The present Victorian Chamberlain’s Wharf building,
which houses the London Bridge Hospital’s Main
Building, was built as a warehouse in the 1860s.
It replaced earlier warehouses, which had been rebuilt
several times and dated back to the seventeenth century.
Before that time, the site had been occupied by one of the
splendid ecclesiastical palaces, the Inn of St Augustine’s
Abbey, which was turned into warehouses after Henry VIII
closed down the monasteries and sold off church property.
The previous Chamberlain’s Wharf buildings were
destroyed in the disastrous Great Fire of Tooley Street,
which burned out many hundreds of square feet of
warehouses in 1861. Chamberlain’s was then rebuilt as a
single building, with the ground plan of the old multiple
buildings lending to its particular shape on the entrance
front. The earlier buildings were spared a fire in 1843,
which destroyed all the buildings upstream, including St
Olave’s Church. The warehouses were built anew with the
church being restored to its eighteenth century condition.
The warehouse was used for tea storage and goods from
the Baltic Sea, with the ships berthing on the quay in front.
A journey through
London Bridge Hospital’s history