North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent

“The North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary can be traced back to 1804 when it was just a Dispensary and House of Recovery based in Etruria. By 1819 with a steady flow of general illness cases, accidents in the pottery, mining and iron industries and diseases caused by lead and dust the hospital outgrew its original location and moved to a new site located close to Etruria Hall, an area that was densely populated with Shelton Bar, Wedgwood, Etruria Gas Works and various collieries.

It was actually all of this surrounding industry that forced the infirmary to relocate once again in 1869 to nearby Hartshill, where it could be up and away from the heavily polluted area of the original buildings. The relocation actually took over 20 years due to constant conflict between the Six Towns as to where it should be sited. This was of course in the days before the towns merged to form the City of Stoke on Trent.

The royal infirmary was built in 1869 it was one of the earliest hospitals to use the pavilion system favored by Florence Nightingale, the underlying rationale was that with improved ventilation the mortality rate (at that time exceedingly high) was significantly reduced.
Excavations on the main site have revealed that a large medieval hospital operated on exactly the same site from the thirteenth century until the 1580s.

In 2012 the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary has closed its doors for the final time after almost 150 years of treating patients. Plans to demolish the royal infirmary and build about 200 houses on the site were approved but may now have lapsed.”

Explored: February 2018

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