Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum

Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum, London: Hours, Address, Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum

Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
The museum exhibits objects and archives dating back to the 12th century, from the hospital's unique historical collections, and gives visitors the opportunity to view two vast and spectacular paintings by William Hogarth. Visitors can also enjoy the famous 18th century hospital square, designed by James Gibbs. Displays include original and facsimile archives dating back to the 12th century, among them the agreement between Henry VIII and the City of London which refounded the hospital. Henry’s signature can be seen in the top left-hand corner. This magnificent document, complete with the Great Seal of Henry VIII, is one of the most important treasures of the hospital. The oldest document in the hospital archives is Rahere’s grant of 1137, and a facsimile can be seen in the museum. Sealed in the presence of Rahere, the founder of St Bartholomew's, this deed has remained in the hospital ever since, except perhaps during the Fire of London in 1666. Objects from the hospital’s unique historical collections are also exhibited, including works of art, and surgical and medical equipment used in the hospital. Visitors can view a case of amputation instruments which belonged to John Abernethy, surgeon to the hospital in 1815-27, and the tools of the apothecary’s trade, including pill-making equipment, scales and drug bottles. Visitors can learn about William Harvey, physician to St Bartholomew's from 1609-43 and discoverer of the circulation of the blood. The patients’ diet in earlier times is explained, and a volume of 19th century drawings and watercolours illustrates in graphic detail particular diseases and cases. Equipment used by nurses in their work is exhibited, such as feeding cups, a hypodermic syringe and items of uniform. The hospital’s role in the training of medical students is also covered. The museum shop sells a range of postcards and publications about the hospital.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighbourhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighbourhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
How to get there
  • St. Paul's • 4 min walk
  • Barbican • 5 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
49 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
22
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Pantea A
1 contribution
Family
My past and ongoing experience with Dr Truelove has been fantastic, I cannot emphasis the professionalism and care he took when treating my lymph node condition. He was extremely comforting with my concerns and reassured me that he would do the best he could in order to make not only my condition but me feel better. I cannot thank him enough.
Written 9 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Owenthomas
Berthoud, CO890 contributions
Located on the back side of St Barts Hospital, which is a very large complex. We went to the museum, which told the story of St Barts church, and the history of the hospital. Some great Hogarth wall paintings in the main stairway leading to the 16th century hall, which we are not allowed to go into. Very pleasant front desk person. We then went across the way to St Barts the Lessor church. This had been one of the chapels in the old monastery and was the parish church for 450 years for residents of the hospital. It’s now a chapel of convenience for St Bartholomew the Great, which is nearby. The tower of the church is from the 14th century and the rest is newer.
Written 29 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

futtock21
London, UK11,302 contributions
Family
Dating from 1738 the Great Hall with its vast ceiling decorated in gold leaf by Jean Baptiste St. Michelle (his only work in England) not to mention a portrait in stained glass of King Henry VIII peering down on all medical students who take their exams here, the Great Hall is very much the jewel in the crown of the Bartholomew’s Hospital site. Today it forms part of the ‘museum’ a floor above galleries currently showing part of a multi-sensory rainforest walk which seems to have escaped from the Wellcome Collection. Thanks to a collaboration between Barts Heritage and the City Music Foundation which sponsors young musicians of promise from around the world there are now monthly recitals. Today a recital by Franco-Belgian pianist Antoine Preat equally at home in a Haydn Sonata as Schumann’s bipolarity and Ravel’s fibber.
Written 15 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ian C
London, UK23,970 contributions
The museum was a pleasant surprise to find on a visit to the area. If you are visiting make sure you visit here before the adjacent church of St Bartholomew the Less (worth visiting) as there is an excellent leaflet about the church available at the reception desk.

St Bartholomew's Hospital has a long history, going back to the 12th century, though the hospital we see today was largely rebuilt in the 18th century by the architect James Gibbs. If you can make an architectural tour, it is well worth it, as the interior rooms such as the Great Hall are well worth seeing - you get a glimpse of the interiors during your museum visit when you can see the superb staircase decorated by Hogarth.

The Museum itself tells a little of the history and the people that make up Barts. It is relatively small, but well worth exploring and then going on to visit the church.

I have to say that I am not sure about the new Maggie's Centre joined onto the end of the fine neoclassical buildings. It looks totally out of character and I suspect will not last the test of time.
Written 14 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

p0cketr0cket
Preston, UK39 contributions
If you are thinking of visiting St Barts, Hospital museum, take the guided tour - Just turn up at the old entrance 2pm Friday,and meet your guide. We met our guide Hermione Pool,and she was brilliant, very knowledgeable, passionate,and best part of the guided tour is the fact that you are taken into the grand hall and get to view the amazing paintings.
The old part of the hospital is amazing, as is the priory, and I would strongly recommend.
Written 9 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PhilipLeic
Leicester, UK1,370 contributions
A free small museum giving the history of St Barts hospital. This is not the Barts pathology museum that I wanted to visit which is only open for special events I was told. Neverthe less it was interesting to visit. Make sure you see the introductory video.
Written 6 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dawg1012
Walnut Creek, CA76 contributions
I enjoyed this small hospital museum. At its peak, St. Bart’s had about 800 beds. Over the years it has downsized to about 400 beds and now focuses on cardiac and cancer patients. Substantially different compared to the large museums in London.
Written 9 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicholas H
London, UK20,576 contributions
Friends
Not a big museum but it’s packed with exhibits and information about the founding and the history of the hospital. Entry is free and there’s an excellent seven minute introductory video. Very well worth visiting.
Written 9 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joyce E
swansea148 contributions
My daughter and I were shown around this museum by a staff member of the hospital. He was extremely informative. It was an excellent tour. Highly recommended,
. We did not know it existed and we have been visiting the hospital for a few years.

Written 3 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kwagmeister
Newburgh, IN1,493 contributions
Couples
My husband and I were headed from St. Paul’s cathedral to the London Museum and he found this interesting little find while looking on google maps for directions. Since he is part of the medical field he was eager to visit. It’s worth a stop whether you are in the field or not - the history of the hospital is fascinating!

St. Bartholomew founded the hospital on this site in the 12th century (!). The education of countless doctors and nurses on the grounds gives one pause, and visitors over its history include Elizabeth Blackwell - back in the middle 1800s. That name was familiar to us since we lived for several years in upstate New York, where she spent years. Another familiar name you’ll see in the visitor’s book from that era is Florence Nightingale!

The museum is so small you’ll be through it in under an hour, but it’s certainly a destination for those interested in the history of the hospital and medical education. Pop in to the chapel right next door and you may be able to be part of the daily worship. A stained glass window with caduceus reminds visitors that it is an important part of the hospital campus.

This was a neat find. Worth a visit!
Written 18 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum

Saint Bartholomew's Hospital Museum is open:
  • Tue - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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