IoN and the NHNN

National Hospital and Institute

Queen Square: A History of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology

Available to purchase online with all proceeds of sales going to the National Brain Appeal.

National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery has been described as the “cradle of British Neurology”. It was founded in 1860 for the alleviation initially of epilepsy and paralysis and its early physicians included John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911), Sir David Ferrier (1843-1928), Sir William Gowers (1845-1915), and Sir Victor Horsley (1857-1916). Major neurological writings emanated from Queen Square and many of the important advances in neurological and neurosurgical therapy were pioneered at Queen Square. National Hospital was amalgamated with Maida Vale Hospital in 1948, and the Maida Vale Hospital archives are also housed in the collection. The National Hospital now forms part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. You can find out more on the NHNN website.

See also Annual reports and newsletters


The Timeline page includes dates of some key activities in the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery’s history, including links to digitised items, including the Queen Square timeline poster from the Queen Square Alumnus Association meeting 2013.

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

The Institute was established in 1950, as one of the federated Institutes of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation of the University of London. In August 1995, the Institute affiliated with University College London, and formally merged with the College in August 1997. The Institute has retained and developed its close links with the National Hospital and provides teaching and research of the highest quality in neurology and the neurosciences.

You can find out more on the IoN website including: Notable staff in the history of Queen Square.

See also Annual reports and newsletters

Self-guided Queen Square history walk

A short walk around the Square focusing on artwork, objects and buildings around the Square. Additional images and information are available in our Compilation and exhibition handout

A history of the National Hospital: in 10 objects

A short video compilation of images of items held within Queen Square Archives, focusing on the development of Queen Square, and the founding and early days of the National Hospital, including the first hospital buildings and early staff members. Please note that the narration is covered by the captions on the video, so audio is not essential. Download transcript

Queen Square Library and Archive

The Queen Square Library is funded jointly by the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital, and is the recognised specialist Library for Neurology within the University of London. There are records for the Library dating back to the early days of the Hospital, and the basis of the Historical Collections are the books and journals previously held within the Hospital and the former Medical School at Maida Vale, and the private collections of members of staff at Queen Square.

The Library receives over 25,000 visits per annum. Many of these visitors came to use items held in the Historical Collection, and referrals are regularly received from both the British Library and the Library of the Wellcome Trust. You can find out more on the library website including the history of the Library

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Bloomsbury’s Squares and Gardens

The Association of Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens has published this book to showcase these diverse squares, trace their history and give a sense of their life today, including Queen Square. The original watercolour illustrations by Nick Andrew bring the modern activities of the squares to life and complement the many photographs, all taken by local residents. All proceeds from the book will go to support their work and that of the Friends groups. Softback. 94 pp. Available at £8.99 from Skoob Books in the Brunswick or online at