The Great Hall St Barts Hospital
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital has led the provision of healthcare in London for almost 900 years. Founded in 1123 by the monk Rahere to give free medical care to the poor of the City of London, there is no other hospital in the country which can begin to match its record of continuous service on the same site. The Great Hall is the central jewel in the crown of this magnificent if yet unrecognised Heritage Site
The Great Hall is situated on the first floor of The North Wing. It is approached by way of a grand staircase, The Hogarth Stair, the walls of which were decorated by William Hogarth (1697-1764).
The Great Hall, which was built to house the financial and management functions of The Hospital. The costs of running The Hospital were not borne from taxes, insurance or private investment, but by voluntary donations from benefactors. The Governors used the Hall to hold its meetings and to welcome and entertain the great and the good of the City to attract them to become donors, whose names and the sums of their donation were inscribed on its walls. Patient care was provided in the other wings of The Hospital, as it still is today.
This important cultural Heritage site is administered by the National Health Service. Ever rising healthcare costs inevitably mean that care and conservation of the Heritage buildings are of low priority. Recent news reports suggest that the Barts Health NHS Trust faces a £93 million deficit. The Trust itself recognises that there is a £4 million backlog maintenance requirement. As a result of this inevitable low priority, the buildings and contents are now at risk