South Western Hospital
Landor Road, Stockwell, SW8 9NU
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1871 - 1997

Infectious diseases
The South Western Hospital comprised two separate hospitals and was built by the Metropolitan Asylyms Board (MAB) on a 7.5 acre site on Bedford Private Road between Landor and Pulross Roads, despite the usual local public furore over a smallpox and fever hospital being sited in a populated area.  

The first to open in 1871, during the virulent smallpox epidemic sweeping London at that time, was the Stockwell Smallpox  Hospital, with 100 beds.

The second hospital, the Stockwell Fever Hospital, with 250 beds, was intended for all other infectious diseases, for example typhus, typhoid and scarlet fever, but at first also admitted smallpox cases because of the the sheer volume of numbers.

In 1882, following a Royal Commission report which confirmed that people living in close proximity to a smallpox hospital were more likely to catch the disease, MAB decided to send smallpox patients to hospitals outside the city and, for this purpose, hospital ships were moored out at Long Reach, 17 miles below London Bridge.  Hospitals in isolated positions on the banks of the Thames were also planned.

In 1884 the two Stockwell hospitals were converted to form one hospital and this became the South Western Fever Hospital, caring for patients with infectious diseases.

In 1930 the LCC took control of the administration from MAB, when it had 323 beds and a nursery unit.

During WW2 the large purpose-built isolation block was severely damaged by bombing.

When it joined the NHS in 1948 it became the South Western Hospital.

In 1973 the Geriatric Day Unit opened.

Most of the Hospital services closed in the early 1990s and nearly all the buildings were demolished in 1996.

Present status (March 2008)

Following demolition the site was redeveloped and is now used by the Lambeth and Maudsley NHS Trust.  Various mental health care services  are based in Landor Road and the complex has been renamed Lambeth Hospital (not to be confused with Lambeth Hospital in Brook Drive, which closed in 1976)
Landor road
The frontage of Lambeth Hospital on Landor Road, looking from the east

second gate Landor Road
A secondary entrance on Landor Road

renovated building
Renovated old buildings on the west side of the site

108a  Landor Road
108a Landor Road (above and right) - a 'Ward in the Community'

old ambulance entrance
Deserted ambulance entrance in Hubert Grove
main entrance
The main entrance into the campus

west gateway
The west gateway off Landor Road

older building
An older building near the main entrance

108a Landor Road

from the footbridge
View of the south end of the campus from the rail footbridge
South Western Hospital
The South Western Hospital, photographed in the 1920s.
Mortimer PP 2008 Ridding London of smallpox:  the aerial transmission debate and the evolution of a precautionary approach.  Epidemiology & Infection 136, 1297-1305.


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