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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): F/WAL

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1893-1944

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 0.05 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Renfrew Road Workhouse | 1871-1922 x Lambeth Infirmary | 1876-1922 x Lambeth Hospital | 1922-1964


Administrative/Biographical history:

Lambeth Hospital had its origins in two institutions both built and administered by Lambeth Board of Guardians. These were Renfrew Road Workhouse opened in 1871 and Lambeth Infirmary, opened in 1876 on an adjoining site, but with its main entrance in Brook Drive. By 1922 the Lambeth Guardians had an excess of accommodation for the able bodied poor and too little for the sick. Consequently they amalgamated the two institutions under the control of the medical superintendent and matron of the infirmary, which was renamed Lambeth Hospital. The Hospital now provided the following services and facilities - a lying-in ward (until 1922 accommodated in Renfrew Road Workhouse), an antenatal clinic, VD wards, two large observation wards, two weekly sessions by an ophthalmic surgeon, a pathological laboratory and radium and deep x-ray apparatus. The Lambeth Guardians not only purchased the necessary equipment, but also sent Dr George Stebbing on a tour of European capitals to study radiotherapy.

As a result of the 1929 Local Government Act, from 1930 Lambeth Hospital came under the control of the London County Council. The LCC sought to create an integrated hospital service for London, concentrating certain specialised departments in particular hospitals. Lambeth Hospital lost its observation wards, but the development of the Radiotherapy department was encouraged. Mr Stebbing was appointed Surgeon specialist and Medical Officer in charge of the radiotherapy department. A Cardio-Vascular Unit was formed at Lambeth Hospital under the direction of Lord Dawson of Penn with Mr Lawrence O'Shaughnessy and Dr H.E.M. Mansell as medical officers. In the early 1930's a Uterine Cancer Unit was transferred from the North Western Hospital to Lambeth Hospital with its Medical Director, Sir Comyns Berkeley, and Mr Arnold Walker. A few years later Mr Stebbing absorbed the unit into the Radiotherapy Department. The LCC built a Nurses' Home in 1936, provided a new Maternity Block in 1938, and completed a Pathology Block in 1940. By 1939 Lambeth Hospital could accommodate 1,250 patients and was one of the three largest municipal hospitals in London. During the Second World War many air raid casualties were treated at the hospital, from which elderly, long term patients had been evacuated. Several bombs fell on the hospital killing ten members of staff and destroying two ward blocks, the kitchen, dining rooms and laundry. Three other ward blocks were badly damaged.

In 1948 Lambeth Hospital became part of the National Health Service administered by the South Western Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. It formed part of the Lambeth Group of hospitals, together with the South Western Hospital, South London Hospital for Women and Children, Annie McCall Maternity Hospital and from 1956, the Royal Eye Hospital. Money for the repair and replacement of war damaged buildings was, at first, scarce, but between 1960 and 1962 a new two storey block containing kitchens, dining rooms, and offices was constructed. In July 1964 the Lambeth Group of hospitals was dissolved. Lambeth Hospital became part of the Saint Thomas' Hospital Group, and then from 1974, part of the Saint Thomas' Health District (Teaching). In 1970 Lambeth Hospital was an acute, general hospital with 468 beds. A new twin operating theatre block had been completed in 1967 and a new Renal Unit opened in 1969. The hospital closed in 1976 on the opening of the new North Wing of Saint Thomas' Hospital. On part of the site of the hospital in Monkton Street, the Lambeth Community Care Centre was completed in 1985.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Lambeth Infirmary, later Lambeth Hospital, presented by Norah B. Wallis, Matron, 1919-1945, including dietary plans, notes on 'Training to become a nurse in 1906', hospital notices, statistics, reports, architectural plans, articles and photographs of wards and staff.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented by Mrs Norah B. Wallis (nee Woodman) Matron, 1919-1945, 30 January 1973. (AC/73/005 and AC/73/026).


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

See also H01/L for records of the Lambeth Hospital.

Publication note:



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: January 2009

Hospital administration | Hospitals | Health services
Hospital architecture | Architecture
Nurses | Medical personnel | Medical profession
Nursing education | Medical education | Higher science education
Paramedical personnel | Medical personnel | Medical profession
Nurses x Paramedical personnel
Medical institutions

Personal names
Wallis | Norah B | fl 1919-1945 | hospital matron

Corporate names
Renfrew Road Workhouse | 1871-1922 x Lambeth Infirmary | 1876-1922 x Lambeth Hospital | 1922-1964

Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Lambeth (district) | Lambeth | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe