Spike Island: The Memory of a Military Hospital

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 06 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:49
  1. Alex Paton, retired consultant physician
  1. Oxfordshire

    Embedded Image

    Philip Hoare

    Fourth Estate, £8.99, pp 423

    ISBN 1 84115 294 3


    Rating: Embedded Image

    On 19 May 1856 Queen Victoria sailed across the Solent from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight to lay the foundation stone of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley. The site was on a spit of land—between the Itchen and Hamble rivers overlooking Southampton Water—known as Spike Island, a name which Philip Hoare, who grew up nearby, says is shrouded in mystery, although a glance at the map suggests that the area looks like a spike. The dimensions of the new hospital were awesome: said to …

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