Barts 900 – Liz Smith

Barts 900 – Liz Smith

October 19th 2020

‘Protecting and Preserving our Heritage’
Wednesday 28 October at 1900 hrs

Our next webinar features Conservation Architect and Barts Heritage trustee Liz Smith in conversation with Robert Treharne Jones.

Liz is Head of Architecture and Regional Partner at Purcell, a practice of Architects, Masterplanners and Heritage Consultants renowned for award-winning heritage conservation projects.

Liz’s passion lies in progressive conservation, approaching historic buildings with new and creative design concepts. Liz believes designs can be more creative within the specific constraints and rich context of historic environments. Liz has delivered major projects at the National Maritime Museum, Kew Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. Liz also features as the conservation architect in Channel 4‘s TV series Phil Spencer’s Stately Homes.

Liz will explore the current themes and issues around the protection of our built heritage, and examine the opportunities offered by the proposed restoration project to the Grade I listed buildings at Barts.

Click here to book your free place at what is sure to be an entertaining and informative session.

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A New Partnership with the City Music Foundation

A New Partnership with the City Music Foundation

October 13th 2020

Barts Heritage is delighted to announce a new partnership with the City Music Foundation  This collaboration will bring will bring exceptional, wide ranging music to the historic heart of St Bartholomew’s Hospital with regular, free performances in the Great Hall throughout 2021. This programme aims to draw lovers of music and architecture, of history and medicine, and all those seeking the companionship and solace of shared musical experience to one of the most important and ancient institutions in the City of London.

The City Music Foundation (CMF) is a charity that was founded in 2012 and its mission is ‘turning talent into success’. It was conceived, gestated, born and has grown up in the City, and has it’s headquarters currently in Church House, Cloth Fair. Each year CMF takes a cohort of exceptional, accomplished, emerging musicians and they join the CMF Artist Programme – career development and management – for about two years starting in the autumn each year.

CMF arranges mentoring, runs workshops, does agency and management, makes CDs, videos and websites, commissions new music, secures airtime on BBC Radio 3 and promotes artist through online, print and social media, as well as putting on recitals and concerts.  CMF alumni speak of the many ways CMF has helped them during the very fragile early stages of their professional careers – careers which have become even more fragile since the devastation of the performing arts by restrictions due to Covid-19.

Since lockdown CMF has delivered workshops online, set up a hardship fund and developed expertise in live-streaming recitals. CMF is now aiming, while mainstream commercial promoters are struggling to be financially viable because of restrictions on audience numbers, to increase the number of concerts and recitals it curates ‘in house’, as a way of supporting both the performers, and the audiences who thrive on live music.

Dr Clare Taylor, managing director of City Music Foundation says:

It’s hard to put into words exactly what this collaboration means to me and to CMF. I trained as a doctor at Barts in the 1980s, living in Charterhouse Square, and I did my medical house job in Annie Zunz and Dalziel wards in the KGV wing. Always a dedicated musician in my spare time, I continued to sing, including in the choir at Barts the Great, for many years. In 2012 I ceased medical work to support my husband in his City role, and soon after began a second career running CMF. The role of music in health and well-being is well established.  This is a unique opportunity to bring CMF musicians to experience this and share their music with Barts as it approaches its 900 year anniversary, and to support Barts Heritage as they preserve and promote these magnificent buildings.

Will Palin, CEO of Barts Heritage says:

We are thrilled to be working with the City Music Foundation to bring the very best of live music to the heart of this beautiful site. We look forward to hosting monthly free concerts in the Great Hall throughout 2021 and to working with the Foundation on pioneering projects exploring the ways in which music can contribute to the wellbeing of staff, patients and other visitors to the Hospital – ahead of our major restoration project.

Photo: Emile Holba

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North Wing project receives major award from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

North Wing project receives major award from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

October 9th 2020

Barts Heritage is delighted to announce receipt of a £151,600 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The crucial funding will allow us to continue our project to restore the Grade I listed North Wing and Henry VIII Gatehouse, creating both a bridge to connect the public to the historic hospital and a new model for heritage and wellbeing beginning with pilot programmes co-designed with Hospital staff.

With many major grant-giving programmes currently suspended or focused primarily on Covid response, we have now reshaped our programme into two smaller phases of work that will address the most pressing works, securing the historic fabric and opening up the principal spaces for public use. The first phase of the project is planned to coincide with the 900th anniversary of St Barts and will secure the fabric of both buildings and renovate its two principal interiors.

We are currently working with the Hospital to provide urgently needed facilities for the staff within the west pavilion of the North Wing. These will serve as important pilot projects in 2020, co-designed with Hospital staff, that will inform how we shape the programmes in the upgraded building. Facilities will include relaxation areas for individuals to gather and unwind; smaller private rooms for professional services such as psychological care; spaces for creative and innovate thinking in teams and larger spaces for group exercise and physiotherapy. We also hope to be able to offer wellbeing programmes for wider audiences as the project develops, including schoolteachers, community leaders and youth workers, subject to consultation and further planning.

William Palin, CEO of Barts Heritage says:

We are thrilled to have been awarded £151,600 from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. This crucial grant will enable us to continue our pioneering project to restore our Grade I listed buildings as a new model for heritage and wellbeing. This funding will enable us, at this challenging time, to press ahead with project development, implement pilot schemes, build our volunteer base, and further strengthen our partnership with St Bartholomew’s Hospital as it approaches its 900th anniversary. 

Professor Charles Knight, CEO of St Bartholomew’s Hospital says:

The historic North Wing is at the heart of our working hospital. It is both a physical manifestation of excellence and a representation of the principle of universal care which inspired the foundation of St Bartholomew’s Hospital nearly 900 years ago. Saving it is an urgent and time-limited opportunity for us and, thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, Barts Heritage can continue to develop its plans to restore the fabric of this wonderful building and create a much-needed new health and wellbeing hub for staff, patients and visitors, where the beautiful historic spaces can become places of healing, contemplation and inspiration.


A copy of the full press release may be downloaded here

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Barts 900 – Claire Cogar

Barts 900 – Claire Cogar

September 18th 2020

‘Secrets Beneath our Feet: the Archaeology of Barts’

Our webinar on 30 September featured archaeologist Claire Cogar in conversation with Robert Treharne Jones.

Claire is the Director of Archaeology at Iceni Projects, where her team of experts, who have worked in development-led archaeology on live construction sites, specialises in delivering focused archaeological advice.

With more than twelve years of archaeological experience behind her, Claire is currently Project Director for excavation at the recently demolished Middlesex Hospital Annex.

Previously she was part of the team at Barts excavating the area below Outpatients, RSQ, the Path block, and parts of Barts the Less prior to redevelopment in these locations, and is ideally placed to provide a perspective on such notable events such as the Roman City of London, the Middle Ages, and the Great Fire, which was eventually extinguished near Barts, at Pye Corner, on the junction of Cock Lane and Giltspur Street.

In a fascinating presentation Claire also described the archaeological opportunities offered by the restoration of the North Wing and the Henry VIII Gate.

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Barts 900 – Marcus Setchell

Barts 900 – Marcus Setchell

August 18th 2020

‘Royal Barts, Royal Babies and Royal Doctors’

Our webinar on 26 August 2020 featured Sir Marcus Setchell KCVO FRCS FRCOG, Deputy Chairman of Barts Heritage, in conversation with Robert Treharne Jones.

As a former Barts consultant and surgeon-gynaecologist to HM the Queen, Sir Marcus is eminently placed to describe the hospital’s royal connections. These began in 1123 with the hospital’s founder, Rahere, who was a jester at the court of Henry I before taking holy orders and becoming a monk. In his presentation, entitled ‘Royal Barts, Royal Babies and Royal Doctors’, Sir Marcus reflected on those Barts men and women who, like himself, were called upon to provide medical services to the royal family, and the history of royal births through the ages, when a successful outcome has often been far from certain.

If you missed the webinar click here to view it on our own YouTube channel

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Barts 900 – Will Palin

Barts 900 – Will Palin

July 14th 2020

‘Waking the Sleeping Giant’

Our second webinar featured Will Palin, CEO of Barts Heritage, in conversation with Robert Treharne Jones.

In anticipation of the hospital’s 900th anniversary, Will was appointed to lead Barts Heritage through the landmark project to repair, conserve and renovate the Grade I listed North Wing and Henry VIII Gate at the heart of the hospital, including the celebrated Hogarth Stair and Great Hall.

In his presentation, entitled ‘Waking the Sleeping Giant’ Will described the challenges and complexities of the project and the exciting opportunities it offers for public access and engagement during the works themselves. He also reflected on his last major project, the Painted Hall at Greenwich, which was pioneering in both scale and ambition, and the parallels with the Barts project, where a team of skilled professionals will once again be required to achieve a successful outcome.

To watch this video please visit the Barts Heritage Youtube channel.

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Barts 900 – Charles Knight

Barts 900 – Charles Knight

June 17th 2020

In our new sequence of Zoom webinars our experts will offer their own perspectives on the past, present and future, of Barts as we move towards the hospitals 900th anniversary in three years’ time.

The first free webinar, which took place on 24 June, featured Professor Charles Knight, consultant cardiologist and chief executive of Barts, in conversation with Dr Robert Treharne Jones, chairman of the Friends of Barts Heritage. Our guest is also professor of cardiology at the William Harvey Institute in Charterhouse, and was appointed CEO of the new Nightingale Hospital which opened at the Excel Centre in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; he also chairs the Barts 900th Committee.

Click here to watch a video recording of the evening on our Youtube channel or click here to listen to an audio recording.

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Professor Christopher Hudson

Professor Christopher Hudson

March 14th 2020

At the funeral at St. Mary’s Church, Theydon Bois, on 11 March 2020, Sir Marcus Setchell gave the following tribute to his long-time friend and colleague:

I am deeply honoured to have been asked to provide this tribute to a man who was my teacher and introducer to ‘Obs and Gynae’ as a medical student.

He was my trainer and consultant boss as a junior doctor in the late 1960’s when, I remember to this day, he told me to make what was my first abdominal incision. Seeing me paralysed by nerves, a gruff voice said: “go on boy, get on with it!”, and I did. After being appointed as a consultant colleague, he became a highly valued mentor and role model for the whole of my career, and even becoming a father-figure of guidance into retirement, right up to his death.

Christopher Neville Hudson (Chris, or ‘Huddie’, as he was known to many of us) was born in Oxford on 19 July 1930.

His parents lived in Bombay where his father, Lovell, worked as an accountant. His mother, Margaret, who had been a nurse, had lost two children due to premature births in India, and hence returned to the UK for future pregnancies. A daughter Anne, sadly now deceased, was born in 1926, and Chris was born four years later.

I am grateful to Caryl for providing me some details of his early life, which I had never heard Chris speak of. He had what, perhaps at that time, was not an unusual childhood, in that his parents remained living in India, while Chris lived in England being rotated around four aunts as child minders, of whom his favourite was Biddy, only seeing his parents when they came back on leave periods from India. He was sent to boarding school in Reigate at a very young age, and then to Radley College in Oxfordshire, now one of only four all-male, all-boarding schools in the country, with a strong emphasis on sport . This is where his life-long passion for rowing developed. He was apparently not noted for scholastic achievements, but no doubt his rowing prowess helped him secure a place at Queens’ College, Cambridge in 1949 for his pre-clinical studies.

As a student at Cambridge and then Bart’s for his clinical studies Chris had a reputation for being a bit of a rebel, although Caryl describes this as ‘a bit of a naughty boy’. He and Caryl, who was doing her nurse training at Barts met at one of the ‘hops’ in College Hall. These regularly-held, rumbustious events were the forerunner of discos and dating apps, and a great deal more fun, I suspect. Chris wooed her with hair-raising spins, not just on the dance-floor, but in his Bentley drop-head coupe. From what I understand she decided to dump him for a time, while he grew out of his naughtiness, until true-love took hold after they had both qualified, and they married in 1957. Caryl, with the help of his beloved dogs, has been the absolute central core in guiding and supporting this man, who had been denied real family life, through a warm, loving, long and happy marriage. Chris was rightly proud of Jayne, Grahame and Neal’s successful lives and their families, which brought so much fulfilment to his life.

Of course there is much to be said of the huge contributions that he made in his professional life, but suffice it to say today that the devoted care he gave to literally thousands of patients at Barts, Hackney, The Mothers’ Hospital, Homerton, not forgetting a year in Ibadan, Nigeria, and eight years in Sydney where he was Foundation Professor at the new Westmead Medical School.

His research output resulted in 92 academic publications; he wrote five textbooks, travelled all over the world lecturing; and sat on endless university, Royal College and National Health Committees. He was a brilliant surgeon, and devised an operation for advanced ovarian cancer, as well as publishing important research on new medical treatments, which changed thinking on how to deal with this disease. Later in his career he carried a banner for the management of HIV in relation to pregnancy, which had considerable influence on attitudes and care of these patients.

He loved everything about Barts, and after he returned from Sydney, he was appointed back as a Consultant and Professor at Barts and Homerton. By a neat turn of fate, Chris had been on the appointment committee when I was appointed a consultant in 1975, and I was on the committee that re-appointed him to Barts ten years later. He was a major player in the campaign to prevent Barts from closure. Students loved him for his enthusiasm for the Boat Club, although as a teacher, he was somewhat feared if they fell short of his high standards. We all loved his barbecues and fireworks on November 5th, and other hospitality at Chris and Caryl’s home, and at Leander Club. In retirement he led from the front as the first male Chairman of the Guild of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where he inspired volunteers and all who worked for this valuable patient support organisation. He also contributed widely to local organisations here in Essex.

It is no wonder that there are so many here today, to honour this man of the highest integrity, who selflessly gave so much to so many in his long life. We have also come to express our sympathy to Caryl and his family, who gave so much support and love to him throughout his career, and all the others who helped him to endure so bravely many years of debilitation at the end of his long life.

Sir Marcus Setchell

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December 6th 2019

February 2020. The Friends’ Committee regrets to announce the death, on 8 February, of Chris Hudson, emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Barts, The Mothers’ and Homerton Hospitals.

Chris first arrived at Barts from Cambridge as a student more than 65 years ago. He was also Chairman of the Guild, and supporter of many other Barts organisations during his long career. He was a loyal supporter of the Friends, and made his last appearance at our Autumn Lunch last year.

The funeral took place at St Mary’s Church, Theydon Bois at 2.30pm on 11 March 2020, where Sir Marcus Setchell gave a tribute which can be found here, while the Order of Service may be downloaded here.

It is expected that a memorial/thanksgiving will be held at Barts in a few months’ time.



December 2019. The Friends’ Committee regrets to announce the recent death of consultant surgeon Jerry Gilmore, who started his long career at Barts when he attended the medical school in 1961. Having started out as a general surgeon, Jerry later specialised in breast cancer treatment and groin surgery, and left the NHS to set up a state-of-the-art clinic in Harley Street.

An extensive obituary recently appeared in The Times, and a memorial service took place on 17 January 2020 at 1400 hrs at St James, Spanish Place, 22 George St, London W1U 3QY


The Friends’ Committee regrets to announce the recent deaths of two former Barts consultants, both of whom were also students at Barts, Dr Audrey Tucker and Prof. James Malpas.

The memorial service for Prof. Malpas, a consultant oncologist and former Dean of the Medical College, was held at Barts the Great at 3pm on 24 June.

The memorial service for Dr Tucker, a former consultant radiologist, will be held at Barts the Less at 2pm on 2 July.

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Will Palin appointed CEO

Will Palin appointed CEO

September 29th 2019

Will Palin, who has just completed five years as Director of Conservation at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, has been appointed as the first CEO of Barts Heritage Trust.

He will take up his post on 4 November and will then be in overall charge of the project to repair and conserve the Great Hall, and the rest of the North Wing, in time for the 900th anniversary of the hospital’s foundation, which will take place in 2023.

An alumnus of Brasenose College, Oxford, Will went on to read for a Master’s degree in Architectural History at the Courtauld Institute, London.

As a former director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, as well as his recent experience at Greenwich, where he was in overall charge of the award-winning £8.5m project to conserve The Painted Hall, Will arrives at Barts with impressive credentials that will stand him in good stead in his new role. “I am very excited to be taking charge of this major project at such an important point in the hospital’s history” said Will.

“The North Wing with the Great Hall and Hogarth Stair, and the Henry VIII Gate, are among the most important, yet largely unrecognised, buildings in the City of London, and I am looking forward to leading the project to return them to their former glory, so that everyone can see and understand their importance in the life of the oldest hospital in Britain” he added.

Will Palin will be the guest speaker at a lunch organised by the Friends of the Great Hall on Saturday 19 October. Please click here to book your places – applications are open to all.

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