Nightingale wards at workhouse should be ‘refurbished as housing for local people’ says historian

A prominent historian has criticised plans to demolish buildings on the site of the former Strand Union Workhouse in Cleveland Street, ahead of a decision this week by Camden council on the future of the site.

Front of workhouse building.

The former Middlesex Hospital Annex and Strand Union Workhouse building.

Writing on Spitalifields Life Dr Ruth Richardson argues that the destruction of former hospital wards would mean the loss of important historical assets associated with “Florence Nightingale’s involvement in the evolution of compassionate medical care in this country”.

UCLH Charity which owns the site is hoping to get its redevelopment plans approved on Thursday 6 July.

“I photographed the site recently and discovered the buildings entirely populated by property guardians, as illustration – if such were needed – of the suitability of all these properties for conversion to residential use rather than the needless and wanton destruction proposed by the developers,” says Richardson.

“We hope that Camden Council will make a good decision and we want to see the Workhouse, the Nightingale Pavilions, and the other buildings refurbished as housing for local people, because this historic site deserves preservation,” she says.

Florence Nightingale in Cleveland St, by Ruth Richardson, published in Spitalfields Life.

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