In 1876 potential sites for an infirmary for the sick poor of the parish of St Marylebone were being considered in the West End, Hampstead and Ladbroke Grove in North Kensington. The last site was finally chosen - a 3.5 acre site in Rackham Street costing almost £8100 - and the foundation stone was laid in 1879.
In 1881 the St Marylebone Union Infirmary was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The building was three storeys high, with a central block and four pavilions. It had accommodation for 744 patients (372 males in the two pavilions to the west of the central block and 372 females to the east) and 86 resident staff (the Infirmary also had 82 non-resident staff).
The staff included a resident Medical Officer, whose annual salary should have been £500, but the Guardians managed to beat this down to £450, an Assistant Medical Officer, who earned £150 a year, a dispenser (£120 a year) and a Matron, who earned between £100-150. The Assistant Matron received £50-70 a year, while a pavilion nurse earned £28-32. A day or night nurse received £20-25 a year, while the Head Night Nurse received £32-38. Accommodation, rations, uniforms and laundry were included.
In 1884 more land was bought and a Nurses' Home built, which was opened by Princess Christian, daughter of Queen Victoria. Florence Nightingale established a Training School for Nurses at the Infirmary, one of the first in a poor law establishment.
In 1902 an X-ray apparatus was installed and an operating theatre opened.
In 1923 the Infirmary was renamed the St Marylebone Hospital. By this time it had 732 beds; the patients were mainly chronically infirm adults and children. The following year an extension adjacent to the west end of the original Nurses' Home was opened by the then Minister of Health, Neville Chamberlain (the extension became known as the Chamberlain Home). In 1926 some wards had bedside wireless sets installed. In 1928 an internal phone system was installed.
In 1930 the LCC took over administrative charge and renamed it St Charles Hospital. New buldings were erected in the open spaces between the pavilions during the 1930s and, in 1936, another new Nurses' Home opened. In 1937 new accommodation was built for the night nurses at the northwest corner of the site, which had previously been occupied by the doctors' garden (the Chamberlain Home had proved to be inadequate and noisy). In 1938 an epidemic of infective enteritis in babies caused several to be admitted. Some died and this affected the reputation of the Hospital for a while.
In 1939 the Hospital became a District General Hospital, but facilities were inadequate and few operations were performed. For the duration of WW2 all the top floor wards were closed. A bomb demolished the southern boundary wall and several windows were blown out. A few incendiary bombs fell in the open spaces, but the Hospital survived relatively unscathed.
In 1948 St Charles Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the Paddington Group Hospital Management Committee. The number of beds decreased as wards were taken over for other uses. By 1949 there were 400 beds, 260 of which were medical, including 60 for TB patients, 12 for venereal disease and 45 for children.
During the 1950s the Hospital acquired several Portakabins and an Out-Patients Department opened. In 1952 an 8-bedded plastic surgery unit was opened by Sir Harold Gillies (1882-1960).
In 1960 a bleeper system was installed for the medical staff. New pathology laboratories opened in 1964 and, in 1966, the wards were modernized. The Peter Pan Ward, with 36 beds, was opened as a facility for mothers to stay with their children. In 1967 a modern, fully air-conditioned twin operating theatre with anaesthetic and recovery rooms was built. The following year a new plastic surgery ward was opened by Lady Gillies.
The Out-Patients Department was extended in 1972 and, in 1973, a Paediatric Department was opened by Sir Keith Joseph (1918-1994), Secretary of State for Health and Social Services.
By 1981 the Hospital had 350 beds with 600 staff (one-third of which were resident), reversing the earlier situation when there had been more beds than staff. 104 beds were for general medical cases, 81 surgical, 36 orthopaedic, 36 paediatric and 63 for the elderly. The wards were upgraded and the following year plans were made for a new psychiatric and psychogeriatric unit to be established between the main Hospital and St Marks Road, giving an extra 116 beds and 120 places in a Day Hospital.
In-patient services gradually reduced though and, by 1998, the Hospital had 120 beds. The site became underused and its future uncertain. In 2007 NHS Direct closed its call centre based at the Hospital.
The Hospital is currently managed by Kensington and Chelsea Primary Case Trust (PCT), although historically most in-patients had been from Westminster. The PCT runs a Minor Injuries Unit, a palliative care centre and a pharmacy; there are 61 beds for patients requiring rehabilitation. About one-third of the site is occupied by a Mental Health Centre operated by the Central and North West London Mental Health Trust (CNWL). Licence:
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|VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1750s|
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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|VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1800s|
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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|VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1830s|
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
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|VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1860s|
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
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|VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1900s|
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North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.
North Kensington was rural until the 19th century when it was developed as an suburb with quite large homes. By the 1880s, too many houses had been built for the upper-middle class towards whom the area was aimed. Large houses were divided into low cost flats which often degenerated into slums, as documented in the photographs of Roger Mayne.
During the 1980s, the area started to be gentrified although areas in the north west of the district at Ladbroke Grove
and Westbourne Park remain deprived and run down to this day.
Waves of immigrants have arrived for at least a century including, but certainly not limited to, the Spanish, the Irish, the Jews, the West Indians, the Portuguese, the Moroccans and many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in London.
The Notting Hill carnival was first staged in 1964 as a way for the local Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. After some rough times in the 1970s and 1980s when it became associated with social protest, violence and huge controversy over policing tactics, this is now Europe’s largest carnival/festival event and a major event in the London calendar. It is staged every August over the Bank holiday weekend.
A seminal gig
|LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP|
: Once upon a time in 1979, Joy Division, OMD and A Certain Ratio were on the same bill - and all for £1.50.Acklam Hall
: Acklam Hall became a community centre for the post-Westway Acklam RoadAdmiral Blake (The Cowshed)
: The Admiral Blake was situated at the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Barlby Road.Barlby Road Primary School
: Barlby Road Primary School has long served the children of North Kensington.Bassett House School
: Bassett House School is a preparatory school for children aged 3 to 11 years old based in North Kensington. Cabaret Voltaire in Acklam Road
: Cabaret Voltaire played one of their classic early gigs under the flyover in Acklam Road.Carmelite Monastery of The Most Holy Trinity
: Convent in North KensingtonClayton Arms
: A pub which was situated halfway down West Row in Kensal Town.Color Printing Works
: Color (sic) Printing Works featured on the 1900 map of North Kensington.Dissenters’ Chapel
: The Dissenters’ Chapel is a redundant chapel in Kensal Green Cemetery, recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.Gas Light and Coke Company
: The gasometers of the Gas Light and Coke company dominated North Kensington until demolition in the late 20th century.Help us to build a better W10!
: We are after your memories!I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet
: I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet was a clothing boutique which achieved fame in 1960s "Swinging London" by promoting antique military uniforms as fashion items.Kensal House
: There are two Kensal Houses in London W10 - this was the originalMiddle Row School
: Middle Row School was established in the late 19th century to provide education to the children of Kensal New Town.North Kensington
: North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.Notting Hill Barn Farm
: Notting Barns Farm was one of two farms in the North Kensington area.Portobello Farm
: Portobello Farm House was approached along Turnpike Lane, sometimes referred to as Green’s Lane, a track leading from Kensington Gravel Pits towards a wooden bridge over the canal.Princess Louise Hospital
: The Princess Louise Hospital for Children was opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1928. It had 42 beds, an Out-Patients Department and Dispensary for Sick Women.Queen Victoria/Narrow Boat
: The 'Vic' was the first building on the right when crossing the canal going north along Ladbroke Grove.Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School
: Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School is in St Charles Square.St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College
: St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College is a Roman Catholic sixth form college.St Martins Mission
: Saint Martin's Mission was originally known as Rackham Hall as it was situated on Rackham Street. St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs
: St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs - two spellings missing from the modern map.St. Joseph's Home
: St Joseph's dominated a part of Portobello Road up until the 1980s.The Eagle
: The Eagle, on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Telford Road.The Flora
: The Flora is situated on Harrow Road, W10.The Foresters
: A lost pub of London W10The Mitre
: The Mitre was situated at 62 Golborne Road.Western Arms
: The Western Arms was a pub situated on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Kensal Road.Acklam Road protests
: Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the WestwayCorner of Rackham Street, Ladbroke Grove (1950)
: The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.Exmoor Street (1950)
: Photographed just after the Second World War, looking north along Exmoor Street.Golborne Road bridge (1960s)
: We think that this photo dates from the late 1960s, according to fashions and car registrations.Graffiti along Acklam Road (1970s)
: Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the WestwayKids in Acklam Road
: Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the WestwayLadbroke Grove looking north (1900)
: This early 1900s image was taken just south of the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Treverton Street.Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950)
: Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle
public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.Ladbroke Grove railway bridge
: Looking north over Bartle Bridge in the 1950sRackham Street, eastern end (1950)
: The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.Rackham Street, western end (1950)
: A bombed-out Rackham Street, looking down from the junction with Exmoor Street.St Charles Square after bombing (1950)
: A corner of St Charles Square looking north, just after the Second World WarSt Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951)
: Photographed in 1951, the corner of St Charles Square and Ladbroke Grove looking northwest just after the Second World War.St Charles’ Square Training College (1908)
: St Charles’ Square Training College/Carmelite Convent.St Quintin Park Cricket Ground (1890s)
: Before the turn of the 20th century, west of present day North Kensington lay fields - the future Barlby Road was the site of the St Quintin Park Cricket Ground.The Victoria (1920s)
: The Victoria later became the Narrow Boat before it ’conveniently burned down’.Under westway (1977)
: Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the WestwayWestern Dwellings from below (1960s)
: This photo was taken from the bottom of Southern Row steps.William Miller's Yard
: William Miller's Yard stood in Chapel Place, West Row.
Acklam Road, W10
|NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP|
· Adela Street, W10
· Admiral Mews, W10
· Archway Close, W10
· Ashburn Gardens, SW7
· Astwood Mews, SW7
· Balliol Road, W10
· Barlby Gardens, W10
· Barlby Road, W10
· Bassett Road, W10
· Bevington Road, W10
· Bonchurch Road, W10
· Bracewell Road, W10
· Branstone Street, W10
· Brechin Place, SW7
· Bruce Close, W10
· Calverley Street, W10
· Canal Close, W10
· Canal Way, W10
· Chesterton Road, W10
· Cornwall Gardens, SW7
· Dalgarno Gardens, W10
· Emperors Gate, SW7
· Exmoor Street, W10
· Faraday Road, W10
· Finstock Road, W10
· Golborne Mews, W10
· Golborne Road, W10
· Grenville Place, SW7
· Hewer Street, W10
· Highlever Road, W10
· Hill Farm Road, W10
· Humber Drive, W10
· Ivebury Court, W10
· Kelfield Gardens, W10
· Kelfield Mews, W10
· Kensal House, W10
· Kingsbridge Road, W10
· Kynance Mews, SW7
· Ladbroke Grove, W10
· Lavie Mews, W10
· Lionel Mews, W10
· Manchester Road, W10
· Matthew Close, W10
· Maxilla Walk, W10
· Methwold Road, W10
· Millwood Street, W10
· Mitre Way, W10
· Morgan Road, W10
· Munro Mews, W10
· Norburn Street, W10
· North Pole Road, W10
· Oakworth Road, W10
· Osten Mews, SW7
· Oxford Gardens, W10
· Pamber Street, W10
· Pangbourne Avenue, W10
· Porlock Street, W10
· Rackham Street, W10
· Raddington Road, W10
· Raymede Street, W10
· Rootes Drive, W10
· Rosary Gardens, SW7
· Salters Road, W10
· Scampston Mews, W10
· Shrewsbury Street, W10
· Silchester Street, W10
· Southam Street, W10
· Southern Row, W10
· St Charles Place, W10
· St Charles Square, W10
· St Helens Gardens, W10
· St Johns Terrace, W10
· St Lawrence Terrace, W10
· St Marks Road, W10
· St Quintin Avenue, W10
· St Quintin Gardens, W10
· Sunbeam Crescent, W10
· Sutton Way, W10
· Sycamore Walk, W10
· Telford Road, W10
· Thorpe Close, W10
· Treverton Street, W10
· Wallingford Avenue, W10
· Walmer Road, W10
· West Row, W10
· Western Dwellings
· Westway, W11
· Wornington Road, W10
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