Dundee Royal Infirmary had its origins in the Voluntary Dispensary
founded in the city by public subscription in 1782. This proved so beneficial to the community
that in 1793 Dr. Small proposed that an Infirmary for indoor patients should be founded. His
proposal was realised in 1798, when the first 56-bed Dundee Infirmary was erected at King Street.
Only the central portion was built at the time, the wings being erected in 1825-27.
The Infirmary was granted a Royal Charter by George III in 1819, establishing it into a
Body Corporate and Politic, called the "Dundee Royal Infirmary and Asylum". In 1820 the Asylum
was formally established as a separate entity in premises in Albert Street, Dundee.
By the mid nineteenth century the King Street premises were no longer adequate and in 1852
building started on a new site in Barrack Road, near Dudhope Castle. Designed by Messrs. Coe
& Godwin of London, it was completed and opened in February 1855, when patients were transferred
from King Street. Originally constructed to accommodate 220 patients, later additions were made and
the hospital began to diversify its services with new children's, ear and eye, ear nose and throat
wards and an out patient clinic.
The infirmary was granted further Royal Charters in 1877 and 1898 - the former on the occasion
of the opening of a convalescent home at Barnhill and the latter providing for the addition of a
maternity hospital. In July 1948 the running of the Infirmary was transferred to the National Health
Service in accordance with the 1947 National Health Service (Scotland) Act. The hospital closed in
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