One of the Wards of the Hospital at Scutari (print)

A Picture of Health: Exeter's Medical History


During the Crimean War Scutari Barracks was converted into a British military hospital, known as Scutari Hospital. The inadequate building was not designed to cope with the thousands of sick and injured soldiers who were brought there for medical care.

Florence Nightingale arrived at the hospital with a party of nurses in 1854, and they were horrified by the filthy conditions and the suffering they encountered. Nightingale quickly set to work organising and cleaning the hospital. Her experience at Scutari gave her a burning desire to improve the standards of hospitals and healthcare back home in Britain. It also made her incredibly famous, something she was dismissive of calling it the ‘Buzz fuzz of celebrity’.

Following her return from the Crimea, Nightingale suffered from ill health for much of the remainder of her life, but she continued to be one of the most influential figures in 19th century Britain.


One of the Wards of the Hospital at Scutari 1856

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