Bedlam

A different kind of blue plaque

A surprise find near Liverpool Street Station, courtesy of a diversion on the way to Broadgate Circle forced by the building of Crossrail. Bethlehem hospital was a notorious mental institution from which the word ‘bedlam’ is derived from the hospital’s old nickname. It has also served as inspiration for numerous stories and horror films.

This is the second of these plaques I’ve found. I came across the first last year at the site of Upholder’s Hall, a building destroyed in the Fire of London.

Apparently there are about 160 of them maintained by the City of London*. I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to find them, seeing I’ve visited London frequently over the past few years.

The city’s website has taken down its map, so this one is going to come in handy in future. I also like this article about some of London’s alternative schemes.

* = of this particular scheme which is one of the oldest in the world, and differs from the more familiar one run by English Heritage.

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