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 that 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 outpatient 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 1998.