Historic picture of Moorfields Eye Hospital

A rich heritage

Together with the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields is the oldest and largest ophthalmic centre in Europe.

Founded in 1804, Moorfields was the first hospital in the world dedicated to the treatment of eye diseases and in 1822 it moved to to Lower Moorfields which gave us our name.

Since being founded over 200 years ago, Moorfields has remained at the forefront of eye treatment, care, teaching and research. 


Queen Victoria gives the hospital in Lower Moorfields its Royal Charter. Although it was renamed the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, everyone continued to call it Moorfields.


The Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone for the new hospital on our current City Road site and two years later the building opened.


The introduction of electric current in the operating theatre meant that more powerful electromagnets for particle removal were now available and, combined with newfound accuracy in localisation, this led to a dramatic improvement in surgical results: by 1902, 58% of eyes were saved, compared to 26% in 1895.


With the forming of the NHS, Moorfields became a de facto postgraduate teaching hospital.  At the same time, an Institute of Ophthalmology was established and our partnership with University College London to pioneer ophthalmology research through the Institute continues to this day.


We were one of the first ten organisations to become an NHS foundation trust.


We opened both the world’s largest children’s eye centre adjacent to our main hospital in City Road, and an overseas branch in Dubai.

A historic picture of a patient receiving eye drops

For over

200 years

Moorfields has been at the forefront of eye care



hospital in the world dedicated to eye care

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