Oldest London Hospitals

The historical and bustling city of London is a major hub of commerce, and as the biggest city in the UK, boasts loads of sites to see. It also has a rich medical heritage with world-famous and world-class hospitals; read on to find out about famous London hospitals past and present.

Bethlem Royal Hospital


Founded back in 1247, the Bethlem Royal Hospital, otherwise known as Bedlam, is the oldest mental hospital in the world, and still operates today. Having moved from its initial site at the parish of St Botolph just out-with the London city walls, then to Moorfield, then St George’s Field and finally to its current home in the suburbs of London in the south-east of the city. Having celebrated its 750th anniversary in 1997, nowadays it is known as a renowned NHS mental hospital.

London Bridge Hospital


The London Bridge Hospital has to boast one of the most incredible locations of any London hospital. Although part of a network of clinics, its iconic flagship location is the one that’s found right on the banks of the mighty River Thames, and just a stone’s throw from London Bridge. With views of the bustling waterway and the Tower of London, one of England’s most recognizable landmarks, not only does this hospital offer world-class cancer care from the LOC, it does so at an amazing location. Perhaps not technically an old hospital, this one makes the list thanks to its incredibly historical location.

Great Ormond Street Hospital


Founded in 1852, London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital is another world-renowned one. This children’s hospital is located in the Bloomsbury area of London is known for its outstanding pediatric care, and world-leading techniques. Famously holding the rights to classic children’s book ‘Peter Pan,’ which the author J.M. Barrie donated to the hospital in 1929, this hospital also featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, proving just what an iconic hospital it is.

St Bartholomew’s Hopsital


Located in Smithfield in the very heart of London, St Bartholomew’s is the oldest continuously operating hospital in the world having been founded by the Anglo-Norman priest Rahere in 1192. Although it has been rebuilt many times over the years, it still stands on its original site. With a hospital museum, it has also been included in popular literature as Doctor Watson’s alma mater from Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries, and was in fact the initial meeting place of the pair too.

Priory Hospital


Better known as simply the Priory, it is somewhat infamous as the hospital of choice for celebrities suffering from mental or addiction problems. Founded in 1872 in a colossal white gothic mansion that was built in 1811, the building underwent a huge refurbishment to restore it to its former glory in 2007. This private hospital located in southwest London has treated such notable patients as Eric Clapton, Kate Moss and Johnny Depp.