The New London Fever Hospital

Newspaper Article

The erection of the New London Fever Hospital (illustrated by the accompanying engravings) has been occasioned by the Direct Northern Railway Company taking the site of tile present structure, together with the Smallpox Hospital for the purpose of forming their intended terminus near King's Cross. The site of the New Fever Hospital is in the Liverpool Road, Islington, at a higher level, and much more spacious and suitable than the present one. The building is also upon as enlarged scale, calculated for the reception of 900 patients, the present hospital being for 120 patients only; and the accommodation is proposed to embrace the various improvements resulting from science and experience in sanitary matters. All the wards for fever patients are on the ground-floor, with nipper wards for the convalescents; so that the greater part of the hospital is only of one storey. Particular provision is made for simultaneous supervision by the head nurses, as well as for a ready inspection of the whole establishment.

The means of warming and ventilating are also provided for in the construction. The building is to be of a plain but substantial character; the rusticated work and architectural dressings in front to be of Caen stone, on a granite plinth; the remainder of the acing to be of red brick.'
The first stone was laid by the president, the Earl of Devon; on the 29th of June, assisted by the Earl of Eldon and several other trustees and members of the committee and friends of the institution. The building s advancing rapidly and is to be completed by the 31st of March. 1849. Messrs. T. and W. Piper have undertaken the contract at the sum of £12,3121., which is inclusive of lodges, boundary walls, and several other contingent works, required to render the plan complete.

The architect is Mr. Charles Fowler, and the design vas selected in a competition, concerning which a correspondence appeared is our pages some time since.

The London Fever Hospital stood for over a century, high on the healthy Boyne Hill Gravel of Liverpool Road. After the Second World War it became an annexe to the Royal Free Hospital. In the 1980s the Royal Free built a large Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead and left the Liverpool Road site vacant. The buildings were listed but life drained out of them, neglected for want of a use.

Eventually, about 1990, it was decided to convert the site for housing, but by that time the Conservative government would not allow Local Authorities to build. The alternative was to ask a Housing Trust to build on behalf of the Local Authority, for nominated tenants. The site was too large for the capital of one Housing Trust so it was divided between two, Circle 33 and the New Islington & Hackney Association.

Architects Pollard, Thomas & Edwards converted the main hospital buildings, in their fine red brick, into separate flats for Circle 33, without destroying the original facades. At the same time, Levitt Bernstein Associates demolished most of the Upper Street end of the site, converted the old water tower into housing, and built a complete new village, which included special disabled housing, for the NIHA.

The story of the conversion of the Royal Free Site into some splendid housing is told in the Islington/Royal Free section.


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Updated August 8, 2011