stanfield above it.

commemorative plaque
216 Tottenham Court Road  216 Tottenham Court Road
The site of the first Out-Patients Department of the Hospital at 216 Tottenham Court Road from 1861 until 1891.
Tremlett R (undated - ? 1999)  A Palace of Hope.  The Story of Mount Vernon Hospital Hampstead and Northwood.  Publisher unstated.

Wade C 1984 The Streets of Hampstead.  London, Camden History Society.

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