Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases
What is it?
In 1597, an Act of Parliament received the Royal Assent, by which a
right to the free use of the BATHS OF BATH was given to the "diseased
and impotent poor of England". These acts caused the city to be
inundated with beggars and, in 1714, the Act was repealed - but the
"beggarly stream still continued to flow". In order to control this
problem but still offer support to those genuinely in need, the
establishment of a Hospital for their reception was mooted. A public
subscription was opened in 1723 and King George II was one of the first
subscribers, giving £200 (worth £30,000 in 2011 values) [Brabazon 1888
In 1738, John Wood
designs for the Hospital to be erected on the site of a theatre. Beau Nash
was requested to take them to London
for the inspection of the King and the Royal Family. Ralph Allen
offered a free supply of Bath stone
to build the Hospital. Dr William Oliver
one of the founding physicians at the hospital.
Queen Victoria conferred the 'Royal' title in 1888. Today, the Royal
National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust is "a
Specialist Hospital in the centre of Bath with an international
reputation for research, expertise in complex rehabilitation and
Where is it in Bath?
The building on the junction of Union Street and Upper Borough Walls.
The east wall of the building on Union Street contains the following
The text reads
"Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases
Royal Mineral Water Hospital
Established by Act of Parliament as The Hospital or Infirmary in the
City of Bath A.D. 1739"
Location map of inscription:
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