Old Hospital Close, SW12

Place Name

Literal. This street was laid out on the site of the former St James’s Hospital which stood here between 1910 and 1988. The building had originally served as a workhouse, built around 1851 to house juvenile offenders, by the parish of St James, Westminster. In the early 1890s the growing population increased the need for poor relief, and so the building was bought as an extension to the Garrett Lane Workhouse and was known as the St James Road Branch Workhouse and the Wandsworth Union Branch Workhouse, and the St James’s Westminster Industrial School. By 1910, the Union built an infirmary (St James’ Infirmary) behind the workhouse in the gardens of what had been the industrial school. This was put to use as a military hospital (the First London General) during the First World War and later, in 1922, turned over for civilian use and renamed St James’s after the original workhouse buildings. The hospital closed in 1988 with the buildings demolished in 1992 to make way for a modern housing development.



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