St Monica's Home Hospital
for Sick Children
16 Brondesbury Park, NW2 7BR
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1874 - 1939

Long term stay

St Monica's Home Hospital for Sick Children was founded in 1874 by Miss Catherine Stewart-Foster and Miss Kate B. Marshall.  It had 8 beds.  At that time no general hospital would admit children needing long courses of treatment, and the Home Hospital was intended for these patients.

The Home Hospital opened first in Bolton Road, Kilburn, and moved to Quex Road a few years later.

In 1886 Miss Stewart-Foster and Miss Marshall built new premises in Brondesbury Park at their own expense.  The Home Hospital had 26 beds in three wards - for boys, girls and infants.  Boys were admitted up to the age of 13 and girls up to 15 years.  Most of the children came from Willesden, with the rest from other parts of London, referred by various children's societies.  Six to seven of the beds were free but, in the majority of cases, there was a small charge.

The house also had a small chapel, richly decorated by the gifts of many friends, where weekly services were held.

The Home Hospital tried to provide some education for the children; several were enabled to make a living.

In 1901 the two founders, advanced in years, decided to retire and to transfer control of the Hospital to Trustees.  A management committee was appointed to run the Home Hospital.

By 1938 it cost £2,300 a year to maintain the Home Hospital.  The average weekly cost per in-patient was £2 2s 3d (£2.11), compared with the previous year of £2 14s 6d (£2.72).  However, the weekly charge per patient was only 10 shillings (50p), including laundry.   Patients stayed on average for 50 days.

As with other voluntary hospitals, patients with mental disorders, epilepsy, contagious or infectious diseases (including ringworm) were ineligible for admission.  

Visitors were allowed on Sunday afternoons, from 3 o'clock until 4 o'clock (children under the age of 14 years were not permitted to visit).

The Home Hospital incurred considerable expense in 1939 for its air-raid precautions during the National Crisis, as war threatened with Germany.  However, it remained closed during WW2.  By 1948 it had not re-opened and thus did not join the NHS.

Present status (May 2008)

The site of the Home has been redeveloped and now contains a pleasant blocks of flats - Alan Preece Court  -  built by Brent Council and managed by Brent Housing Partnership
Alan Preece Court
Alan Preece Court.
 St Monica, the mother of St Augustine, is the patron saint of mothers (and also of wives, widows and abuse victims).
St Monica's Home
A postcard of the Babies Ward around 1910.

(Photograph reproduced by kind permission of
robmcrorie - flickr)
Burdett-Coutts AG (ed)  1893 Women's Mission.  A Series of Congress Papers on the Philanthropic Work of Women. New York, Charles Scribner.

Winslow-Hall W 1902 The treatment of hip-joint disease in children.  British Medical Journal 1 (2419), 623.

Return to alphabetical list
Return to home page