St Mary’s Harrow Road

Hospital in/near Maida Hill, existed between 1883 and 1986

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MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Hospital · Maida Hill · W9 ·
MARCH
28
2017

St Mary’s Harrow Road was built as the infirmary for the Paddington Workhouse.


In 1847 a new workhouse was built by the Paddington Guardians to house its poor, as the neighbouring Kensington workhouse, which had been used until then, had become too crowded.

The Paddington workhouse was located on the north bank of the Grand Union Canal, to the south of Harrow Road. In 1868 its sick wards were extended and new offices and a dispensary also added.

In 1883 work began on a separate infirmary building, which was sited between the workhouse and the adjacent Lock Hospital. It would cost £1,100 and contain six wards, including a lying-in ward and a lunatic observation ward, as well as a dispensary. A midwife was engaged and a Relieving Officer for the dispensary, but the contractors went bankrupt and the infirmary was not completed until 1885.

The Paddington Infirmary opened in 1886. It was a long 4-storey building with a basement, and lay on a north-south axis. It contained 284 beds, although some sick beds remained in the workhouse itself, giving a total of 295 beds altogether. Male patients were accommodated in the south part and female in the north. Distinctly shaped towers at each end of the building contained the bathrooms and WCs.

In 1886 the Medical Officers of the Marylebone and Paddington Infirmaries approached St Mary’s Hospital Medical School with a view to establishing cooperation in clinical instruction for medical students. They were turned down (a prevailing snobbery of the time resulted in teaching hospital staff looking down on those employed in infirmaries).

In 1890 most of the workhouse inmates - some 90% - were aged over 65 years, but the Infirmary was admitting an increasing number of younger acute cases.

By 1907 there was a great need for a Nurses’ Home but a minority of the Board of Governors, backed by a large number of ratepayers, protested against its cost of £10,000. The Board decided it was more economical to adapt existing buildings for the purpose.

In 1913 25% of admissions to the Infirmary were children under the age of 10 years, half of whom were discharged within a month. Only 5% remained for six months or more.

In 1919 Dr Charles Wilson(later Lord Moran), the future Dean of St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, saw the advantages of a link with the Marylebone and Paddington Infirmaries, which could supply a wealth of clinical material not available in a general hospital. The Paddington Board of Guardians agreed to the proposal that medical students could visit and receive clinical instruction at the Infirmary. (It seems that the medical staff of the Infirmary were better qualified than those of the workhouse.) Thus, clinical lectures were held at the Infirmary, allowing it to claim that it was the only metropolitan infirmary where such instruction (normally restricted to general hospitals) had been attempted.

As the medical care improved due to the link with St Mary’s Hospital, more non-pauper patients began to seek treatment at the Infirmary, with their expections of better care higher than those of the workhouse paupers.

In 1921 the nurses finally got their Nurses’ Home. As the number of beds had risen to 594 and the number of operations had increased to over 200 a year, so had the number of nursing staff. A reduction in hours worked by the nurses also meant more had to be employed, thus creating an even greater necessity for a Nurses’ Home. The new Home was opened by the Earl of Onslow, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, as was an up-to-date operating theatre, bringing the Infirmary more towards the standing of a general hospital.

The operating theatre was spacious, with a north and a top light, and painted in cream, rather than the usual dazzling white. The anaesthetic room was painted green, while the sterilising room was lined with white tiles. The surgeon’s room was also painted cream. The floors of the theatre and its annexes were tesselated throughout. Small round windows were inset into the plain doors leading to the theatre, so that the progress of an operation could be observed without opening the door. Above the operating table was a great lamp with reflectors (on the principle of a lighthouse lamp), which was movable freely latitudinally, but not longitudinally.

The Nurses’ Home provided each nurse with a separate bedroom. The sitting room walls were painted cream, with green woodwork and a carpet of Aubusson colouring.

In 1929 control of the workhouse and Infirmary transferred to the LCC, who renamed the site the Paddington Hospital.

In 1935 the Hospital had 605 beds.

In 1948 it joined the NHS under the control of the Paddington Group Hospital Medical Committee, part of the North West Metropolitan Regional Health Board.

In 1954 it became Paddington General Hospital.

In 1968 it affiliated with St Mary’s Hospital in Praed Street and was renamed St Mary’s Hospital (Harrow Road) or, more colloquially, St Mary’s Harrow Road. The St Mary’s Hospital Group also contained St Charles’ Hospital, Paddington Green Children’s Hospital and the Western Ophthalmic Hospital.

Considerable extensions were made to the Hospital over the years, including a new Out-Patients Department, a Casualty Department, a pharmacy, pathology laboratories and a Teaching Centre.

In 1971 the remedial therapies (physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy) were integrated into one department. In 1977 Rheumatology and Rehabilitation wards were opened - the first in the District - but were forced to close in 1979, when the first serious financial cuts affected the NHS.

In 1981 the Hospital had 431 beds, but the Area Health Authority decided that there were too many acute beds in the District, and that the service would be concentrated at the Praed Street site and at St Charles’ Hospital. Thus, the Casualty Department and the acute beds closed at Harrow Road. In 1984 a special Rheumatology ward opened again, shared with patients from the Oral Surgery Unit.

By 1985 there were 166 beds. The Hospital was due to be closed once Phase 1 of the rebuilding of its mother hospital in Praed Street was completed but, due to financial pressures, it closed prematurely. The last Out-Patient clinic was held on 31st October 1986 and the wards finally closed on 22nd November. Services were transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in Praed Street.


Citations and sources

Gillian Bebbington's 1972 work on street name derivations

Links and further reading

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Mary Harris
Mary Harris   
Added: 19 Dec 2017 17:12 GMT   
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Post by Mary Harris: 31 Princedale Road, W11

John and I were married in 1960 and we bought, or rather acquired a mortgage on 31 Princedale Road in 1961 for £5,760 plus another two thousand for updating plumbing and wiring, and installing central heating, a condition of our mortgage. It was the top of what we could afford.

We chose the neighbourhood by putting a compass point on John’s office in the City and drawing a reasonable travelling circle round it because we didn’t want him to commute. I had recently returned from university in Nigeria, where I was the only white undergraduate and where I had read a lot of African history in addition to the subject I was studying, and John was still recovering from being a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese in the Far East in WW2. This is why we rejected advice from all sorts of people not to move into an area where there had so recently bee

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Maria Russ
Maria Russ   
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Post by Maria Russ: Middle Row Bus Garage

My mum worked as a Clippie out from Middle Row Bus Garage and was conductress to George Marsh Driver. They travel the City and out to Ruislip and Acton duiring the 1950’s and 1960’s. We moved to Langley and she joined Windsor Bus Garage and was on the Greenline buses after that. It was a real family of workers from Middle Row and it formed a part of my early years in London. I now live in New Zealand, but have happy memories of the early years of London Transport and Middle Row Garage.
Still have mum’s bus badge.

Happy times they were.

Julia elsdon
Julia elsdon   
Added: 22 Nov 2017 18:19 GMT   
IP: 87.112.95.228
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Post by Julia elsdon: Shirland Mews, W9

I didn’t come from Shirland Mews, but stayed there when my father was visiting friends, sometime in the mid to late forties. As I was only a very young child I don’t remember too much. I seem to think there were the old stables or garages with the living accommodation above. My Mother came from Malvern Road which I think was near Shirland Mews. I remember a little old shop which had a "milk cow outside". So I was told, it was attached to the front of the shop and you put some money in and the milk would be dispensed into your container. Not too sure if it was still in use then. Just wonder if anyone else remembers it.yz5

David Jones-Parry
David Jones-Parry   
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Post by David Jones-Parry: Tavistock Crescent, W11

I was born n bred at 25 Mc Gregor Rd in 1938 and lived there until I joined the Royal Navy in 1957. It was a very interesting time what with air raid shelters,bombed houses,water tanks all sorts of areas for little boys to collect scrap and sell them on.no questions asked.A very happy boyhood ,from there we could visit most areas of London by bus and tube and we did.

Debbie hobbs
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Added: 19 Sep 2017 09:08 GMT   
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Post by Debbie hobbs : Raymede Street, W10

I SUPPLIED THE PICTURE ABOVE GIVEN TO TOM VAGUE TO PASS ON... ITS DATE IS C1906 ..IN THE DISTANCE IS RACKHAM STREET WITH ITS MISSION HALL, HEWER STREET TO THE RIGHT

David Jones-Parry
David Jones-Parry   
Added: 7 Sep 2017 12:13 GMT   
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Post by David Jones-Parry: Mcgregor Road, W11

I lived at 25 Mc Gregor Rd from 1938 my birth until I joined the Royal Navy in 1957.Our house sided onto Ridgeways Laundry All Saints Rd. I had a happy boyhood living there

Brenda Jackson
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Added: 13 Aug 2017 21:39 GMT   
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Post by Brenda Jackson: Granville Road, NW6

My Gt Gt grandparents lived at 83 Pembroke Road before it became Granville Road, They were married in 1874, John Tarrant and Maryann Tarrant nee Williamson.
Her brother George Samuel Williamson lived at 95 Pembroke Road with his fwife Emily and children in the 1881 Census

Apparently the extended family also lived for many years in Alpha Place, Canterbury Road, Peel Road,

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VIEW THE MAIDA HILL AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE MAIDA HILL AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE MAIDA HILL AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE MAIDA HILL AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE MAIDA HILL AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Maida Hill

Maida Hill's name derives from the Hero of Maida inn which used to be on Edgware Road near the Regent's Canal.

The pub was named after General Sir John Stuart who was made Count of Maida by King Ferdinand IV of Naples and Sicily after the victory at the Battle of Maida in 1806. Previously the fields here had been the highest part of Paddington at 120 feet above sea level and called "Hill House Fields".

By 1810 the locality was being marked as ‘Maida’ on maps. The Maida Hill tunnel, begun in 1812, was the first canal tunnel to be built in London and is the second longest. Its route had to be altered to avoid the Portman estate, which had refused passage through its property.

The part of Edgware Road immediately north of the Regent’s Canal was subsequently called Maida Hill, and later Maida Hill East, while modern Little Venice was formerly Maida Hill West. The whole name then migrated west and renamed an area previously known as St Peter’s Park.

Modern Maida Hill is bounded to the north and east by Shirland Road, in the west by Walterton Road with the Regent's Canal to the south.

The name had fallen out of use but, in the mid 2000s, the 414 bus route revived the name as its destination on Shirland Road. Then a new street market on the Piazza at the junction of Elgin Avenue and Harrow Road deened itself in Maida Hill.
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