King's College London
Online Exhibitions
Nightingale and hospital design

The Herbert Hospital

Douglas Galton. Report to the Right Hon. The Earl de Grey and Ripon, Secretary of State for War, descriptive of the Herbert Hospital at Woolwich. London : Printed by G. E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode, 1865 [St Thomas's Historical Books Coll.] FOL. UH475.G7 WOO]Douglas Galton. Report to the Right Hon. The Earl de Grey and Ripon, Secretary of State for War, descriptive of the Herbert Hospital at Woolwich. London : Printed by G. E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode, 1865 [St Thomas's Historical Books Coll.] FOL. UH475.G7 WOO]The Herbert Hospital was designed by Douglas Galton, the pavilion plan design being published in the Builder in April 1866. Miss Nightingale is said to have assisted in the design of the hospital, which was named after the Secretary of War during the Crimean campaign, Sidney Herbert, who had supported her work in the Crimea, and died of overwork in 1861.

One can see from this fold-out the care that went into designing vents and ducts to ensure the circulation of air within doors, and the small slatted ventilation towers (not unlike beehives!) which were a feature of the architecture of the Herbert Hospital in its heyday.

The idea was to have permanent features as structural elements of the building which would ensure, without pumps or the use of artificial heat, that gentle drafts would ventilate wards, and especially (as shown here) the sanitary facilities of the hospital. The building has recently been converted into apartments.

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