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5

Chamberlain’s Wharf

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