The Halifax Infirmary & Dispensary

In 1807, at the instigation of Dr Coulthurst, a Dispensary was built by subscriptions, and offered free advice, medicine and treatment for the poor.

Others involved were

It opened 8th February 1808.

The Dispensary was originally on Hatters Close and later at Dispensary Walk, then at Causey Head.

People living within 1 mile of the Halifax Cross were treated without any charge, but they had to be referred to the Dispensary by one of the subscribers.

In 1826, a surgical ward was opened in a cottage near the Dispensary. This had a few beds and operations were performed by a surgeon.

On 25th January 1836, an Infirmary was added to the Dispensary.

A new Dispensary was built by public subscription in Blackwall / Ferguson Street, opposite Holy Trinity Church.

Subscribers included

The building was designed by George Townsend Andrews.

It opened on 2nd April 1838.

Doctors and surgeons who attended the facility [1845] included

Other physicians at the facility included

In 1845, it was occupied as a barracks. It subsequently became the Barrack Tavern and the Flour Society Inn.

In 1851, it was listed with

In 1863-4 the building was enlarged.

In September 1869, the Halifax Board of Guardians reported that they had appointed Mallinson & Barber to proceed with the works for the new infirmary as Mr Oates had died.

On 8th July 1870, a special meeting of the Governors decided that a new building in which to carry on the operations of the charity should be erected on a fresh site. The site selected for the building was on the west side of People's Park. The cost of the land and building was estimated at £16,000. Nothing appears to have become of the decision.

William Henry Rawson was president [1872-1874].

It was further enlarged by Benjamin Whitehead Jackson in 1874, and the number of beds was increased to 70.

The nearby Assembly Rooms were purchased in 1877.

In 1881, it was listed as Harrison Road Infirmary, and the occupants included

In 1881, a children's ward with 16 beds opened there.

In 1895, it was listed as

The Infirmary closed on 3rd November 1896 when it became too small.

The building was sold and the proceeds went to the cost of the new Infirmary – the Royal Halifax Infirmary in Free School Lane – which opened in July 1896.

The Dispensary was demolished shortly afterwards – along with the adjacent New Assembly Rooms – to make way for the Courts and Police Station

See Mary Eglin, Jackson & Fox, R.M.H and Star Seer

This & associated entries use material contributed by Ivan Birch, Jeffrey Knowles & Alan Longbottom

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 17:43 / 3rd May 2024 / 9843

Page Ref: KK_194

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