Timeline - 1859-1948

This page provides the dates of some key activities in the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery’s history, including links to digitised photographs and documents. It will be added to and developed over time.

Please also see :
* Exhibition handout on the Museum’s first exhibition, which was held to mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the National Hospital
* Exhibition handout from the exhibition “National Hospital, Queen Square: From Research to Patient” held in UCL Cloisters in Autumn 2013
* Exhibition handouts on teaching in the Square, history of buildings and institutions, Ladies Samaritans, First World War, and epilepsy treatment.
* Queen Square timeline poster from the Queen Square Alumnus Association meeting 2013 * Annual reports and newsletters
* History of the Neuroanaesthesia Department
* 40 years together: a look back at 40 years of the National Hospital. Queen Square, Vol. 1, Number 4, 1988. (NHDF)
* Timeline of British Neurology (1835-1987)
*Milestones in History of Neuroscience Research

National Hospital 150th anniversary logo

1859
Chandler sisters write appeal letter to the then Lord Mayor of London, David Wire
Meeting at Mansion House to found a hospital specialising in neurological disorders under the presidency of Lord Mayor of London, David Wire.
Dr CE Brown Sequard and Dr Jabez Spence Ramskill appointed as physicians

1860
24 Queen Square leased at £110 a year as premises for the Hospital
The National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic is opened in Spring 1860 with 8 beds for female patients. A ward for male patients is opened in June 1860.

1861
Mary Warwick of No. 7 Hayes Court, Soho, the first patient received in the hospital was discharged as “cured”

1862
J Hughlings Jackson appointed

1866
The next door house was purchased and the buildings were adapted and equipped at a cost of £4000, doubling the size of the Hospital, which now had 36 beds.
Electrotherapy started in first electrical room.

1868
Purchase of premises in Powis Place enabled the Hospital to be increased to 64 beds.
Henry Charles Bastian is elected Assistant Physician to the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epilpetic.
First Hospital to have day rooms, including books, pictures, music, piano, flowers. Russian and Turkish baths installed.

1870
The Hospital was the first to “venture on the establishment of a Country Branch”: The Convalescent home in East Finchley

1872
Sir William Gowers appointed
London Infirmary for Epilepsy and Paralysis changes its name to Maida Vale Hospital for Diseases of the Nervous System

1873 David Ferrier publishes the first detailed map of the cerebral cortex

1876 Ferrier publishes The Functions of the Brain.
Maida Vale Hospital changes its name to the Hospital for Epilepsy and Paralysis and other Diseases of the Nervous System.

1878
Medical teaching starts at Queen Square.
The journal Brain is founded, with Hughlings Jackson and Ferrier as founding editors.

1880
David Ferrier appointed at the National Hospital

1881
Powis Place Pavilion is built at a cost of £10,000, containing the Outpatient department and three larger wards.

1885
Albany Wing opened by Prince of Wales, as a memorial to the Duke of Albany whose advocacy largely helped to secure the £60,000 building costs of five wards, Chapel, admin offices and staff quarters.

1886
Sir Victor Horsley’s appointment to the post of Assistant Surgeon. He performs the first operation in the world to remove a spinal tumour.
Gowers’ Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System published.

1890
First school in neurological and neurosurgical nursing in Europe.

1891
Surgical wing of seven beds, and operating theatre added.

1892
National Society for the Employment of Epileptics founded and a 1.5 sq km farm bought in Chalfont St Peter.

1903
Royal Charter of Incorporation granted by King Edward VII

1904
New operating theatre opened by the Duchess of Albany.
Massage School opened.

1905 Thomas Grainger Stewart and Gordon Holmes publish their landmark paper “Symptomatology of Cerebellar Tumours”

1909
Hospital Jubilee. £26,000 raised following upon a collection made by the Duchess of Albany, many departments, including Outpatients Hall, nurses accommodation, electrical department and gymnasium were enlarged and improved. New buildings were opened by King Edward VII on November 4th.

1910 William Aldren Turner and Thomas Grainger Stewart publish “Textbook of Nervous Diseases”

1912
SA Kinnier Wilson joins the National. Wilson describes progressive lenticular degeneration which becomes knows as Wilson’s disease.

Study by Tooth published in Brain describes more than 500 brain tumor operations between 1901 and 1911, the majority by Horsley.

1915
Ward for wounded sailors and soldiers opened. Visited by King George V and Queen Mary on February 17th 1916.

1917
Four old houses in Queen Square adjoining the Hospital were purchased. In two of these a school of massage and electrical treatment (in conjunction with University College Hospital) opened.

1918
Management of Lonsdale House, Home for Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, and Bray Court Hospital for Neurasthenic Discharged Sailors and Soldiers undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Pensions.

1919
Annexe of 30 beds for discharged sailors and soldiers opened in Queen Square.

1924 Thomas Grainger Stewart becomes a full physician at the National Hospital.

1925
Dr James Collier begins weekly public demonstration of select cases.

1926
Name of Hospital changed by Supplementary Royal Charter to the National Hospital Queen Square for the relief and Cure of Diseases of the Nervous System including Paralysis and Epilepsy.

An orthopaedic surgeon was appointed to the Hospital.

1928
MacDonald Critchley appointed

1932
MRC offers to establish a clinical research unit in the Hospital, in 32 and 33 Queen Square, and the Unit began work in January 1933.

A speech clinic starts at the Hospital.

1937 Maida Vale Hospital changes its name to Maida Vale Hospital for Nervous Diseases (including Epilepsy and Paralysis)

1938
Completion and opening of a large extension of the Hospital, chiefly providing a Surgical department and increased research facilities, including the “Institute for the Teaching and Study of Neurology”. The new buildings were opened by Queen Mary on 19th July 1938. The new Queen Mary wing was constructed in place of the Victorian houses adjacent to the hospital, including a new operating suite on the sixth floor.

1940
The National Hospital suffers bomb damage, and the operating facilities of Queen Square are moved to Haywards Heath.

1942
Dr E.A. Carmichael appointed Director of the Neurological Research Unit of the MRC at the National Hospital.

1948
The National is designated a postgraduate teaching hospital group called The National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, incorporating the Maida Vale Hospital for Nervous Diseases (The National Hospital for Nervous Diseases changed its name to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in 1988 and became part of UCLH in 1996).