For much of British History, there was little in the way of official healthcare. The monasteries, which had provided healing services for centuries, were shut down by Henry VIII. Charles II, however, would construct an all-new facility to care for injured veterans. In 1681 he issued a royal warrant to build the Royals Chelsea Hospital. The hospital housed and cared for wounded veterans. Based on similar projects in France like the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, designed the church. Construction finished in 1692, and it admitted its first patients that year. By the end of that March, it provided 476 veterans with somewhere they could be looked after. It also coordinated care to pensioners all over the UK. The image below is inspired by a pensioner based in Prestonpans, Scotland, during the 1700s.
Artist: Alan Braby
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Click here to learn more about what this license means
Thiss means you are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format; Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material. As long as you: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made; ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
Credit: Alan Braby and Open Past
Want more images?
We will be publishing more images in the coming months. If you would like to be alerted when they are published, please subscribe below.