St Thomas' Hospital is a large NHS hospital in Lambeth, London. It is administratively a part of Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. It has provided health care freely or under charitable auspices since the 12th Century and was originally located in Southwark.
It was described as ancient in 1215 and was named after Thomas Becket - which suggests it may have been founded after 1173 when Becket was canonised. However it is possible it was only renamed in 1173 and that it was founded when St Mary Overie Priory was refounded in 1100 in Southwark.
It was a mixed order of Augustinian monks and nuns, dedicated to Thomas Becket. It provided shelter and treatment for the poor, sick, and homeless. In the fifteenth century, Richard Whittington endowed a laying-in ward for unmarried mothers. The monastery was dissolved in the Reformation, but reopened in 1551 and rededicated to Thomas the Apostle. It was reopened by Edward VI and has remained open ever since.
At the end of the 17th century, the hospital and church were largely rebuilt by Sir Robert Clayton , president of the hospital and a former Lord Mayor of London. He employed Thomas Cartwright as architect.
Sir Thomas Guy, a governor of St Thomas', founded Guy's Hospital in 1721 as a place to treat 'incurables' discharged from St Thomas'.
St Thomas' Hospital is one of London's most famous hospitals - associated with names such as Astley Cooper and William Cheselden and Florence Nightingale, and appearing in the 2002 movie 28 Days Later.
There are only a few surviving pieces of the old Hospital in St Thomas Street in Southwark - including the Old Operating Theatre, which is now a Museum.
The modern St Thomas' Hospital is located in the London Borough of Lambeth across the river from the Palace of Westminster on a plot of land which was reclaimed from the river during construction of the Albert Embankment in the late 1860s.
Children's hospital departments are provided by Evelina Children's Hospital.
Florence Nightingale Museum
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13