Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - Bethlehem Hospital

Bethlehem Hospital - photograph


Bethlehem Hospital, colloquially known as Bedlam, has been a madhouse since the time of Henry VIII. but the present building in St. Georges Fields, Lambeth, only dates from early in the present century, and has been more than once enlarged. The Hospital was first situated in Bishopsgate Street, and was superseded in 1675 by a building in Moorflelds, and this by the structure shown above. The front, 900 feet long, is rendered very imposing by its Ionic columns. Over the portico is inscribed, Henrico VIII. rege fundatum civitum largitas perfecit. Lewis was the architect of the building, but the dome was added later by Smirke. The Asylum has accommodation for four hundred patients of both sexes.