Sonic Notes from the Grays Inn Road


Author: Bernadette Devilat in collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL.

Two historic London hospitals on the Grays Inn Road are moving to a new site on Huntley Street. We’d like your help creating artworks celebrating staff and patients of the Eastman Dental Hospital & The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. This project aligns sensory perception with architectural exploration during the hospitals’ last days on the Grays Inn Road.

Sonic Notes begins with behind-the-scenes walking tours of Space Age silence rooms and Art Deco murals, and ends with an installation in the new Huntley Street site (Phase 5). A publication and digital map / archive will delve deeper into the anatomy of the hospitals, and honour the people who make them tick.

The project is led by On the Record CIC & ScreenDeep. It is curated and guided by Guy Noble from UCLH Arts and Heritage. Sonic Noteshas been made possible by funding of £48,762 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and generous support from UCLH Arts and Heritage.


 Staff and patients

If you are a patient, staff member or you run a patient group affected by conditions treated by the hospitals we want to record your memories. We’ll meet you at a place and time convenient to you or invite you for tea and cake at the hospitals in the last week of October.

 We’ll also be turning the techniques used to image patients’ bodies onto the old buildings themselves which have been declared ‘no longer fit for purpose’ – if you’d like to nominate an object from the hospital for a sound or image study, get us in touch and share a story about it.


Potential volunteers

Learn how to make oral histories and ambient recordings and Foley in autumn/winter 2018/2019. This is an opportunity to get hands-on training and work experience with specialist oral history and sound art production companies, and contribute to the creation of a permanent arts and heritage installation. Volunteers should write up to 200 words explaining why they wish to get involved, clearly stating your availability.


Contact Details for Sonic Notes

Laura Mitchison

T: 07787243656

Olivia Bellas

Background on the hospitals

The Eastman Dental Hospital (EDH) (est. 1930) and The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNEH) (est. 1874) have been at the forefront of head and neck medicine for the last 150 years. The hospitals have a long tradition of surgical innovation (common surgical instruments are named after former staff) and diagnostics for conditions which resist objective tests (tinnitus, dizziness, trigeminal neuralgia). They have pioneered facial reconstructions for cancer patients, culturally-sensitive oral healthcare, and voice exercises relied on by performers including Lesley Garrett who was treated at the RNTNEH. The specialist expertise of these hospitals fosters a unique culture of care and familiarity between the long-serving staff and their often equally long-standing patients. The RNTNEH is the European centre for audiological research, and its voice clinic is the oldest and largest in the UK.

 About UCLH Arts and Heritage

UCLH Arts and Heritageis committed to providing a welcoming, uplifting environment for all patients, visitors and staff through the use of a varied and stimulating arts and heritage programme. Its work aims to improve patient well-being, boost staff morale, increase engagement with the arts and celebrate the Trust’s unique heritage.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.