Thursday 15 May 2008

The Royal Free is in Hampstead - isn't it?

It's said that you learn something every day and that's the great thing about this history malarky - you actually do...

So I was dashing through Holborn and glanced up and there it was a plaque to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (University of London).

I knew about the Eastman, off Gray's Inn Road, and of course the Royal Free Hospital itself of the 1972 construction up in Pond Street, Hampstead... but, of the School of Medicine.

In short the School of Medicine was established in 1874 by an "Act of Faith" and by 1898 was in a small house before moving very quickly to larger premises on the same site but using the Hunter Street entrance. After much fundraising and campaigning and dedication it was opened by Queen Mary on 2nd October 1916 and became one of the leading teaching hospitals in London.

This is straight off my bookshelves: The Illustrated History of the Royal Free Hospital by LA Amidon, Edited by A Northern, 1996, London, ISBN 0-9529009-0-4.

The book has sat on the shelves for a while - purchased at the urging of 'Friend of the Royal Free' councillor Janet Grauberg at one of the Friends Open Days I attended a while back, but has lain at home unread. I have now tucked into it and wow it is a great read and a great story.

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