Report - - National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014


28DL Regular User
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(London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014



Been meaning to post this for some time, only seen 2 reports of this and wondered why, then I went myself and discovered why.

Considering the amount of effort, travel money and time it took to get me there and back twice, research the place and actually get in, I wasn't 100% sure it was worth it. But I think at times it had redeemed itself, I always look back at an explore occasionally, and this one was both good and disappointing. I mean it was dark, damp and gloomy, but I really enjoyed it and the roof was nice, Some nice decay in places and I'll constantly tell myself it wasn't worth it, but it was. Probably not for everyone else though! :crazy

As usual, skip for pics at the end if you're easily bored. :D


Administrative history:

In the mid-nineteenth century it was common in most hospitals for alcohol to be given to both patients and staff. Some members of the temperance movement began to argue that this impaired staff efficiency and restricted patients' treatment.

A temperance dispensary was opened in 1860 in Upper Park Place in north west London, by an apothecary, Dr. C.H. Yewen.

On 17 February 1871, Dr Yewen presented a paper on the subject of establishing a hospital founded on temperance principles at a meeting chaired by the President of the National Temperance League, Mr. Samuel Bowly. A committee was appointed and a lease was acquired on 112 Gower Street for twenty one years.

The first meeting of subscribers was held on 6 May 1873, and the London Temperance Hospital opened, receiving its first patients on 6 October that same year. The Board of Management which was appointed to manage the Hospital was composed of 12 total abstainers.
Under the rules of the new hospital, the use of alcohol to treat patients was discouraged, but not outlawed: doctors could prescribe alcohol when they thought necessary for 'exceptional cases', and a record of such cases was kept.

A Building and Extension Fund was launched in 1875, which eventually resulted in the acquisition of land next to St James' Church on the Hampstead Road. The foundation stone of the first section to be built, the East Wing, was laid in 1879 and the new hospital was eventually opened in 1885 by Dr. Frederick Temple, Archbishop of York.
Inpatients were admitted to the new hospital free by a letter from a governor, or on payment of a fixed amount. Outpatients could be admitted with a governor's letter or pay at least a shilling a visit. Subscribers of a guinea per annum were entitled to recommend 6 outpatients a year, and those of 2 guineas per annum one inpatient and 6 outpatients. Life Governorship was conferred on payment of a lump sum of 20 guineas.

A children's ward was opened in 1892 by the Duchess of Westminster. In 1893, 12 beds were set aside for cholera patients at the request of the Metropolitan Asylums Board.
There was further expansion of the hospital on the site of the vicarage of St. James' Church, the foundation stone being laid on 25 October 1906. The Ear, Nose and Throat and Skin Departments were opened in 1913/14.

A new Nurses' Home was opened in 1925, built as a memorial to Sir Thomas Vezey Strong, who had been Chairman of the hospital from 1899 until his death in 1920. An Appeals Department was established in 1923 to help with fundraising. The Insull Memorial Wing was opened in 1932, after a gift from Mr. Samuel Insull of Chicago("In 1931, Chicago magnate Samuel Insull donated $160,000 to build a new extension, the "Insull Memorial wing"). It provided accommodation for special departments, private wards and nurses. The name of the hospital was changed to The National Temperance Hospital at an extraordinary general meeting held on 10 February 1932.

During World War Two the hospital was designated a Grade A Unit and a 1a Casualty Station.
Under the National Health Service Act 1946, the hospital was transferred to the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board under the Paddington Group Hospital Management Committee. Within the Hospital Management Committee, the National Temperance Hospital was managed by House Committee No. 1, together with the Institute of Ray Therapy and the Mayor of St. Pancras Home for Children. (There were 6 House Committees in total, and they reported to the General Purposes Committee, which was a sub-committee of the Hospital Management Committee.)
Between 1960 and 1969 a number of beds were set aside for use by the Eastman Dental Hospital to reduce their waiting lists.

The private patients' beds in the Insull Wing were closed on 1 January 1968, and on 1 April the Hospital was transferred to the University College Hospital Group, at which point the Casualty Department was closed and all casualties referred to UCH instead.

In May and June 1969 the Camden Chest Clinic, formerly the Holborn Chest Unit and the St. Pancras Chest Unit, and the UCH Asthma and Allergy Clinic moved into the National Temperance Hospital. The Nurses' lecture room was closed down when the UCH School of Nursing opened at Minerva House in 1969 and nurses' training in the UCH Group became centralised there.

Closure of the hospital occurred in 1990 and eventually came under the management of University College Hospital soon there after. It was used as seminar rooms and lecture rooms in mainly the theory of medical education, as the practical side would be taught in more modern facilities.

When it shut, it had a unit for the treatment of torture victims.

Books about this site:

James Edmunds, The Non-Alcoholic Treatment of Disease: Notes of Cases Treated at the London Temperance Hospital (1876)

A. Pearce Gould, A Year’s Surgery at the London Temperance Hospital (1884)

C. E. Dumbleton, A Report of One Hundred and Twenty-Nine Consecutive Surgical Operations Treated without Alcohol in the London Temperance Hospital, under the care of James Edmunds, MD (1891)

Benjamin Ward Richardson,‘Work in the London Temperance Hospital,' in Asclepiad, vol. 9 (1892), no. 34

Benjamin Ward Richardson,‘The Treatment of Disease without Alcohol: A Review of Medical Practice in the Wards of the London Temperance Hospital,' in Asclepiad, vol. 10 (1893), no. 37

Benjamin Ward Richardson,‘The Treatment of Disease without Alcohol (drawn from five hundred cases), Report no. II,' in Asclepiad, vol. 11 (1894–1895), no. 41

Joan E. Frame, Alive and Lively 100 Hundred Years Later: A Centennial Report on the National Temperance Hospital, 1873–1973 (1973)


The present site sits derelict next the Euston station, it is slowly decaying inside with a flooded basement and rising damp. The top floors are littered in pigeon defecation and walls are slowly peeling. Some graffiti has appeared over time on the upper floors. The roof has seen better days, but isn't major leaking and is fairly strong, despite a few plants growing 60ft up, it's relatively clean as well.

The architecture, I believe is rather characteristic and the stairways are nice. But most of the original Victorian features have been stripped for use by the University college hospital. Which is a shame, but you can see bits and pieces that have sat resident and it's nice. For example the stair banisters, some window frames and some sky lights are quite characterful.

I reckon it's absolutely safe and I know it could easily be converted to flats or housing of some sort, demolition would result in the loss of some nice characterful buildings. Externally, they look nice.


The future still remains very uncertain with nothing securing the sight with a future, however there have been ideas and plans.

One proposal is for it to be demolished to make room for the Hs2 to Birmingham:

TRANSPORT Secretary Justine Greening last night (Wednesday) told the New Journal that plans to terminate the High Speed 2 rail link at Euston are now “set in stoneâ€.

She slammed the door shut on campaigners still hoping Camden could escape the disruption caused by the London to Birmingham HS2 route.

We buttonholed Ms Greening as she joined celebrations at King’s Cross station at the official opening of a new concourse to ask her whether objections to the Euston plan are holding any weight at Westminster.

In a reply that will devastate protesters, she said: “We have chosen Euston for a number of reasons and we feel Euston is clearly the best option. I have met with councillors and others to speak to them to make sure when we bring in HS2 to Euston it will help regenerate the area and will bring opportunities to the area.â€

Objectors had been trying to convince Ms Greening that it would be better for the rail link to terminate at Old Oak Common in west London. Around 500 homes face the bulldozer if the £17billion project goes ahead and there are warnings a whole community will be devastated.

Concerns about disruption run from the curry houses of Drummond Street to users of the north London overground, both of which are expected to be swept up in the route.

The second being converted for replacement housing for those affected by Hs2:

In 2006 the Medical Research Council bought the site for £28 million, hoping to move its headquarters there. However, it has since changed its mind, looking instead for a bigger building behind King’s Cross. Most recently it is thought that the government will buy the temperance hospital and develop it to re-house those residents displaced by HS2 when it ploughs through Somers Town on its way out of Euston.

Nothing is likely to happen for a long time; the future of HS2 even lies in some doubt.
There's a whole site dedicated for this: http://www.hs2.org.uk/press/response-camden-new-journal-article-about-future-use-national-temperance-hospital-site

he Department for Transport is in the process of purchasing the National Temperance Hospital.

“We are investigating potential options for using this land – both during and after construction. We haven’t yet made a decision on how the land will be used, but one option we and the Department for Transport need to consider would be using it as a potential location for a construction site, as the National Temperance Hospital is very close to where construction will be taking place.

“If the site were to be used as a construction site, the land would be reinstated afterwards and could be used for other purposes thereafter.

“We and the Department for Transport are committed to working with London Borough of Camden to develop a joint framework for replacing lost social housing – and this work is already under way.â€

My visit

So I had first visited this site a few months ago in, I think, August/early September and didn't have much luck, spoke to security and they didn't seem to mind me taking a few external shots.

Later on in the year I happened to be passing and thought it'd be rude not to take a quite mooch as I had the time for it. This time I spotted access, desperate to just see the place after a failed attempt, I jumped for it and thus begun the most ridiculous access to a site, as of yet. razor wire, pigeon faeces, splinters the lot. I got in and had a nice little wander, T'was nice to have a relaxed explore and get out of the cold for a bit. I got covered in dust and all sorts but had a nice time and was good for myself if anything to get out for a bit. After 3 hours I got out the same way I came in, this time with even more elegance. :rolleyes:

One thing I think is worth adding. As I got to the basement level I heard rushing water in the distance, thought nothing of it and continued to wander, but as I later tried to access the East wing basement where, supposedly, the boilers are. I edged closer and I slowly I couldn't ignore the rushing water sound as once nearer, I could also hear faint music and muttering, I ventured further and then heard talking. Then it clicked and I hid and laid low for a bit to listen. I kid you not, someone was having a shower doing there, and whoever it was, was having a karaoke session on their own. Confused I quickly got out of there and continued with my explore. Wish I'd gotten evidence as you'll all think I'm barmy, but nope, it did indeed happen! (Or was it ghosts? :D) :crazy

On with the pics, enjoy, not the best of sites in London, but with most others being, or having been, demolished/converted, it's slim pickings.

Please excuse the picture quality, it's bad because I didn't want to risk taking my DSLR in through that access... So high ISO and dodgy lighting.


A few externals to kick this off


Insull memorial


The North balconies


The first stone


The towers


Nice decaying window sill


A window


Balcony looking down, couldn't stay out long as the nosey people in the building across were rather watchful


A few interesting details




If anyone could tell me what these are, I'd like to know


Old corridors





There aren't really any rooms worth aiming a camera at, they all pretty much looked like this:



A few doors


One of the main redeeming features, the walkways





And of course, the stairs and the roof







Weird courtyard from the top


Well, thanks for looking, hopefully I covered the site well. Probably not worth the amount of pics I put up but I did get into the basement as mentioned before and I have a few pics if anyone's interested. Thanks for looking!



28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Great to see this mate as it's been on my to do list for a good while now and I've only had failed attempts so well done getting inside. Shame it's not as epic inside as it is from the outside but you win some you lose some I guess and it must have been fun being in there :thumb


Got Epic?
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Good effot! There used to be loads of little hospitals around London. Few were explored, im sure you probably have already but a little bit of searching might find some interesting stuff.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Cheers TR and Speed. I've done almost everything in London as far as I can see and annoyingly, most of the hospitals in London have being demolished. Shame because there's a few i was dying to see. :/

Appreciate the comments!


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Been past this quite a few times, and always thought that it didn't seem worth it. Looks good though, not often you get something in that condition in London really. Is it possible to see the train lines from the roof?


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Been past this quite a few times, and always thought that it didn't seem worth it. Looks good though, not often you get something in that condition in London really. Is it possible to see the train lines from the roof?
Do you know what, I don't think it is.

The hospital roof practically sits next the hotel round the corner's roof. And the temperance hospital is the smallest building in the area so there isn't many ways to look down onto the tracks. Trust me, if I could see the tracks I'd be back for some long exposure night shots. Despite this, I think there's a way. But not sure.

Thanks for the comment!


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Nice one mate. :thumb

Remember you saying this one didn't quite live up to expectation but your shots you actually make it look a pretty appealing wander!

Nice work. :)


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Haha cheers mate, t'was fun none the less. :D


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Yeah, hate to break it you but you havn't even touched on London yet.
Sorry, I meant hospital wise, should have made that clear. :thumb


A life backwards
28DL Full Member
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

This is nice, well sealed up when i was last there :(.

Will Knot

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Looks a great site....nice pics.....thanks for postin' :thumb


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Ah yeah, not easiest of places. :)
Cheers! :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Re: (London) National Temperance hospital, Euston, London - September 2014

Good effort on getting in, always more satisfying to have a few challenges although the pigeon poo doesn't sound to great! I imagine the person having the shower would have been more surprised the you, had they seen you. Do you think it was on site security down there then?