One of the oldest hospitals in the world, St Bartholomew's, or Bart's, was founded in 1123, and has cared for the sick and injured on the same site in the heart of the City of London ever since. St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum, in the Grade I listed North Wing of the Hospital, tells this inspiring story, through original artifacts and documents from the hospital archives, dating back to the 12th century, as well as film and audio exhibits. Highlights include: historic surgical instruments and medical equipment, sculpture, medieval archives, and unique works of art.
Visitors can learn about some of the key figures in the history of the hospital, including William Harvey, discoverer of the circulation of the blood, and William Hogarth, the 18th-century satirical artist, whose spectacular paintings on the walls of the Grand Staircase can be viewed from the museum. The museum overlooks the famous 18th-century hospital square designed by James Gibbs, a hidden gem and a place of calm amongst the bustle of the city.
Admission is free; the museum is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm, but it is advisable to call before your visit as it is staffed by volunteers and opening times may be subject to change at short notice.