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Our history

Bethlem Royal Hospital

Bethlem Royal Hospital is the oldest psychiatric institution in the world. We can trace our long history back to 1247, when the Priory of St Mary of Bethlehem was founded on the site of what is now London’s Liverpool Street Station.

Designated a royal hospital by Henry VIII, Bethlem Hospital has moved several times over the centuries. It was based in Moorfields and then at St George’s Fields, Southwark (in what is now the Imperial War Museum). Since the 1930s, the hospital has been set in spacious grounds in Beckenham, Bromley.

Maudsley Hospital

Maudsley Hospital opened in 1923 and was founded by the eminent psychiatrist Henry Maudsley. His vision was for a hospital in an urban centre where mental healthcare, teaching and research came together. Henry Maudsley’s original vision lives on today, through our close partnership with the world-leading Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at Kings College London.

Learn more about our history