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Bloomsbury animals: Horses and sheep

2012 June 4
hospital hors

Horse hospital exterior

Showing a visiting historian traces of animal pasts in the Bloomsbury area over the weekend, we visited the horse hospital. This is at the back of Russell Square tube station on the corner of Colonnade and Herbrand Street, adjacent to former mews.

The hospital was first designed by architect James Burton who also built the Veterinary College in St Pancras in 1797. The horse hospital was redeveloped after 1860.



Horse hospital ground floor ramp

Ramp from lower ground floor to entrance

Today this listed building is an arts centre – with the interior floors preserved. Horses were treated on different levels. Ramps – rather than stairs – were installed to facilitate this: a case of non-human animals making their mark in the material landscape of cities.






Much to my colleague’s surprise we also saw the sheep and goats munching grass at the Thomas Coram Foundation: traces of animals past – and present – do still exist in central London. See my article on this for more information.



Sheep may graze in Bloomsbury

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