Oldest hospital in London to be celebrated

Oldest hospital in London to be celebrated

London’s oldest hospital will be celebrated this month with a free outdoor exhibition at three locations in the City of London.

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, more commonly known as ‘Barts’, opened to patients in 1123 and has provided patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England.

The story of the hospital’s extraordinary legacy will be told using photographs, art, and history drawn from Barts Health NHS Trust Archives’ extensive collections.

A mix of diaries, maps, ancient account books, images, and medieval records will demonstrate moving stories of those who worked, lived, and died at the hospital over the last nine centuries.

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The exhibition opens in the City Corporation’s Guildhall Yard, EC2, from 10 May and is on until 6 June, after which it will be presented in Aldgate Square, EC3, from 7 June until 5 July.

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The final part of the exhibition runs at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Square, EC1, from 6 July to 1 August.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage, and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said: “St. Bartholomew’s Hospital has been a very familiar sight in the City since medieval times, and it is entirely fitting that we celebrate its landmark anniversary and the superb work carried out by its dedicated staff over the centuries. This engaging exhibition will open on a location that is no less historic, being the site of London’s Roman Amphitheatre and, as with previous displays presented here, I am sure that it will prove very popular.”

“This fruitful collaboration between the hospital and the City Corporation aligns with our flagship Destination City programme, which is creating a seven-day-a-week leisure destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.”

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Yard, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £130m annually.

Lead archivist for Barts Health, Kate Jarman, said: “Our archives reveal an unbroken history from the founding of St Bartholomew’s in 1123 to present day. From the famous to the forgotten, London lives fly from the pages of Barts’ ancient ledgers, with stories of crisis and caring, miracle and mayhem, living and loss, agony and healing. This exhibition is not to be missed.”

To find out more information on the wider Barts900 campaign and programme, visit the Barts900 website.

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