© Mr Erik Borg
LEEDS GENERAL INFIRMARY, GREAT GEORGE STREET (north side)
LEEDS, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE
Mr Erik Borg
03 September 2000
08 October 1970
Date of last amendment:
08 October 1970
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SE2934SE GREAT GEORGE STREET
714-1/74/196 (North side)
08/10/70 Leeds General Infirmary
Hospital. 1863-68. By Sir George Gilbert Scott. Extension
1891-92 by George Corson, extended 1915-17 by Kitson and
Parish. Red brick, stone dressings, slate roofs. Gothic
PLAN: Symmetrical design, H-plan with an extra parallel range
making 3 long wings (the entrance wing and wards) joined
across the centre by the enclosed garden and chapel range. The
ground slope allows for 3 storeys to front, the ground
floor/basement housing the administration and storerooms,
while the 2 upper floors housed the wards. On the main facade
the S ends of the wings are three 3-storey blocks linked by
single-storey ranges; to the rear of the garden/chapel line
the wings are of 2 storeys with partial basements.
EXTERIOR: main entrance block centre is 3-storeyed plus attic
with projecting central gable, the ground floor has a
porte-cochere of 3 cusped Gothic arches in brick and stone
resting on polished granite columns, above are lancet windows,
to left and right are 2-light Gothic windows. The arches are
of 2 different colours; plate tracery and arcaded parapets
throughout. The blocks to the left and right have canted sides
with 3-storeyed square bays, tall hipped chateau-style roofs
with truncated ridge stacks.
Rear: original 3 projecting wings with square corner bays
obscured by later additions. Left return: 8 bays with pointed
arches to cross windows left and right, gables to top storey;
entrance bay flanked by projecting gabled wings centre. Right:
added range by Corson in identical style gives an asymmetrical
appearance to the facade.
INTERIOR: the main entrance opens into a long hall and
communication wing which comprises reception hall with
fireplace left in Gothic Revival style with flanking columns
and pitched overmantel carved in fish-scale pattern, an arcade
of 3 pointed arches with stiff-leaf capitals leads to a narrow
corridor with roof trusses carried on short columns with
brackets carved with medicinal plants; this continues as a
wider hall with fine floors of mosaic and polychrome tiles
throughout; the main stair hall with a divided cantilevered
stair, cast-iron balustrade of columns and rails with
fleur-de-lis finials and wooden handrail.
The stairs rise to a very fine landing lit by 2 large 3-light
windows with stained glass in ornate panels by O'Connor of
London, 1868; a 3-bay arcade of polished granite columns opens
from the landing into the corridor to wards and chapel of St
The chapel of St Luke at the E end of the cross-range
comprises a nave, sanctuary, gallery, vestry and office;
opened 6 June 1869 and extensively refurbished 1926-30: W door
with elaborate scrolled wrought-iron hinges; canted E end with
3 two-light stained-glass windows (1868) with scenes from
Christ's healing ministry, dedicated by Sir Andrew and Lady
Fairbairn and John Deakin Heaton, honorary physician
c1850-1880; at the W end a rose window with stained glass
depicting angels playing musical instruments; panelled reredos
with vine scroll (1926) with carved cusped panels and reset
small figures of Florence Nightingale and St Luke; carved
wooden pulpit with brass inscription in memory of William
Gott, d.1863. W gallery with 1910 organ. Wall panelling
The wards are each of 2 storeys with original stone
cantilevered staircases at opposite ends from the paired
square end bays which remain in original use as toilet blocks.
Upper-floor wards have open arched roofs and cast-iron
ventilation shafts remain.
The Rose Garden is entered from the W side, with direct access
from the central entrance on the left return. The glazed roof
built in 1867 over the 'Winter Garden' does not survive. Later
infilling has linked the originally open-sided wards but the
plan which Scott designed in consultation with Florence
Nightingale is still clear.
HISTORY: The hospital was designed by Scott with the
assistance of Dr Chadwick, Chief Physcian at the infirmary,
they travelled abroad seeing the latest in hospital design;
Florence Nightingale and Sir Douglas Galton, architect of the
Herbert Hospital at Woolwich, were also consulted. Foundation
stone was laid 29/03/1864, the hospital opened to patients
Scott's design for the Infirmary 'marks a stylistic turning
point in West Yorkshire public building', (Linstrum, p.348).
George Corson's addition housed further wards; it is linked to
the main range by an arcade of 4 arches.
(Linstrum, D: West Yorkshire Architects and Architecture:
1978-: 348 ET SEQ; Hancock, E: A Guide to the Chapel of St
Luke: Leeds: 1988-).