Our Heritage

Cancer Centre London was opened in 2003, under the name of the Parkside Oncology Clinic, by Aspen Healthcare, the company who owns Parkside Hospital. The existing building, on the corner of Somerset Road and Parkside, just a few doors down from Parkside Hospital, was carefully adapted into a modern and fully equipped cancer centre, while maintaining the authentic aesthetic of the house itself.

The beautiful building that houses Cancer Centre London is called Beech Holme, and has stood on Parkside, opposite the beautiful Wimbledon Common, since the early 1850s. Beech Holme has, since the very beginning, been a home to medical excellence. The first owner of the property was Joseph Toynbee, who was born in 1815 and trained as a surgeon in London. Initially, he worked amongst in some of the poorest parts of London, trying to improve the health and living conditions of those in Soho, in particular the appalling sanitary standards of the time. Later, in 1851, only three years before work on Beech Holme was completed, Joseph Toynbee was appointed to run the first Ear and Throat Disease Department at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. Toynbee lived with his family at Beech Holme until his death 1866, and in 2004, English Heritage placed one of their famous blue plaques on the wall of Cancer Centre London, commemorating the brilliant medical man who a built a family home that later became a recognised Centre of Excellence in cancer care.

Cancer Centre London is grateful to the Wimbledon Society for their extensive research into the history of Beech Holme, and for their permission to reproduce some of that history in this summary.