Dalston's German Hospital and Florence Nightingale!
These old maps are really worth a close look, and can be the source of some fascinating stories.
Take this map from our London 1888 Collection, "Shacklewell, Clapton, Hackney, Dalston (E) (London 1888 Sheet 9)".
Just making it onto the map half way up the left side, near the word DALSTON, is the German Hospital as it was in 1888.
In 1845 the Dalston Infant Asylum, which was in the middle of Dalston Lane, Graham Road and Greenwood Road, was converted into the German Hospital. It gave free treatment to German speaking immigrants living in London's East End, and also treated local English patients. Between 1845 and 1931 it grew from 100 beds to over 160 beds. By the time it was taken over by the brand new National Health Service in 1948 it had 217 beds.
During World War 1 its German staff managed to keep working despite very strong anti-German sentiments, but in World War 2 the German staff were arrested and interned, and English staff took over.
In 1974 it became a psychiatric hospital, but closed its doors in 1987 when all patients were transferred to the new Homerton Hospital.
This was the hospital that Florence Nightingale visited twice before going to Kaiserwerth, Germany, in 1851 for three months nursing training. She returned to England and in 1853 became Superintendent of a hospital for gentlewomen in Harley Street. In the following year, 1854, the Crimean War began ...