Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): H17/SMA

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1872-1993

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 13.27 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital | 1948-1992 x Kensington Infirmary | 1848-1923 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital | 1923-1938 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (1) | 1938-1948
Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital | 1948-1992 x Kensington Workhouse x Kensington Institution | 1912-1933 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (Institution) | 1933-1938 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (2) | 1938-1944


Administrative/Biographical history:

The oldest part of Kensington Workhouse, later known as Stone Hall, was built in 1847. A separate infirmary was built on the same site in 1871. Until 1875 the main dining hall behind the workhouse was used for chapel services. A legacy of two thousand five hundred pounds from Eliza France, wife of one of the Kensington Guardians, then made it possible to build a chapel to serve both the workhouse and the infirmary. The chapel was designed by A.W. Blomfield in the Early English style and was dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. The chapel was demolished in 1974 and was replaced by a modern chapel dedicated by the Bishop of Kensington in an ecumenical service on 8 June 1977.

Kensington Infirmary and Kensington Workhouse were administered by the Kensington Board of Guardians until 1930. Kensington Workhouse became known as Kensington Institution in 1912 and Kensington Infirmary became Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital in 1923. In 1930 when the London County Council took over the two hospitals, Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital was designated a type A hospital for the acute sick, and Kensington Institution became a type B hospital for the chronic sick. In 1931 on the retirement of the Master of Kensington Institution, the hospital was placed under the charge of a Medical Superintendent as a first stage in integrating the two hospitals. This was carried a step further in 1933 when the Institution was renamed Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (Institution).

From 1938 Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital became Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (I) and Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (Institution) became Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (II), until 17 June 1944 when Hospital (II) was closed due to enemy action. The two hospitals were eventually united formally in 1948 when they were taken in to the National Health Service.

In 1948 Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital was assigned to the Fulham and Kensington Hospital Management Committee of the South West Metropolitan Region. On 1 October 1960 the Fulham and Kensington Hospital Management Committee was amalgamated with the Chelsea Hospital Management Committee to form the Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee which administered the hospital until 1974. At that date it became part of the Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Area Health Authority, within the North West Thames Regional Health Authority. In 1982 the hospital became part of the Victoria Health Authority, and in 1986 it is part of the Riverside Health Authority.

From 1948 to 1955 the hospital was a general hospital with approximately 400 beds. From 1955 to 1972 it was designated an acute hospital. From 1972 to 1984 it specialised in Ear, Nose and Throat cases, geriatrics and psychiatrics, with geriatric and psychiatric day hospitals from 1978. During this period the number of beds at the hospital was 230 approximately. From 1984 the hospital has been designated a long-stay hospital. The hospital closed in 1992 on the opening of the new Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on the site of Saint Stephen's Hospital, Fulham Road.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of St Mary Abbot's Hospital, Kensington, including instructions to gate porters, 1931-1944; inventories and stock lists, 1909-1968; admission and discharge registers, 1926-1950; premature discharge book, 1930-1936; index registers of patients, 1937-1948; creed registers, 1875-1933; maternity registers and related records, 1930-1944; registers of births, 1872-1952; registers of deaths, 1886-1937; mortuary register, 1942-1954; post mortem examination books, 1930-1938; register of bodies removed to school of anatomy, 1920-1946; registers of operations; 1951-1958; medical examinations of lunatics, 1932-1937; vaccinator's registers, 1929-1946 and notifications of admission and discharge of tuberculosis patients, 1936-1938.

Registers of officers at the Infirmary, 1887-1948; register of officers at the Workhouse, 1923-1932; nursing staff registers, 1891-1970; records of service and conduct, 1930-1950; nurses' monthly reports, 1904-1935; testimonial book, 1908-1932; financial records, 1930-1945; registers of baptisms, 1877-1920; registers of services, 1896-1977; chaplain's journals, 1928-1942?; From Workhouse to Hospital. The Story of St Mary Abbots Hospital, Kensington by Bernard Hughes, Hospital Chaplain, 1991 and brief biographies of Thomas Allom, architect of Kensington Workhouse, by Diana Brooks, and of William Glasby, designer of 1st World War Memorial Window for chapel, by Donald J.R. Green, 1993.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows: A - Administration, B - Patient's Records, C - Staff Records, D - Financial Records, G - Chaplain's Records, Y - Related Documentation.

Conditions governing access:

These records are open to public inspection, although under section 5(4) of the 1958 Public Records Act administrative records are closed for 30 years and patient records for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acc/2145, Acc/2152/2, Acc/3219


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:

For a more detailed history of the hospital see Survey of London Volume XLII: Southern Kensington, pages 343-362, and the Hospitals and Health Service Year Books.



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

History of medicine | History
Hospital administration | Hospitals | Health services
Hospital patients | People by roles | People
Medical history | Personal history | History
Workhouses | Buildings | Architecture
Medical institutions

Personal names
Allom | Thomas | 1804-1872 | architect and artist
Glasby | William | 1863-1941 | artist and stained glass painter

Corporate names
Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital | 1948-1992 x Kensington Infirmary | 1848-1923 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital | 1923-1938 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (1) | 1938-1948
Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital | 1948-1992 x Kensington Workhouse x Kensington Institution | 1912-1933 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (Institution) | 1933-1938 x Saint Mary Abbot's Hospital (2) | 1938-1944

Kensington | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Kensington and Chelsea