We are delighted to announce that the Prince of Wales has agreed to become the patron of Barts Heritage in the run-up to the 900th anniversary of the founding of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 2023.
The period of the Prince of Wales’s patronage will cover the current £15m fundraising appeal for restoring the historic North Wing and the Henry VIII Gatehouse on the hospital’s Smithfield site.
Barts Heritage is the charity overseeing the restoration, and is working in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust, Barts Charity and the Church on plans to mark the 900th anniversary of Britain’s oldest hospital.
Will Palin, chief executive of Barts Heritage, said: “We are hugely grateful to the Prince of Wales for his support and patronage as we look forward to implementing our plans to conserve, repair and renovate these nationally important Grade I listed buildings.
“Royal patronage is an honour for our project, and will also give a massive boost to our forthcoming 900th fundraising campaign.”
Prof Charles Knight, chief executive of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, said: “The historic North Wing is at the heart of our working hospital, a physical manifestation of excellence in its own right and a symbol of the principle of universal care which inspired our founder nearly 900 years ago.
“Restoring this wonderful building means its beautiful historic spaces can become places of healing, contemplation and inspiration for our staff, patients and visitors in the future."
Ian Peters, chair of Barts Health NHS Trust, said: "We are thrilled to have the Prince’s support and patronage for both Barts Heritage and the 900th anniversary campaign.
“This will be an enormous help in realising our aims to conserve the heritage of the hospital while also improving patient care and the working lives of our staff."
St Bartholomew’s was founded in 1123 by Rahere, an Augustinian monk, to serve the poor and sick of London, and is now the oldest hospital in the country still providing medical services from the same site.
The North Wing was originally built in the 18th century to house the managerial functions of the hospital, and includes the famous Great Hall and Hogarth staircase.
Renovation work has already started, while some of the building is being used as a temporary health and wellbeing hub for hospital staff.
In response to the pandemic, Barts Heritage refocused its short-term fundraising to enable urgent repairs to the fabric and interiors before 2023.
Meanwhile, the charity is also developing longer-term plans to incorporate wellbeing facilities in the North Wing as part of the wider 900th anniversary campaign.
Picture credit: www.princeofwales.gov.uk
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