London Hospital Quiz

London cabbie Robert Lordan, published author, award-winning blogger and qualified London tour guide, has devised a great quiz for all of us with time on our hands.

You can find more about London at: RobsLondon.

With the UK now in lockdown due to the Coronavirus, many of you will no doubt be stuck indoors with little to do . . . so what better time to have a quiz?!

Below are 20 questions which, in honour of the fantastic work being carried out by NHS staff, are all based on London’s medical history.

Answers are written at the bottom of the page.

Let us know how you get on in the comments- and also if you’d like more similar content.

Stay safe and good luck!

Please let me know in the comments!


Q 1. There are currently 134 hospitals in London. Which one’s the oldest?

Q 2. At which London hospital did Scottish biologist, Sir Alexander Fleming discover the antibiotic penicillin in 1928?

Sir Alexander Fleming… but where did he discover penicillin?

Q 3. By giving a charity performance in 1858, Charles Dickens raised enough money to double the size of the original Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in the space of one evening. He later referred to the hospital in one of his novels- which one?

Q 4. Sticking with Great Ormond Street, the hospital today has its own in-house radio station: Radio Lollipop. From what unusual structure does it broadcast?

Q 5. Whereabouts in London would you find the Old Operating Theatre?

Where would you find the Old Operating Theatre? Clue: It’s near a river crossing…

Q 6. How did Yorkshireman Doctor John Snow prevent an outbreak of cholera in Soho in 1854?

Q 7. Which museum occupies a building that was once home to the Bethlem Royal Hospital?

Q 8. On which London square will you find a blue plaque honouring nurse Mary Seacole?

Whereabouts in London did Mary Seacole live?

Q 9. Which large hospital (now demolished) stood on Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia for almost 250 until its closure in 2005?

Q 10. Which hospital stands next door to Wormwood Scrubs prison?

Q 11. A statue named ‘The Boy David’ stands at the centre of ‘The Machine Gun Corps Memorial’ on Hyde Park Corner. How did its sculptor, Francis Derwent Wood, help soldiers who’d been seriously wounded in World War I?

The Boy David, Hyde Park Corner… how did this statue’s creator aid troops who’d been injured in the Great War?

Q 12. Inside which hospital will you find the Florence Nightingale Museum?

Q 13. In which part of London was the former German Hospital located?

Q 14. And where can you spot signage for the former ‘Nouvel Hopital et Dispensaire’?

It may be in French, but it’s in London…. do you know where?

Q 15. In 1865 a medical practice was established at 20 Upper Berkley Street. What was significant about it?

Q 16. Until 1988, which London hospital was the tallest in the world?

Q 17. Alfred and Ada Salter were a much-beloved couple who pioneered free healthcare for London’s poor in the early 20th century. Where can you find a group of statues dedicated to them and what is the artwork called?

Alfred and Ada Salter…whereabouts in London is their memorial?

Q 18. Which celebrated neurologist died in Hampstead in September 1939?

Q 19. In which decade did London’s Air Ambulance first take to the skies? And at which hospital is it based?

Q 20. Scenes from The Omen, Fawlty Towers and the Channel Four comedy Green Wing were filmed at which north London hospital?

Evil little Damien from 1976’s ‘The Omen’… which hospital has a link?


Q1. St Bartholomew’s (aka Barts), West Smithfield. It was founded in 1123 making it almost 900 years old.

Q2. St Mary’s, Paddington. The hospital contains a hospital dedicated to Alexander Fleming.

Q3. Our Mutual Friend: “A place where there are none but children; a place set up on the purpose for sick children; where the good doctors and nurses pass their lives with children . . .”

Q4. The studio for Radio Lollipop is based inside a decommissioned Jubilee line tube carriage (1983 stock).

Inside Great Ormond Street’s Radio Lollipop tube carriage. Image: Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity

Q5. The Old Operating Theatre (now a museum) is on St Thomas Street, near London Bridge.

Q6. He removed the handle from the area’s pump, thus disabling the main water supply. This action proved that cholera was waterborne.

Q7. The Imperial War Museum.

Q8. Soho Square (number 14).

Q9. The Middlesex Hospital.

Q10. Hammersmith Hospital.

Q11. Francis Derwent Wood crafted custom-made masks for soldiers who’d suffered severe facial trauma. His studio- nicknamed the ‘Tin Nose Shop’- was at the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth.

Wood putting the final touches to one of his many bespoke masks

Q12. St Thomas’ Hospital.

Q13. Dalston (Clifton Grove) The building has since been converted into flats.

Q14. Monmouth Street, Covent Garden. This former French hospital is now the Covent Garden Hotel.

Q15. It was established by Elizabeth Garrett Anderson; the first woman in Britain to qualify as a doctor.

Q16. Guy’s Hospital. It is now the fifth tallest.

Q17. The artwork is called ‘Dr Salter’s Daydream’ and can be found overlooking the Thames on Bermondsey Wall East. The statue depicts Ada and Alfred remembering their only daughter, Joyce who died when she was eight years old.

Ada Salter dreaming of her daughter, Joyce

Q18. Sigmund Freud. He died at his home on Maresfield Gardens which is now open to the public.

Q19. The 1980s (1989). The helicopter flies out of the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

Q20. Northwick Park Hospital.
How did you score and would you like more? Please let me know in the comments!

London in Quotations: Noël Coward

I don’t know what London’s coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.

Noël Coward (1899-1973), Collected Sketches and Lyrics, 1931

London Trivia: Stop, planes crossing ahead

On 29 March 1920 Croydon Airport opened. The ‘Airport of London’ had been an amalgamation of two World War I airfields; Beddington and Waddon Aerodromes which were divided by Plough Lane. A level crossing linked the halves, with a man carrying a red flag to halt approaching traffic. The first destinations being Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Croydon was the first airport in the world to introduce air traffic control.

On 29 March 1981 at 09:00hrs in Greenwich Park 6,700 runners set out to run the first ever London Marathon

Legally children should obtain written permission from the Chief Constable before seeking to ask “A penny for the Guy, Mister?”

On 29 March 1871 the Prince of Wales opened the Albert Hall on behalf of his mother HM Queen Victoria, who was present but too overcome with emotion to speak

On 29 March 1772 mystic Emanuel Swedenborg died in Wapping. He had predicted there would be a special part in heaven reserved for the English

The owner of Tony Blair’s old house in Barnsbury has painted the front door Labour red. Blair’s house in Connaught Square, as with No 10 is black

The famous music hall song On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep is based upon a real location that can be found at Paradise Row, Bethnal Green

London’s first gastro pub the Guinea Grill, Bruton Street opened in 1952, a tavern is believed to have existed on the site since 15th century

London’s oldest golf club is The Royal Blackheath formed by Scottish courtiers visiting Greenwich Palace in 1608 in whose ground they played

In 1952 a 78 bus was on Tower Bridge when it started to rise – the driver put his foot down and jumped the widening gap, he got £10 for his bravery

Waterloo Bridge is known as the Ladies’ Bridge, because it was completed by female labourers during the Second World War

On the corner of Trafalgar Square is the official standard (in brass) for inch/foot/yard/etc it is accurate at 62 deg Fahrenheit

CabbieBlog-cab.gifTrivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @cabbieblog.
A guide to the symbols used here and source material can be found on the Trivial Matter page.

Extreme London

Have you ever thought about where some London’s extremities are? Not the edge of its geographical area, but it’s myriad of roads and streets.

London’s shortest thoroughfare

This has to be Leigh Hunt Street, SE1 at 36ft, just a street sign remains, as the street was cut short by the creation of a park. But I go for Kirk Street, WC1 at 50ft as London’s shortest ‘street’ with an address, even if it’s only for the Dickens public house.

London’s longest street

At 1.5 miles is Rotherhithe Street, but Green Lanes at 7.45 miles from Newington Green to Ridge Avenue, Winchmore Hill, is the longest named thoroughfare.

London’s highest road

Westerham Heights, part of Betsom’s Hill adjacent to the A233, at 804ft and where the county boundary intersects just comes within the M25. On the north-west side of the hill, the borders of Surrey, Kent and Greater London meet at Rag Hill.

London’s lowest road

Crossness Nature Reserve, near Thamesmead, a signpost on the Thames Path, where a path leads off into Crossness Nature Reserve by Malc McDonald (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Strictly speaking, the Thames is the lowest point in London, and therefore any adjacent road should qualify, like Lower Thames Street. But it is actually Eastern Way, the A2016 beside the Crossness Nature Reserve, an oasis of wildlife that once was an industrial spot by the River Thames, and is 10ft below sea level.

London’s steepest road

Downe Road Cudham Lane, Bromley, specifically from the road junction nearest the parish church. It drops sharply to a second junction (with Church Hill) before bending left and heading down the steepest hill in London.
Closely followed by the 1 in 5 gradients at Fox Hill, Crystal Palace, this one’s not on the Ordnance Survey map because the road is too minor, but Fox Hill is definitely steep because a sign at the bottom says so. It’s also a historic track and was immortalised in oils in 1870 by the French impressionist Camille Pissarro, who was living in Norwood at the time.

London’s narrowest street

At 15in, Brydges Place is certainly London’s tightest alleyway, funnelling you between St Martin’s Lane (next to the London Coliseum) and Bedfordbury.

London’s widest street

Discounting the M25, laid out in the 1770s by the Adam Brothers and incorporated by Nash in his grand Regency scheme Portland Place was once London’s widest street.

London’s widest pavements

Whitechapel High Street is one of the shortest high streets in London, developed during the sixteenth century as part of the main route between London and Essex, it has the widest pavements in London.

London’s straitest road

We all know that the Romans like to construct their roads in straight lines, regardless of the terrain. So my guess that London’s straitest is Ermine Street – today’s A10 – its southern end is at London Bridge and it ends up in the Norfolk port town of King’s Lynn. While within the M25, it follows an almost vertical line through the City, Stoke Newington, Tottenham and northwards.

Featured image: Welcome to Harringay Green Lanes, the railway bridge carries the passenger service between Gospel Oak and Barking, now part of the London Overground network. Harringay Green Lanes station – called Harringay Stadium until the early 1990s – is just to the right of the bridge, by Stephen McKay (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It makes your cross

The world-famous zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, immortalised by The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, has been given Grade II listing, now we are going to have even more jaywalkers crossing in front of my cab having their pictures taken. Those wishing to be photographed just like the Fab Four would be disappointed to learn that Westminster Council moved the original one several yards south from its original site, and replaced all its components, and so no original features remain. But if you want some entertainment on a wet weekend, watch the live street cam showing tourists being abused by motorists.