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queen mary before.jpeg


Queen Mary Arch finished.jpg

West Ham in east London was once a small country village but boomed in population during the later 19th century as London became industrialised. 300 new factories sprang up in the area, many of which were chemical factories and ironworks, in which accidents were common. A local Victorian dispensary was enlarged and expanded to become one of the most advanced hospitals of its time, with over 100 beds and bedside headphones for all patients. Queen Mary became the hospital’s Patron in 1917. During the First World War its wards were turned over to injured soldiers. New buildings, including a maternity wing, were added in 1923, approached through this grand new Art Deco entrance arch. In 1983, 35 years after becoming part of the NHS, the hospital was demolished for a housing development, and only the arch remains.


Over the last decades, the arch had weathered badly, with the original carved lettering becoming illegible, water damage and the cast stone blocks cracked. Invasive plants were growing out of the top causing damage to the stonework. Local resident David Mills contacted Heritage of London Trust for help with its repair.


HOLT launched a restoration project, working closely with the estate’s owners, L&Q, and London Stone Conservation. The lettering was carefully re-carved, the heavy staining was removed and cracks in the stonework were repaired. The project was funded with a grant from Heritage of London Trust alongside funding from L&Q’s Community Fund. Over 100 local residents and school children came to the reopening.

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