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Royal Hospital H, England

Royal Hospital H was founded in the 1750s and covers around 25 hectares (0.25 square km). Initially set up as a Naval hospital, it later served the Army and Royal Air Force also. The hospital played a key role in several important medical advances, such as curing scurvy and setting up the first blood bank in the country. There was also a padded room and asylum for sailors with psychiatric disorders. The hospital closed in the late 2000s. It is now being redeveloped into housing, a hotel and retirement complex.

This hospital is massive, consisting of a large main quadrangle which is connected to the two side wings via long corridors called “crosslinks”. Navigating this monstrous collection of buildings is hampered by blocked corridors and locked doors. Several hours were spent wondering the complex, which had sadly had most of the machinery and fixtures removed by the time of our visit. We were still able to see; MRI scanners, laboratories with vials and centrifuges, hydrotherapy room and operating theatre. The best part of the hospital, is the famous elliptical spiral staircase. Having seen this in photographs, it was amazing to finally get to see it personally.

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