St Bartholomew's Hospital museum and archives

St Bartholomew's Hospital museum and archives

Please note, St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum is currently closed for the safety of our volunteers and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. No historic tours, usually scheduled on Fridays, will take place during this closure period.

We will continue to follow public health advice and hope to reopen in 2021. Please check our Twitter account for up-to-date information on openings. You can also email us with any queries regarding the museum or future reopening. We are currently closed to archive enquiries - see here for more information.

St Bartholomew's Hospital is approaching the 900th anniversary of its founding in 1123; the hospital museum tells the story of nine centuries of healthcare at the edge of the City of London.

The permanent exhibition of original and facsimile archives, objects and works of art, includes Rahere’s grant of 1137 - the oldest document in the hospital archives, and the 1546 agreement between Henry VIII and the City of London which refounded the hospital. The objects on display in the museums are only a small part of the collections - to find out more, search our catalogue online

The museum is located in the hospital’s historic North Wing, adjoining the Grand Staircase with its vast and spectacular paintings by William Hogarth, and overlooks the famous 18th century square designed by James Gibbs.

Downloadable KS2 learning resources 

Our new learning resources, based on the history of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and some of the fascinating items from our collections, are FREE to download. The resource pack is designed to introduce children to the story of the hospital’s nine century history of healthcare – it is not necessary to visit the museum to use it. The pack is aimed at KS2 children, and supports cross-curricular learning, linking to English, Maths, Science and PSHE as well as History. 

The resources consist of a Discovery sheet, highlighting facts and themes from the hospital’s story, and three Activity sheets. There is also an answer sheet providing sample answers to the Activity questions. The resources can be used in the classroom or for home-based learning. We would like to thank the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths for their generous support for the development of the resource pack.

Please use the links below to download the pack:

Nine centuries of healthcare - Discovery Sheet 1MB

Nine centuries of healthcare - Activity Sheet 1 648KB

Nine centuries of healthcare - Activity Sheet 2 743KB

Nine centuries of healthcare - Activity Sheet 3 1MB

Nine centuries of healthcare - Answer Sheet 103KB

Historic Smithfield and Farringdon

Although the museum is not currently open, there is currently limited access to the  Norman priory church founded by Rahere, now known as St Bartholomew the Great, which is only a few minutes walk from the museum or the hospital church, Bartholomew the Less, on the hospital site. Both beautiful churches are open to visitors and worshippers under social distancing guidelines.

St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum is one stop on the Historic Farringdon walk, part of the Epic England GPS guided walk series on the Geotourist app. While the museum is closed, enjoy the walk to find out more about our historic neighbourhood, including the Barbican, Smithfield Market, and the Charterhouse, as well as the hospital itself.

Please note, St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum does not hold specimens. Barts Pathology Museum, also on the hospital site, is part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and is not normally open to the public.

Publications for sale

While the museum is closed, you can still order items from our small shop, which sells a range of books, prints and postcards -  please see our publications for sale list for details. To order any of these items, please email us. All proceeds go towards the development of the archives and museums.

Useful websites