View Day tradition continues with fun in the square | Our news

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View Day tradition continues with fun in the square

Celebrations are taking place on Wednesday 12 May to mark the 471st View Day.

The event, first held 1551, is traditionally an opportunity for the local community around St Bartholomew’s Hospital to tour our buildings and hear about our achievements over the previous 12 months.

The coronavirus pandemic means many of the usual activities that take place on View Day in modern times, including a church service, are instead taking place online.

However, there will be activities in our historic square.

An ice cream van will be serving treats to NHS staff from 12-4pm and police horses will be on site between 2pm-3pm.

Treats are being delivered to wards and departments too.

The View Day service from St Bartholomew the Great will take place from 5pm, following the official launch of our 900th anniversary campaign, Barts900.

The service will feature a reading from the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell.

The launch will include a message from HRH the Prince of Wales and music from the City Music Foundation.

View Day has been part of the St Bartholomew’s calendar for nearly 500 years, and has possibly existed in some form since the hospital’s foundation in 1123.

The tradition of ‘viewing’, or inspecting the hospital properties, dates back to the re-foundation of St Bartholomew’s Hospital by King Henry VIII.

The origins of presenting the hospital to the community date back even further to the Easter ‘Spital services’, which took place in the Middle Ages.

Patients were walked through the streets of London to encourage Londoners to donate to the cities’ hospitals.

To register for the View Day service including the Barts900 launch visit Eventbrite here.

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