Situated at 51-55 Waterloo Road. London, SE1 8TX
Established on this site as the Royal Universal Infirmary for Children in 1823-4. Extended in 1876 before being demolished to make way for the existing building in free-Renaissance style with Art-Nouveau decoration. Now a Grade II listed building and part of the English Heritage National Inventory (Ref Archaeology Data Service)
One of the earliest buildings in Waterloo Road was the Royal Universal Infirmary for Children. This institution was the successor of the Universal Dispensary for Sick and Indigent Children founded in 1816 by Dr. J. Bunnell Davis in premises in St. Andrew’s Hill, Doctors’ Commons. A four-storey building, two storeys being below the level of the road, was erected in 1823 at the north-east corner of Waterloo Road and Stamford Street, and was opened as a dispensary in the following year. The design was made gratuitously by David Laing, architect of the Customs House. Although the institution enjoyed the patronage of various royal personages and of the Lord Mayor of London it was perpetually short of funds, and, until 1851, treatment was given only to out-patients, part of the building being let as a school.
In 1851 a surgical ward was opened, and in 1852 arrangements were made with the trustees of the Hayles Estate for the reception of a certain number of poor women from the parish of Lambeth.
The infirmary was built on land which was part of the triangular slip of ground bought by the Waterloo Bridge Company from Jesus College, Oxford, and assigned to the Duchy of Cornwall in exchange for ground given up to form the bridge approaches. In 1876 the Prince of Wales sold the freehold to the trustees of the infirmary John Fisher Eastwood, Frederick Lincoln Bevan and the Rev. Frederic Tugwell and a new storey was added to the building. Five years later they acquired the freehold of the adjoining properties in Waterloo Road and Stamford Street.
The hospital was entirely rebuilt in 1903–05, with the exception of the nurses’ home, which was completed in 1927. (Ref: British History Online)
In 1948 the hospital became part of the National Health Service as one of the Saint Thomas’ Hospital Group, providing beds for children, general medical and surgical, skin and psychiatric patients. It was also used for the training of medical students. The Royal Waterloo Hospital closed on 27th July 1976. (Ref: London Metropolitan Archives)
Since the early 1980’s, the building houses the Schiller International University
The building exterior made a guest appearance as the “Royal Veterans’ Hospital” in the recent Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie. (UK OnScreen)
[Casio Exilim EX-S10, f:4.2, 1/40 sec, ISO-50]
Featured with other London pictures in the following calendar: