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Phil Maxwell At The London Hospital

December 19, 2015
by the gentle author

Contributing Photographer Phil Maxwell was granted access to the former Royal London Hospital while it sits in limbo. inhabited only by the lonely ghost of Joseph Merrick, as the building awaits its new purpose as Town Hall for the Borough of Tower Hamlets


Photographs copyright © Phil Maxwell

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18 Responses leave one →
  1. December 19, 2015

    Great photos, I love the sign about employees will be suspended with the handwritten addition. Valerie

  2. Barbara Elsmore permalink
    December 19, 2015

    Fabulous photos and what a record of a building in sad decline. I am assuming this is just a small selection and I congratulate Phil Maxwell on having the foresight to visit and take such poignant shots and to create this lasting record.

  3. Karen Rennie permalink
    December 19, 2015

    thanks again gentle author for filling in some of my background. My father the oldest of five children living in Brick Lane, studied at the Whitechapel Library determined to become a doctor. He trained at the London Hospital and may well have looked out of that evocative window that Phil Maxwell has beautifully photographed.

  4. Hellen Martin permalink
    December 19, 2015

    What beautiful window furniture (pic 6). Do hope all the interesting and historic fixtures aren’t going to be thrown out in the refurbishment.

  5. Richard permalink
    December 19, 2015

    Good news that The London has found a new purpose. Great that old buildings are being refurbished. I look forward to revisiting my and my dads old college.

  6. December 19, 2015

    I do hope that this will be the basis of a new book. It would surely be a great addition to the series produced by The Gentle Author?

  7. Ellen in NEW England permalink
    December 19, 2015

    “By the neck”!

    I love those tiny decorative touches that seem to be a hallmark of older and better-made industrial products – the fiddlehead curl on a window-handle or an extra band welded to the top of a vent pipe. Not quite necessary, but since you’re making the thing, and adding a little flourish costs a few minutes of time and then makes the thing nicer to look at or maybe to hold, why not??? We have galvanized iron pipe shelving frames, and each pipe is topped with a little iron acorn. Later versions have a boring round cap. The acorn ones are a better quality overall.

  8. December 19, 2015

    I trained at the London 1985 -1988 this has made me feel so nostalgic, amazing pics

  9. December 19, 2015

    Great pictures of the old building. So glad to hear that it isn’t going to be demolished; although it’s hard to envisage it as a town hall.

  10. alison homewood permalink
    December 20, 2015

    I was born at this hospital – my father was a junior Doctor here before he left for warmer climes. So glad it is being transformed into Tower Hamlets Town Hall, truly a great use of a heritage building. Thank you for such evocative photos

  11. Ian Silverton permalink
    December 21, 2015

    The place should be pulled down,and new housing built for the poor local people to live and work,town hall what a joke!!!! Sooner done the better for the local people. What a dump it looks,then it never did look much,poor old EAST LONDON.

  12. December 21, 2015

    Excellent work.

  13. December 22, 2015

    Super! Up on the roof, too… I envy you, Phil 🙂

  14. Charlie Gibbons permalink
    January 9, 2016

    I was a medical student at The London 84-89 and then a junior doctor. Fantastic old photos – hope the old building will be looked after and original features kept for its future use. I hope the old war memorial is respected.

  15. Derek Bailey permalink
    January 10, 2019

    A wonderful piece of nostalagia – I had my tonsils removed there in the summer of 1946. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. Karen Harris permalink
    August 21, 2019

    Wonderful photographs. I trained and worked as a nurse at The London Hospital from 1975 until 1999 and only took a few photos. Possibly believing the place would stay the same forever. These photos are so evocative of my time. They bring back many great memories.

  17. Lisa Knill permalink
    December 10, 2019

    I worked at the London hospital in the 1970’s, it had a character all of it’s own. It was the time of the ‘Blind Beggar’ pub where the Kray twins were arrested , Evil Kinevil came to A and E following a failed stunt on his motorcycle and was only upset when they cut his White leather suit off, we were locked in the nurses home at night and the ward sisters held daily prayers which they read from a prayer board. One of the happiest and most influential times in my life.

  18. Lynne H permalink
    December 10, 2019

    I was there with Lisa Knill. We were seconded from Gt Ormond Street to do our general training and both lived in Cavell Home in East Mount Street. We regularly walked across those bridges to get to the wards and, as Lisa says, an incredible experience it all was too. Morning prayers, quirky things like the London Hospital canvas backrests with leather straps and a ‘donkey’ (a sandbag) that sat in the foot of the bed for the patients to rest their feet on. We worked incredibly hard in those wards, known fondly as The Big End and the sisters were second to none for the discipline they imposed. Yes, we’d have to make sure all the bed wheels faced the same way when Bishop Huddleston came to visit the ward.

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