London Chest Hospital awarded Grade II listed status

Photograph: Herry Lawford via Flickr
Photograph: Herry Lawford via Flickr

The future of a historic former hospital has been enshrined in law thanks to its newly awarded Grade II-listed status.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale, is to add the former London Chest Hospital in Bonner Road to the National Heritage List for England.

Also included are the south wing of 1863-5 and sanitary tower of 1890-2, along with the Victorian gas lamp, dwarf wall, railings and entrance gates.

Local historian Tom Ridge said: “I am very pleased that the historic buildings at the closed London Chest Hospital have been listed Grade II. Just like the Brompton Chest Hospital in West London, they will be converted to flats.”

The hospital was one of the earliest dedicated to diseases of the chest and was founded by City philanthropists, mainly Quakers, to combat consumption in north and east London.

The foundation stone was laid by Prince Albert in 1851 and the main building was opened in 1855 for tuberculosis patients in the East End.

Extensions were added as funds became available – the hospital was built and maintained by public donations and voluntary contributions until it was taken over in the early days of the NHS.

Circle Housing bought the site from the National Health Service for £47 million.

The listing application to Historic England was made by the Victorian Society with detailed comments on Historic England’s consultation report by local historian Tom Ridge and a member of the Victorian Society.

Historic England also considered a request to issue a certificate of immunity against listing but decided to recommend listing to the Secretary of State.

“I hope that the national listing of the Chest Hospital will encourage Tower Hamlets Council to undertake a full review of its Local List as part of its 2016-2017 Local Plan, ” said Mr Ridge.

Historic England said in its report that the hospital was “built to a dignified design in late 17th Century style” as well as being “one of the earliest dedicated to diseases of the chest”.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We recommended the former London Chest hospital buildings for listing at Grade II because of their architectural merit, accomplished sculptural decoration, their distinctive plan and the survival of some important internal features including the impressive main entrance.”

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