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Bloomsbury Institutions


North London Hospital for Consumption

Also known as North London Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest/North London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest/Mount Vernon Hospital


It was founded in Fitzroy Square in 1860 as the North London Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest, “to afford relief to the consumptive poor of the central and northern districts of the metropolis” (The Times, 16 May 1867)

It moved to Mount Vernon, Hampstead, in 1864, at first in an old house and eventually in purpose-built accommodation designed in 1880 by Thomas Roger Smith, Professor of Architecture at University College, London (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

However, it also maintained an out-patient clinic in Tottenham Court Road

In 1867 The Times noted that “Their department for out-patients is in Tottenham-court-road; and there many poor milliners and dressmakers employed in west-end establishments have applied for and obtained medical aid” (The Times, 16 May 1867)

In 1867 an estimated 78,000 people in England were suffering from TB, 15,000 of them in London alone, with up to 39,000 deaths annually, 7,500 in London (The Times, 16 May 1867)

In the Christmas Appeals published in The Times in 1871, the Chairman of the Hospital Committee, Arthur R. Godson, who was also Vicar of All Saints’ Church, Gordon Square, appealed for donations; he said that in the last year, the Hospital had treated 7,426 outpatients at Tottenham Court Road, compared to 183 in-patients at Hampstead itself (The Times, 21 December 1871)

In 1887, the number of in-patients had increased to 320, with far fewer outpatients—2,900—treated at Tottenham Court Road (The Times, 26 April 1888)

The Hospital was still appealing for funds to be sent to 216 Tottenham Court Road in 1891 (The Times, 31 December 1891)

But by 1893, the outpatients department was back where the hospital itself had started, in Fitzroy Square (The Times, 25 April 1893)

By 1906, 216 Tottenham Court Road was occupied by the Park Motor Company (The Times, 24 December 1906); the building no longer exists

A new purpose-built hospital was opened north of London in Northwood in 1904, becoming the main focus for the treatment of chest diseases; the Hampstead site later became associated with the treatment of cancer

The Hampstead hospital building was destroyed in the Second World War but new premises elsewhere in Hampstead continued to be used until 1967, when everything was transferred to the Northwood site

It became part of the Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust in the twentieth century

What was reforming about it?

It was a truly national specialist hospital; The Times noted that “besides attending to local wants the managers receive from all parts of the kingdom such cases of chest disease as may be deemed suitable for admission to the hospital” (The Times, 16 May 1867)

Where in Bloomsbury

Although the main Hospital itself was never in Bloomsbury, it had an important outpatients clinic at 216 Tottenham Court Road from the 1860s until the 1890s, which often treated more patients than the Hospital itself

Website of current institution

The successor institution is Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust, www.thh.nhs.uk (opens in new window)

Books about it

There is a brief account of its history and locations in C. R. Elrington ed, A History of the County of Middlesex, vol. 9: Hampstead, Paddington (Victoria County Histories) (1989)


Records from 1898–1925 relating to its King Edward’s Hospital Fund grant applications are held in London Metropolitan Archives, ref. A/KE/253/7; details are available via Access to Archives (opens in new window)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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