Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): H03/OLA

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1857-1959

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 10.4 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Saint Olave's Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The earlier records listed for Saint Olave's Hospital relate to Rotherhithe Workhouse which was situated on the site of the present Saint Olave's hospital. According to the Vestry minute book (held at Newington District Library) for Saint Mary's Rotherhithe the workhouse was in the course of erection in 1729. Rocque's map published in 1746 has an unmarked building in Deptford Lower Road (renamed Lower Road in 1888) and this same building is marked 'Workhouse' on Horwood's map of 1799. Rotherhithe workhouse was administered by Rotherhithe parish until 1836 and from 1836-1869 by Saint Mary Rotherhithe Board of Guardians. In 1869 it became part of Saint Olave's Union. There was a rearrangement of the workhouse accomodation of Saint Olave's Union in 1869-1870 and Rotherhithe Workhouse was appropriated for able-bodied males. In 1889 the Workhouse was described as 'dilapidated and disused' (Minutes of Saint Olave Board of Guardians, ref. BBG/56).

The majority of the records listed under Saint Olave's Hospital relate to Rotherhithe Infirmary, built in the early 1870's on ground adjoining Rotherhithe Workhouse on Deptford Lower Road. It became the Infirmary of Saint Olave's Union by Order of the Local Government Board on 31 August 1875. In the 1920s it was known as the Bermonsey and Rotherhithe Hospital. On 1 April 1930 the hospital was transferred from the Bermonsey Board of Guardians to the London County Council and renamed Saint Olave's Hospital. It was administered by the London County Council from 1930 until 5 July 1948 when the National Health Service came into being. From 1948 Saint Olave's was administered by the Bermondsey and Southwark Hospital Management Committee under the South East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board, until 1966 when it became part of the Guy's Hospital Teaching Group. Following the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 St Olave's was administered by the South East Thames Regional Health Authority. Saint Olave's Hospital started to be restricted in 1970 and finally closed in 1984. All that now remains is Saint Olave's House, a nursing home which is part of the South London Family Housing Association Group.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Rotherhithe Workhouse comprising admission and discharge registers, 1857-1889.

Records of St Olave's Hospital including admission and discharge registers, 1876-1949; admission and discharge registers: receiving and mental wards, 1923-1927; registers of admission, discharge and transfer to workhouses, 1902-1906; admission, discharge and creed registers, 1933-1943; creed registers, 1892-1932; birth register, 1942-1954; death registers, 1935-1959; in-patient statistics, 1950-1958; registers of operations, 1948-1979; casualty registers, 1966-1979; minutes, 1950-1971; case notes, 1925-1943; nursing records, 1943-1959; laboratory registers, 1943-1979 and mortuary books and post-mortem registers, 1956-1979.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged in two sections. Records relating to Rotherhithe Workhouse (I) and records relating to Rotherhithe Infirmary and its successors (II).

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

AC/74/068, ACC/1684


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

For other records of the Workhouse consult the records of Bermondsey Board of Guardians (ref. BBG) and the Saint Mary Rotherhithe Vestry Minutes at Newington Reference Library.

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Hospital administration | Hospitals | Health services
Hospital patients | People by roles | People
Laboratories | Scientific facilities
Medical history | Personal history | History
Postmortems | Medical procedures | Medical sciences
Workhouses | Buildings | Architecture
Medical institutions

Personal names

Corporate names
Saint Olave's Hospital x Rotherhithe Workhouse x Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Infirmary x Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Hospital

Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Rotherhithe | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe