Galen Place, WC1A

Place Name

Galen of Pergamon (September AD129 – about AD200/216) was a physician, surgeon and philosopher in the Roman Empire. He is considered to be one of the most accomplished of all medical researchers of antiquity, and influenced the development of numerous scientific disciplines, including pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology, as well as philosophy and logic. It is of no great surprise that his name was chosen given the area’s association with the Pharmaceutical Society, whose examination hall once stood at Galen Place. The Society was, says the UCL Bloomsbury Project, established in 1841 as a professional association for pharmacists. Nick Black in Walking London’s Medical History, explains: “It was crucially involved in the transformation of chemists and druggists from tradesmen to medical professionals.” The Society leased a premises on Bloomsbury Square within a few months of its establishment, and also leased property in Pied Bull Yard and began erecting buildings there from 1886. According to The Times, May 17, 1888, the new buildings included laboratories, a large examination hall, and a dispensing-room. The Society moved out of Bloomsbury Square to Lambeth in 1976, and the whole area of Galen Place and Pied Bull Yard became an upmarket courtyard with shops and restaurants. On a 1746 map of the area, this is shown as Stable Yard and was home to the Pied Bull Tavern, from which Pied Bull Yard gets its name.



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