St Olave's Hospital

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St Olave's Hospital was a general hospital serving the Rotherhithe area of London until its closure in 1985.


The hospital was built originally as the Rotherhithe Infirmary in Deptford Lower Road (now Lower Road), Rotherhithe, London in 1729 on land adjoining Rotherhithe Workhouse.[1]

In 1865 it was denounced in The Lancet in its demands for poor law medical reform. There was only one paid nurse, with four pauper assistants.[2] Nurse Matilda Beeton described filth and neglect "where many sick patients were dirty, their bodies crawling with vermin".[3]

The buildings became the infirmary of St Olave's Union by Order of the Local Government Board in 1875.[4]

After being known as the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Hospital [5] in the 1920s it was renamed St Olave's Hospital in 1930 and transferred from the Bermondsey Board of Guardians to the London County Council. It had 687 beds.[6] In 1948, with the formation of the National Health Service, St Olave's was managed by the Bermondsey and Southwark Hospital Management Committee until 1966 when it became part of the Guy's Hospital Teaching Group.

The site today[edit]

Since the hospital's closure in 1985, the site has been redeveloped into the residential Ann Moss Way.


  1. ^ "St Olave's Hospital". National Archives. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Rotherhithe St Mary". The Workhouse. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Ayers, Gwendoline (1971). England’s First State Hospitals. London: Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "St Olave's Hospital". Lost Hospitals of London. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 

Coordinates: 51°29′48″N 0°3′15″W / 51.49667°N 0.05417°W / 51.49667; -0.05417