Mildmay Mission Hospital

Demolition project background

Built in 1892, Mildmay Mission Hospital was the UK’s last remaining Mission Hospital. It was the facility in which Britain’s first AIDS victims were cared for, and the location in which Princess Diana famously shook the hand of an AIDS victim at the height of public panic.

The Mildmay charity got planning permission to redevelop the site, and DDS was lucky enough to be involved in the project.


  • Erect scaffolding to enclose the west elevation, south elevation (Austin Street) and return along east elevation.
  • Remove all asbestos containing materials
  • Remove any hazardous materials
  • Soft strip building of combustible materials, fixtures and fittings.
  • Raze structure in a controlled and safe manner to the top of the ground floor slab.
  • Break out ground floor slab and foundations, while not compromising the stability of neighbouring highways.
  • Break out and backfill 6m deep reinforced basement.
  • Crush and stockpile hardcore and concrete arisings to a 6F2 specification.
  • Cover the site with a  piling mat ready for construction to commence.
  • Remove all other demolition, rubbish and soft strip materials arising to a licensed waste transfer facility.

Achievements and Successes

  • The Mildmay Charity was keen to preserve items of sentimental and historical value to them, such as spiral staircases, mosaic tiles, clock tower and a Rose Bush planted by Princess Diana. DDS worked with the charity to salvage these items so they could be incorporated into the new development.
  • DDS undertook thorough investigations of the building fabric at tender stage and identified reclamation opportunities missed by other contractors. This enabled us to pass commercial savings on to our Client, enabling them to secure the project.
  • DDS arranged and managed successful crane lifts to the Bell Tower and Clock Tower.
  • DDS achieved a fantastic waste recycling rate, with high levels of architectural salvage. The remainder of the demolition arisings processed into building aggregate’s and left of site for the new project.
  • DDS Documented the entire demolition project using time-lapse footage, which is available to view here.