The first hospital in Hackney

Photo:Kingsland Leper Hospital

Kingsland Leper Hospital

© Hackney Archives

Lepers and leprosy

In 1280, the first hospital was set up in Hackney to treat leprosy. The Kingsland Leper Hospital was situated to the southwest of the junction of Kingsland Road and Balls Pond Road. Locally it was known as the Lock Hospital, and was one of ten leper hospitals established by the City to London to treat leprosy – a disease that affects the upper respiratory tract, skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. From 1549, the hospital was run as an isolation house for St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield. The last recorded case of leprosy in London was in 1559. From then on patients were sent to Kingsland with a variety of diseases. Rising costs forced St Bartholomew’s Hospital to close the Kingsland Leper Hospital in 1760, ending a 500 year history of caring for the sick.

Back | Next

This page was added by Lisa Rigg on 27/03/2010.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.