Danger of sell-off to developers at a knock-down price

The Whittington A&E must be saved. If this hospital is downgraded and eventually closed altogether and demolished like the Royal Northern (Holloway) in 1992 then that really is the end. There will never be another hospital in that space. It will be sold

The Whittington A&E must be saved. If this hospital is downgraded and eventually closed altogether and demolished like the Royal Northern (Holloway) in 1992 then that really is the end.

There will never be another hospital in that space. It will be sold off at the usual knockdown price to property developers.

Take a look at the shoddy housing they built on the site of the old Royal Northern, wander into the tiny Royal Northern Gardens where the war memorial is and take a look at another memorial to the Royal Northern and glimpse the saddest of them all - a piece of wall that once formed part of the excellent St David's Ward. It is a piece of this and a piece of that, much like wandering among the headstones in a cemetery.

Dr Albert Rinsler in his Illustrated History of the Royal Northern Hospital, 1856 - 1992 adored this hospital with its magnificent architecture. A sad obituary.


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The Whittington occupies some of the most expensive land in Highgate. It is next to green open spaces like Waterlow Park and the museum-like Highgate Cemetery. Ten minutes walk beyond is Parliament Fields within Hampstead Heath. More humane governments in the past felt that the ill deserved better surroundings. The Whittington is one of the last hospitals in a fine environment.

Look at newish University College Hospital in central London, surrounded by traffic-choked streets. Look at the equally newish Royal Free crushed into a small space that once contained a small hospital with beautiful lawns, now left with a couple of green spaces that would scarcely serve the average house.

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Going back even further to the early 1950s Swiss Cottage once had a hospice surrounded by equally beautiful lawns then it was gone to build the grey crushed-in Swiss Cottage Library and swimming pool, and of course of late that ship-like block of private flats has been added to the crush.

A postage stamp of green is all there is left. The hospice? Up some side street. Has any of this improved the quality of life? You must know the answer to that.

Wilson John Haire

Lulot Gardens, N19

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