Royal Masonic Hospital

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Royal Masonic Hospital

The Royal Masonic Hospital was a hospital in the Ravenscourt Park area of Hammersmith, west London, built and opened in 1933.[1] The grade II* listed building[2] became the Ravenscourt Park Hospital in 2002, but this closed in 2006.[3] As of 2012 the building is being redeveloped by the C & C Alpha Group to house the London International Hospital (LIH), which will specialise in cancer and diseases of the heart and brain.[4][5]

Hospital history[edit]

The Freemasons' War Hospital, was opened by London Freemasons during World War I in Fulham Road, London, in the premises of the former Chelsea Hospital for Women, and treated over 4,000 servicemen by the end of the war. In 1920 it opened as the Freemason’s Hospital and Nursing Home, but outgrew its premises. The new hospital was opened by King George V and Queen Mary, and the king gave permission for the hospital to be renamed as the Royal Masonic Hospital.[1]

The hospital treated over 8,600 servicemen during World War II, and remained independent when the National Health Service was founded in 1948.[1] The Wakefield Wing, with new physiotherapy and pathology departments, accommodation for nurses, and a chapel, was opened in 1958, and a new surgical wing in 1976.[2] From 1977 it began to accept paying non-Mason patients, but financial pressures led to its closure and acquisition in 1992 by the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, not without controversy.[1][6]

The hospital reopened in 2002 as the Ravenscourt Park Hospital within the NHS, but closed again in 2006.[3]

The London International Hospital, a 150-bed private hospital, is planned to open in the refurbished building in 2014.[7]

Building[edit]

The architect was Thomas S. Tait, and the building was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal for the best building of the year in 1933.[8] The red-brick building "combines straight lines with spectacular curved balconies", and has large concrete relief figures of Hebe and Aesculapius by sculptor Gilbert Bayes.[2] The adjacent nurses' home is grade II listed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "The Royal Masonic Hospital and its Jewels". Library and Museum of Freemasonry. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Kimber, Jane (17 November 2009). "From the Archives Former Royal Masonic Hospital". h&f news (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham). p. 70. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Hospital closes after four years". BBC News. 29 August 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "London International Hospital". 53K. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "London International Hospital". C & C Alpha Group. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Victor, Peter (7 May 1995). "Freemason sues leaders for £23m to save hospital". The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Healthcare". C & C Alpha Group. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Thomas Smith Tait". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′47″N 0°14′26″W / 51.496333°N 0.240646°W / 51.496333; -0.240646