St George's is one of the oldest hospitals in London. Originally founded in 1733, it was based for 250 years at Lanesborough House, now the Lanesborough Hotel, on Hyde Park Corner. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, St George's established itself as a leading teaching hospital, and many of its doctors - such as Edward Jenner- became famous in the history of science and medicine for their advances. The Lanesborough site gradually expanded as medicine advanced, and the first lecture in the new Medical School was given in 1803.
By 1859, the demand for more beds was at an all-time high, but Mr Atkinson Morley, one of the hospital's governors, and a wealthy hotel owner, left St George's £150,000 in his will. A plot of land in Wimbledon was purchased and what was to become a world-famous hospital - the Atkinson Morley - was founded there in 1869.
As the decades went by and demand for more beds, more staff and more space grew, it became clear that St George's needed to find a new site. The Grove Fever Hospital site in Tooting was chosen in 1950. Services grew slowly on the new site, but it was not until 1973 that the building of St George's as we now know it began.
The first Medical School buildings were opened in 1976 and the first ward block (Lanesborough Wing) in 1980. Further blocks were added gradually. Jenner Wing opened in 1984 and St James Wing in 1988. The current site was completed in late 2003 with the move from the much loved Atkinson Morley Hospital and the completion of the Atkinson Morley Wing, to provide a purpose built site for our neurology and cardiac care facilities.
* Thanks and acknowledgements for this material to Terry Gould and David Uttley and their book "A Short History of St George's Hospital and the Origin of its Ward Names."