British contributions to renal physiology trace back to the seminal contribution of William Bowman, who defined the structure of mammalian nephron and its blood supply and pointed out its likely mode of function. A series of contributions followed, which stemmed from a distinguished lineage of physiologists based at University College London and which had, as its high point, the establishment by Ernest H. Starling, in 1899, of a method for measuring oncotic pressure and the subsequent demonstration that glomerular filtration requires a hydrostatic pressure in excess of oncotic pressure in the glomerular capillaries. Arthur Cushny published a monograph on renal function in 1917 which had wide influence. The homeostasis of water and sodium chloride were the subjects of important contributions by Verney and De Wardener, respectively. Little contribution was made by British renal physiologists to the understanding of single nephron function with the emphasis being largely on integrative physiology.