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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/PHD/PL
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1900-1947
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 1.5 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Public health responsibilities in the City of London were undertaken by the Court of Commissioners of Sewers from 1667. The Commissioners of Sewers undertook the construction of sewers and drains and the paving, cleansing and lighting of the City streets following the Great Fire. In 1897 the responsibilities of the Commissioners of Sewers were transferred to the new Public Health Department and Committee under the City of London Sewers Act. Through the Medical Officer of Health the Department considered social and environmental influences affecting City health and learned of medical advances which could be applied to the benefit of the community. Until 1946 the Department administered and financed a Maternity and Child Welfare Clinic and Tuberculosis Clinic at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and until 1948 ran a drop-in clinic for the treatment of venereal disease. The Department acted as the Burial Board for the City of London including management of the cemetery and crematorium at Ilford.

The Public Health Department also included Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspectors who ensured the quality of meat for sale. Similar officers also tested the quality of milk, ice cream, tinned foods, fruit, margarine and shellfish. Dealers and manufacturers of foodstuffs were registered with the Department. Investigations into outbreaks of food poisoning and the inspection of bakeries, restaurants and pub kitchens were also undertaken by the Department. Further environmental hygiene activities included sanitation, ventilation, drainage, overcrowding, offensive trades, nuisances, smoke abatement and inspection of shops, factories, lodging houses and Corporation owned housing. Measures to prevent atmospheric pollution were also considered by the Department and monitoring of pollution in the City was begun. The staff also included a Rodent Officer who inspected premises and investigated complaints of rodent infestation, and a Coroner whose duties included fire inquests.

The Public Health Department is now called the Environmental Services Department and is responsible for many of the same duties, including the cemetery and crematorium, surveying, food inspection, pest control, pollution control, highways management, waste disposal, Port of London Health and the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre.


Scope and content/abstract:

Plan books, Public Health Department, Corporation of London, 1900-1947.

Also plans prepared for Parliamentary sessions including plans of the Central London Railway, 1902-1903; the City, Wandsworth and Wimbledon Electric Railway, 1902; the East London, City and Peckham Railway, 1902; the City and North East Suburban Electric Railway, 1903; the City and Crystal Palace Railway, 1903; the Metropolitan District Railway, 1903; new lines and extensions on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, 1903; the Hammersmith, City and North East London Railway, 1903; Patent Office property on Furnival Street, near Chancery Lane, 1903; the Queen Victoria Street Fire Station, 1904; the Port of London Authority, 1911; Mansion House Station Subway, 1912; Public Records Office, Chancery Lane, 1912 and tramways and other street improvements, 1912.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office

Allied Materials

Related material:

For records of the Corporation of London relating to public health, including the provision of welfare and housing services, see: CLA/006: City of London Commissioners of Sewers, COL/CC/FCC: Food Control Committee, COL/CC/GWC: Gas/Gas and Water Committee, COL/CC/HEB: City of London Board of Health, COL/CC/HEC: Health Committee, COL/CC/HGC: Housing Committee, COL/CC/ITP: Joint (Public Health Department) Committee, COL/CC/LAC: Litter Act Committee, COL/CC/LFC: Local Food Control Committee, COL/CC/MIN: Committees, COL/CC/PBC: Public Health Committee, COL/CC/PHC: Port and City of London Health Committee, COL/CC/PHE: Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, COL/CC/PHS: Port and City of London Health and Social Services Committee, COL/CC/PLH: Port of London Health Committee, COL/CC/SHC: Special Housing Committee, COL/CC/SIC: Select and Special Committees, COL/CC/SSC: Social Services Committee, COL/CC/STS: Streets Committee, COL/CC/WCD: Whole Court (Public Health Department) Committee, COL/ESD: Environmental Services Department, COL/PL: Plans, the papers of the Community Services Department (COL/CSD), the papers of the Public Health Department (COL/PHD), the papers of the Planning Department (COL/PLD), the papers of the Surveyor's Department (COL/SVD) and the papers of the Technical Services Department (COL/TSD).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's 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:
February 2009

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