Local Listing: The architect for the Nurses' Home was Arthur W Worrall who was born in
Heath Town in 1868. His other works include the Nurses Home of 1907 at the Royal
Hospital and, also at the Royal Hospital, the Edward VII Memorial Wing which was
designed in 1911 and is now Statutorily Listed (Grade II) as an integral part of
the principal Royal Hospital building.
The Nurses' Home is of three storeys, built of brick with stone
dressings under steeply pitched plain clay tiled roofs. The principal (South)
elevation is of nine bays and the two bays at either end project forward under
gabled roofs, with splayed bay windows at ground floor level. The central
entrance door has leaded light stained glass upper panels with an elaborate
stone doorcase surmounted by a stone panel incised with the date 1928. Original
six pane vertically sliding sash windows survive throughout the building. The
rear (north) elevation of the building is of a more utilitarian but entirely
complementary style but it has been disfigured by an unsightly array of pipework
and other service installations. There is an inappropriate flat roofed, single
storey extension attached to the northwest corner of the building but otherwise
it survives externally in its original condition. However the building is
Its setting is partly undermined by a large industrial refuse container
which is permanently stored in the open parking area to the West and also by a
single storey, flat roofed range immediately adjoining to the East. However, the
effect of the single storey block is to some extent mitigated by an attractive
and surprisingly secluded informal garden to the East of the Nurses' Home
(between it and the original Infirmary building).
Comment: There are three principal buildings on this site: the original Infirmary
of 1888; the Nurses' Home of 1927; and the Outpatients'/Accident and Emergency
Extension of 1937. These buildings are quite different in style but all are of
definite architectural and historic interest and all were designed by
significant local architects.
All three buildings are locally listed and all are in the Oaks
(Merridale Road) Conservation Area.
The notes under “Local Listing” above are taken from the Conservation Area
Appraisal and are therefore somewhat more comprehensive than the usual local
listing notes. A full history of
the Infirmary can be found on this site if you
follow this link. It will be apparent that the Eye Infirmary has been very
important in the social and health history of the city.
It has been a greatly appreciated facility in which there was a good deal
of local pride.
The local health care trust decided, in 2004, to close the Eye
Infirmary, sooner rather than later, and move its services to somewhere else,
unspecified and apparently unknown.
These buildings are, therefore, at risk and sympathetic new uses need to be
found for them. As the grounds in
which they stand are now crowded and suffering from poor landscaping and
neglect, any re-development should be treated as an opportunity to greatly
improve the setting of these buildings.