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Report - Eye Infirmary, Wolverhampton - August 2009

Discussion in 'Asylums and Hospitals' started by ukmayhem, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. ukmayhem

    ukmayhem 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Visited with Concentration F and LiamCH as part of our bank holiday midland urbex tour


    The original Infirmary was designed by the architect T H Fleeming (1849‑1935) whose works also include Barclays Bank, Lichfield Street (1876), the College of Adult Education, Old Hall Street (1899) and the late 19th century spire of St. Jude's Church, Tettenhall Road (itself built in 1867‑9), all of which are Grade II Statutorily Listed Buildings, and the former Higher Grade School, Newhampton Road which is on the Council's Local List.
    The Infirmary was built by Wolverhampton builders Henry Willcock & Co. at a cost of £13,000 and opened in 1888, providing three men's and three women's wards with thirty beds and five children's cots. A significant part of the cost was met by local philanthropist, Philip Horsman, who also donated the Art Gallery to the town and whose benefaction is commemorated in the Fountain in St. Peter's Gardens.
    It is constructed of red brick with elaborate brick details and stone dressings. It is built to an irregular plan in a simple Gothic style under a plain clay tiled roof with crested ridge tiles and two spired turrets, one of which has an inscribed stone plaque bearing the legend: 'EYE INFIRMARY AD 1887'. Some of the original sash windows have been replaced and late 20th century extensions to the original west front have detracted from the character and appearance of the original building.

    The local health care trust decided, in 2004, to close the Eye Infirmary, sooner rather than later, and move its services to somewhere else, unspecified and apparently unknown. These buildings are, therefore, at risk and sympathetic new uses need to be found for them. As the grounds in which they stand are now crowded and suffering from poor landscaping and neglect, any re-development should be treated as an opportunity to greatly improve the setting of these buildings.

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    Matt
     

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