The Brook..

thanks to this site:



 I found some information about the Brook Hospital in Woolwich, where I trained for one year in 1971-2… I had GooGled it a number of times, but didn’t find any hits.  However when I GooGled the War Memorial Hospital, also on Shooter’s Hill Road…………… there they were….Lost Hospitals of London.  A very informative, interesting site with the following introduction:

This site is dedicated to the staff of the NHS, who provided the will and energy to change bricks and stone into centres of healing – until time and change brought down the curtain. 

It became part of the NHS in 1948 under the control of the Woolwich Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the South East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.  It was then linked with the Memorial Hospital and all medical beds were transferred from the Memorial Hospital to the Brook, which was eventually renamed the Brook General HospitalIn 1952 it had 644 beds – of which only 414 were in use. By 1956, 472 were in use. It had changed from being a fever hospital (although two infectious disease wards remained) to primarily a medical one. The wards, built to take 20 fever patients, now contained 30 beds. The bed curtains and overhead lights, set up at fever bed distances, meant that only every other bed had a light. Most of the patients were long-term and the medical wards were overcrowded, with additional beds set up in the middle of the wards.The Hospital also accommodated the Regional Thoracic Surgery and Neurosurgery Units, but no general surgery was undertaken. The neurosurgical ward was partly partitioned, with six single cubicles for noisy patients.

The Hospital site also contained the Preliminary Training School for nurses for the Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street, which had to remain until a new building could be built elsewhere for the School in some two years time.

The Physiotherapy Department consisted of curtained cubicles in a ward, with 21 separate cubicles for heat, ray and other treatments. The Hospital also provided physiotherapy for patients from the Memorial Hospital. The Physiotherapy Department proved rather inaccessible from the place where the ambulances had to unload; to reach it patients had to be pushed in wheelchairs for 100 yards (90 metres) down a path with two right-angle bends.

In 1957 a new female ward for the chronically sick (incurables) opened. The other three geriatric wards were modernised. An effort was made to make these wards – two with 28 beds each for females and one with 33 beds for males – as home-like as possible.

In 1974, following a reorganisation of the NHS, control of the Hospital passed to the Greenwich and Bexley Area Health Authority, part of the South East Thames Regional Health Authority.  In 1982, after another NHS reorganisation, it came under the auspices of the Greenwich Health Authority.

When the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, opened nearby in 1995, the Brook General Hospital and  St. Nicholas Hospital in Plumstead closed.

Brook Ward at Kings College Hospital is named after Brook General Hospital.

Present status (January 2008)The ward blocks have been demolished but the water tower and some small buildings remain. The 29 acre site now contains luxury apartment blocks developed by Fairview Homes – ‘Brook Village’.  The water tower, which once contained an 80-ton cast iron water tank, has been converted into a modern dwelling with spectacular views over the capital.
remaining old buildingsold building by watertowerSurviving old buildings beside the 20,000 gallon water tower, which stood in front of the administration building.
looking along Shooters HillThe view along Shooters Hill Road from the adjacent Royal Herbert Hospital site, showing the newly built housing and the water housing

New housing beside the tower.

watertowerThe water tower, now a private residence.
I edited the information posted above down to The Brook’s last years, although the rest of the history is fascinating, like all the lost hospitals of London

2 thoughts on “The Brook..

  1. Thank you for writing about Brook Hospital. This hospital saved my husband”s life in 1971. A malfunction on a crane caused him to have a massive head injury. They operated before I could get there to save him and I am so thankful to the neurosurgeon and the staff who were all brilliant. At first, I could only see him for 15 minutes a day so after work, I drove from our home in Kent up to the Brook . I had only recently passed my driving test, so I really wasn’t ready for the London traffic. It is amazing how quickly you can find the short cuts. Thanks to them all, my husband lived until 2004.

  2. Hello. Great Blog. I’m trying to find a lady that used to be a Sister at the Hospital in 1974 and probably prior to that. Her name was Jenny and she worked in the Cardiothoracic ward, she was the Sister in charge. We cannot remember her surname but she lived in Eltham. Not sure whether you recall her or have any further information, or know anyone that would. I am trying to find as much information that I can. Thanks for your time. Lisa

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