Ancestry UK

Her Majesty's Hospital Home, Stepney Causeway, London

Barnardo's first hospital facility was established in 1877 in a house at 19 Stepney Causeway. This soon proved inadequate and in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, work began on the construction of a purpose-built hospital on the adjacent site at 13-17 Stepney Causeway. Her Majesty's Hospital for Sick Children was officially opened in January 1889 and could accommodate seventy patients. Its final cost was put at £9,000, some £1,200 than the original estimate.

The new hospital, four storeys in height, had six general wards, an isolation ward and an operating theatre. The basement contained a dispensary, mortuary and kitchen. Accommodation was also provided for the nurses·and matron. The top floor included quarters for the resident physician together with a boys' playroom and an open-air exercise area for convalescents. A subway under Stepney Causeway linked the hospital to the boys' home opposite.

Her Majesty's Hospital, Stepney, 1888. © Peter Higginbotham

Her Majesty's Hospital, Stepney, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1903, 30 Stepney Causeway was purchased for use as an isolation house. In the same year, numbers 3,4,7 and 9 Pleasant Row — the street backing on to the hospital were also acquired for further extensions.

A Ward at Her Majesty's Hospital, Stepney, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

On the roof of Her Majesty's Hospital, Stepney, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

Gordon Ward, Her Majesty's Hospital, Stepney, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

Medical examination, Her Majesty's Hospital, Stepney, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1922, the transfer of around three hundred boys to the new William Baker Technical School led to a decision to close Her Majesty's, and its replacement by the John Capel Hanbury Hospital at the Boys' Garden City. The old hospital building at Stepney Causeway was then converted to offices known as Barnardo House.


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  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)