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Thread: Royal Liverpool Infirmary

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    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Default Royal Liverpool Infirmary

    [Please Not - These image have been moved and can be found: HERE]


    The Royal Liverpool Infirmary (designed by Alfred Waterhouse) closed in 1978 and was unused until 1994 when the University of Liverpool bought

    it. Some of it is used as department/lecture buildings, there is a doctors surgery at the front and some other admin offices, and a conference

    center.

    I noticed not long ago that a large proportion of the building was unused, and it looked particularly interesting with its Gothic architecture

    and circular ward blocks. With some help, I managed to get a look inside in March this

    year...




    By the time the infirmary was built, the area around Brownlow Hill, Brownlow Street and Pembroke Place had become a 'medical quarter' - here had

    existed the first two Liverpool Infirmaries along with the lunatic asylum and maternity hospital. Also the nearby School of Medicine and nurses homes

    presented more reasons to build the new infirmary here.


    ADVERTISING





    One of the main corridors running across the hospital


    When finished in 1889, the hospital included an impressive range of facilities. These included a

    chapel, mortuary, administration block, kitchens eight pavilion-style wards and two blocks of circular

    wards.






    Staircases in the infirmary


    The hospital was extended

    in 1909-1911 with the addition of the outpatients department. Although not designed by Waterhouse, it was created in the same style, and today nicely matches

    the former administration block.

    During the design stage, Waterhouse had consulted with Florence Nightingale who was of the opinion that ventilation

    was of upmost importance. Consequently all the wards were designed with this in mind, using a draft system to draw fresh air from the outside into the ward

    and then up through an outer flue in the fire place. The rather unique circular ward blocks were created to give more room and light to patients, and one of

    these blocks remains in 'original' condition.


    A ward in the circular

    'F' block


    Standard pavilion-style 'Nightingale' ward


    The

    interior of the infirmary was beautifully decorated with glazed brickwork, and is similar in style to the Tate Hall in the University of Liverpool's

    Victoria Building (also designed by Waterhouse).


    Entrance to ward

    1


    Missing floor in 'B' block


    Of particular interest in the

    hospital are the bed plaques. Originally the hospital was voluntarily run, and so funding was a problem. Wealthy Liverpudlians sometimes made donations to

    the hospital, sponsoring a bed. The remaining wall-mounted plaques give us a clue as to who was being treated in the hospital at various times. Unfortunately

    some of the plaques were damaged when the hospital was taken over by the NHS - when fitting wall lamps, they simply drilled and screwed into the

    plaques!


    Plaque showing donation by Bruce Ismay, Chief Engineer on

    Titanic


    Dennis Bayley Fund donation


    Some evidence of

    sanitation facilities remains, with some toilets and a rather eerie looking shower still there. Aside from this, most fittings have been removed from the

    hospital, including the mortuary and chapel

    interiors.




    I expect before long the rest of the hospital will be converted, so I hope to try and get back in there. Although the University

    are preserving the original brickwork and layout, it will never be quite the same. I just wish I'd had a look round in 1994 when it was still totally

    empty...




    Thanks to the 'Liverpool Royal Infirmary - A History' booklet produced by the University of Liverpool for

    information
    Last edited by Kev; 03-30-2008 at 07:58 PM.

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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    Who farted?





    Wahey, Private reading booth.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Thanks for these pics snapps. I love this type of interior decor, al very scary. Fantastic pics . Its great to see these

    unseen parts of our beautiful city explored and shared
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    I wonder how those Toilets were destroyed like that!
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Probably by an idiot with a sledgehammer.

    Having said that, I smashed a toilet with a sledgehammer once, and it was really satisfying...

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    If I had used that toilet, it wouldn't exist no more.

    Sledgehammer smashing is fun

    though.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    GhostSearch GhostSearch's Avatar
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    Excellent stuff, brings back memories that, in 95 I think it was I did the security there for Amec who had the contract for the redevelopment of part of the hospital which produced the Primary Day Care centre, opposite the Dental Hospital. I had 12 months to explore the whole of the hospital including the tunnels underneath the hospital, never seen a ghost once () I remember one night exploring the tunnels by tourchlight, for some reason my dobberman dog would not venture down there and would wait at the top of a spiral staircase which led down to the tunnels. On this particular occasion I found a room off one of the passageways of the tunnel, shone my light into the room and there was one of those very large old wooden wheelchairs sat in front of an opened insinerator door time to go I thought ()

  8. #8
    MissInformed
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    mr snappel

    you are my hero!!!!

    you should have an mbe for what you do!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Paul D's Avatar
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    Snappel you're a legend those pictures are quality mate.

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    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    snappel, I agree, looks great. Another building with a great interior similar in style was the Precot St. police station, is that still there?
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

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    Senior Member Paul D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shytalk View Post
    snappel, I agree, looks great. Another building with a great interior similar in style was the Precot St. police station, is that still there?
    By where the Royal hospital is? if so there's no police station there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    Shame that, it was a nice old building. Used to be a big pub next door called the Blue Ball had a blue light just like the cop shop.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    MissInformed
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    i thought the infirmary was used by the Uni....am i thinking of something else??

  14. #14
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostSearch View Post
    On this particular occasion I found a room off one of the passageways of the tunnel, shone my light into the room and there was one of those very large old wooden wheelchairs sat in front of an opened insinerator door time to go I thought ()
    Interesting information. Most Victorian hospitals were built with heating/service ducts underneath them, and I've had several adventures in them at other locations, getting my feet nearly frozen off in cold water and smacking my head on low pipes and beams!!

    Is this the incinerator you found?



    EDIT: In fact, I should say this isn't an incinerator, it was an oven used for sterilising instruments. Still, might have been the thing you found?

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    Senior Member shytalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissInformed View Post
    i thought the infirmary was used by the Uni....am i thinking of something else??
    You are right, they own it but only use part of it from what I understand.
    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  16. #16
    MissInformed
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    ooohh i see.
    it's weird,half of me wants people to use these buildings and make them all lovely again, but the other half of me desperately wants them to be preserved as they are so people like us can go 'ahhhhh' and 'ooohhh' when we find broken lavs, and old plaques and things...

    i am torn!

  17. #17
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by shytalk View Post
    snappel, I agree, looks great. Another building with a great interior similar in style was the Precot St. police station, is that still there?
    It was, very recently.
    It was called the Bridewell.
    I'll check & take a photo if it is still there

  18. #18
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shytalk View Post
    You are right, they own it but only use part of it from what I understand.
    Yes, that's right - they use part of it for a conference centre, part of it for lecturing/admin, and the front part is now the Brownlow Hill Group Practice (NHS).

    MissInformed - I know how you feel. I suppose it's nice if things stay original for as long as possible, but then when they have to be changed it's better to be converted than demolished. In fact, we're lucky the Infirmary has survived like this - if it had been bought by a property development company, etc, in 1994 instead of the University it would have been long since converted.

  19. #19
    MissInformed
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    i know Snappel!
    I love the romance of the old buildings...it's so fabulous you doing what you do!

    The Infirmary pics remind me of the Elephant Man film. The old Victorian corridors... just amazing

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissInformed View Post
    i know Snappel!
    I love the romance of the old buildings...it's so fabulous you doing what you do!

    The Infirmary pics remind me of the Elephant Man film. The old Victorian corridors... just amazing
    They are the stuff nightmares are made of.
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

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  21. #21
    MissInformed
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    they probably are kev!
    i was just born in the wrong time i think!!

  22. #22
    MissInformed
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    What will happen to all the fixtures and signs and plaques when the infirmary is converted?
    would love one of those signs!

  23. #23
    MissInformed
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    aeriel pic of infirmary
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Oh, there are worse places! Try rows of seclusion cells with thick wooden window-less doors, beds with straps, ECT machines and x-rays of skulls with holes in them...

    EDIT: I should say, other places means other hospitals, not elsewhere in the Infirmary - nothing of that kind exists there as far as I know!!

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    That could be very well what I saw, was the wheelchair there?? () I remember the hospital was split up into two sections, the section which was being redeveloped by Amec for the NHS I think it was, and the remainder of the hospital I think belonged to the university as there Security used to patrol the nurses accomodation adjacent to the hospital. There was lots of paperwork, books and letters on the floors of the wards, I found many letters from parents giving permission for the 'Surgeon' to operate on their child.

    It never occured to me at the time to take photographs before the redevelopment got underway, but I recall the architects from Amec constantly snapping away, the project manager at the time was a Mr. David Robinson of Amec Design & Management, i'm sure tucked away somewhere in their offices are plenty of photo's should they wish to share.

  26. #26
    MissInformed
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    ooohhh...maybe one of us should try to contact them...

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    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Ok, I've written them a letter - I'll let everyone know if/what there response is.

    Thanks again for the info GhostSearch.

  28. #28
    MissInformed
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    fantastic detective work people...
    keep us informed snappel!!

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    GhostSearch GhostSearch's Avatar
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    The contract for Amec was

    The Liverpool Royal Infirmary Development - Phase 1
    Pembroke Place Liverpool L3 5JZ

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Attached is a pic of the infirmary from LCC Archives, plus one below I took of the top.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

    If you like the website, please donatevia PayPal!




    Thank you


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