Middlesex Hospital had its origin as Middlesex Infirmary, founded in 1745 to tend to the sick and lame of the Soho region of London.  Additional land was acquired in 1754 and in 1755-7, the Middlesex Hospital was built.  The Hospital started with 64 beds.  A new west wing was added in 1766 followed with an east wing in 1780.

The Medical School was established in 1835, or ninety years after the hospital was formed.  At first the pupils would follow physicians and surgeons in the wards, paying directly to the health professionals for their instruction. Prior to 1835, the main supply of students came from the Huntarian School of Medicine, where John Snow studied.  In 1835, Middlesex Hospital decided to form a medical school of its own. The most enthusiastic supporter was Sir Charles Bell (see picture), surgeon at the hospital known for his seminal work in 1821 on Bell's palsy (a type of facial paralysis).  Bell had earlier been on the faculty of the Huntarian School of Medicine, but resigned to attend full-time his position at Middlesex Hospital.  University College Hospital was just being formed and would be attracting patients and doctors from Middlesex.  All this provided incentive for Middlesex to form its own School of Medicine in 1836, one year after the hospital was rebuilt.  

While the Hospital and School languished for a time, a new and successful era opened by 1848.  In that year the Hospital built an extension which increased the number of beds to 295.  by 1859 the department for outpatients had been greatly enlarged, followed by the development of special departments for treatment of the eye (1862), the ear (1879), throat and nose (1880) and medical electricity (1880-85).  


(Quarter Mile Section - J 13)


Porter R. London - A Social History, 1994.

Saunders H S-G. The Middlesex Hospital, 1745-1948, 1949. 

Weinreb B, Hibbert C (eds). The London Encyclopaedia, 1993.

Entrance to Middlesex Hospital in 1829

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Front of New Medical School in 1836

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Map and Street View of Middlesex Hospital in 1838-40

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Middlesex Hospital in Cruchley's Map of 1846

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Entrance to Middlesex Hospital in 1848

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Old Ordnance Survey Map of 1870

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