History of Barts

The Royal and Ancient Hospital of St Bartholomew

St Bartholomew’s Hospital has led the provision of healthcare in London for almost 900 years. Founded in 1123 by the monk Rahere to give free medical care to the poor of the City of London, there is no other hospital in the country which can begin to match its record of continuous service on the same site. The Great Hall is the central jewel in the crown of its magnificent if yet unrecognised Heritage Site, consisting of the Gatehouse (1702) abutted by some fine Grade II listed Victorian Hardwick buildings, the Parish Church of St Bartholomew-the-Less with its 12th century tower and the remaining three James Gibbs blocks forming the North, East and West Wings (1738–1769) that surround a grand square with its elegant fountain (1859).

Find out more about the hospital’s past (to present) in our century-by-century history below. We have tried to document as many as possible of the important dates and figures involved in The Hospital and Medical College that have been influential in shaping medical history. As any junior doctor worth their salt will tell you, behind any decent doctor stands an infinitely better nurse and so we certainly do not neglect the nursing school, not least since Barts nurses have played primary protagonists in the development of nursing as a profession in the UK and far beyond!

Images courtesy of Barts Health NHS Trust Archives and Museums.

12th-15th Centuries

16th Century

17th Century

18th Century

19th Century

20th Century

21st Century

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