|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
West Wharf Receiving Station
Carnwath Road, Fulham, SW6
|1885 - 1930
In 1882 the Metropolitan Asylums Board (MAB) moved its smallpox hospital ships - the Atlas, the Endymion and the Castilia - to new moorings at Long Reach, an isolated stretch of the River Thames about 17 miles (27 km) from London Bridge. The removal of the ships to their new location required the provision of a River Ambulance Service to ferry patients from central London. The following year a pier was constructed at Long Reach for the reception of smallpox cases from wharves to be built at Rotherhithe, Poplar and Fulham.
In 1885 following the compulsory purchase by
MAB of riverside premises belonging to a Miss Sullivan, work began on
the Receiving Station to serve west London. MAB had been keen to
acquire this site as it was in a location within easy drive of the
Western Hospital at Fulham and the South Western Hospital at Stockwell.
After the smallpox epidemics of 1892-95 and 1901-2 had subsided the Wharves underwent a period of maintenance and major repairs, e.g. to all the dolphins. Between 1903-11 the pontoon at West Wharf was removed for repair.
The 1930 the Metropolitan Asylums Board River Ambulance Service became the London County Council River Ambulance Service. The West Wharf closed in the same year due to it being 'no longer required for purpose'.
Present status (September 2008)
There is no trace of the Receiving Station. The site is now mostly occupied by smallish apartment blocks.
The north bank from across the river
Nos. 1-5 Carnwath Road, site of the West Wharf, from across the river
The apartment blocks are located between a retail park in Carnwath Road and the river.
The riverbank frontage of Nos. 1 and 3 Carnwath Road
No. 1 Carnwath Road
No. 5 Carnwath Road, as seen from the car park
No. 5 from the riverbank
No. 3 Carnwath Road
The access road to the apartment blocks from Carnwath Road.
Ayers G 1971 England's First State Hospitals and the MAB 1867-1930. London, Wellcome Institute.
Wilson N 1995/6 Ship Ahoy! Metropolitan Asylums Board River Ambulance Service. Unpublished dissertation filed at the Wellcome Library.
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