England’s oldest hospital celebrated by outdoor exhibition in the City

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, which first opened its doors to Londoners in 1123, is being celebrated by an outdoor exhibition at three locations in the City of London.

Unique in being the oldest hospital still running on the same location in England, the hugely impressive legacy and 900-year-old history of “Barts” will be told using photographs, art, and history drawn from Barts Health NHS Trust Archives’ extensive collections.

Diaries, maps, ancient account books, images, and medieval records will reveal fascinating and often, moving, stories of those who worked, lived, and died at the hospital over the last nine centuries.

Presented in partnership with St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the free exhibition opens in the City Corporation’s Guildhall Yard, EC2, tomorrow and runs until 6 June, after which it will be presented in Aldgate Square, EC3, from 7 June until 5 July and finally – and most appropriately – the exhibition ends its run at St Bartholomew's Hospital Square, EC1 (6 July to 1 August).

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage, and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said:

“St. Bartholomew’s Hospital has been a very familiar sight in the City since medieval times, and it is entirely fitting that we celebrate its landmark anniversary and the superb work carried out by its dedicated staff over the centuries.

“This engaging exhibition will open on a location that is no less historic, being the site of London’s Roman Amphitheatre and, as with previous displays presented here, I am sure that it will prove very popular.

“This fruitful collaboration between the hospital and the City Corporation aligns with our flagship Destination City programme, which is creating a seven-day-a-week leisure destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.”

Lead archivist for Barts Health, Kate Jarman, said:

“Our archives reveal an unbroken history from the founding of St Bartholomew’s in 1123 to present day.

“From the famous to the forgotten, London lives fly from the pages of Barts’ ancient ledgers, with stories of crisis and caring, miracle and mayhem, living and loss, agony and healing.

“This exhibition is not to be missed.”

To find out more information on the wider Barts900 campaign and programme, please visit the Barts900 website.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Yard, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £130m every year.