Corson's Outpatients' Department
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds
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- Statutory Address:
- Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
- Non Civil Parish
- National Grid Reference:
Hospital outpatients' department and south, high-level, enclosed corridor. 1889-1892 by George Corson.
Buildings attached to the outpatients' department, namely the north enclosed corridor at the west end of the building, the flat-roofed building and extensions built across the west gable, the 1910 pavilion link block and lift shaft on the south side, the extension abutting the north side of the building, the King Edward VII Memorial Wing abutting the east side of the building and the and the mid-C20 inserted floor in the waiting room hall are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing.
Reasons for Designation
The outpatients’ department and south, high-level, enclosed corridor of 1889 to 1892 by George Corson is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* an impressively large outpatients’ department designed in a Gothic Revival style with a huge central waiting room hall with a barrel-arched roof with curved steel trusses lit by clerestory windows and arcades with polished granite columns (presently infilled); * George Corson was a well-respected Leeds architect with a number of listed buildings to his name, who designed several buildings for Leeds General Infirmary, carefully respecting the quality of design and detailing of George Gilbert Scott’s original building.
* the vast scale of the waiting room compared to that of the original outpatients’ department of G G Scott’s infirmary clearly demonstrates a rapidly expanding provision for dealing with outpatients driven by the on-going development of specialisms such as ophthalmic and gynaecological departments; * as built, the plan resembled the chancel of a medieval cathedral, containing the waiting room, with arcades, aisles and apses containing examination and treatment rooms on the north, east and south sides.
* the outpatients’ department has functional and stylistic group value with George Gilbert Scott’s original infirmary building and Corson's pavilion wing (Grade I).
Leeds General Infirmary was built in 1864 to 1868 to designs by George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878, knighted 1872). Scott and Dr Chadwick, the Infirmary’s chief physician, visited many of the chief hospitals in Europe and the resulting design was influenced strongly by the Lariboisiere Hospital in Paris (1846-1854), although with improvements. The infirmary was built to a pavilion plan utilising the north-south slope of the site. A central court with a glazed, cast-iron roof and a chapel range was aligned east-west bounded by covered corridors from which three long parallel pavilion blocks extend at right angles on each side. The three north pavilions and two outer south pavilions all contained two floors of wards. Between the south pavilions were two midpoint, single-storey, east-west link buildings. That between the central and east pavilions was a small outpatients’ department with a glazed roof waiting room on its south side.
The style was Gothic Revival with Scott stating ‘some form of architecture founded on the medieval styles but freely treated would meet the requirements of such a building better than any other style’. The new infirmary admitted its first patients in May 1869 and patients were transferred from the old infirmary in June 1869. The small chapel of St Luke also opened on 6 June 1869.
In 1888 it was decided to extend the infirmary and extensions were built in 1889 to 1892 to the immediate east of the original infirmary to designs by George Corson of Leeds. His designs were published in The Building News on 13 September 1889. A new three-storey, three-ward pavilion block was built linked to the original south front by a four-bay open arcade (now with blocking). Set back was a grand outpatients’ department, continuing the east-west axis of Scott’s plan and connected by corridors to the north and south covered corridors either side of Scott’s central court. In plan it resembled the chancel of a medieval cathedral with arcades and aisles to the north and south and apses containing rooms on the north, east and south sides. The entrance was from the north by a carriage porch. The ophthalmic department for eye and ear cases occupied the north side of the waiting hall, the surgical department was to the east, on the south were the examination and consulting rooms of the medical department and gynaecological department, and on the west was the dispensary. The fall of the ground enabled a further two floors of rooms to be provided along the south side of the outpatients department, used as nurses’ rooms and store rooms.
The south corridor link to Corson’s pavilion wing was remodelled following a fire in 1910. The towers and consulting rooms on the north and east sides were demolished as part of the construction of the King Edward Memorial Wing built in 1915 to 1917. Only one original tower remains at the north-east corner and one tower was reconstructed in the C20. A utilitarian extension was built abutting the north side of the waiting hall around 1937. The waiting room hall was subdivided to facilitate a new A&E in the 1940s and then again in the 1950s and 1960s.
Hospital outpatients' department and south, high-level, enclosed corridor. 1889-1892 by George Corson. Buildings attached to the outpatients' department, namely the north enclosed corridor at the west end of the building, the flat-roofed building and extensions built across the west gable, the 1910 pavilion link block and lift shaft on the south side, the extension abutting the north side of the building, the King Edward VII Memorial Wing abutting the east side of the building and the mid-C20 inserted floor in the waiting room hall are not of special interest and are excluded from the listing.
MATERIALS: red brick, sandstone dressings, slate roof.
PLAN: the outpatients’ department is aligned east-west on the east side of the central court of the original infirmary and linked to its flanking covered corridors. It has a very large, rectangular waiting room hall with side arcaded aisles (since sub-divided into two floors and the arcades infilled) flanked by consulting rooms on three sides (those on the north and east sides since demolished). A high-level, enclosed corridor joins the south-west corner of the waiting room hall to the north-east corner of the east pavilion on the south side of the original infirmary and to the corridor flanking the south side of the central court.
EXTERIOR: to the rear (north side) of Corson’s pavilion wing and aligned east-west with the central court is his large outpatients’ department. It is built in brick with similar Gothic detailing in brick and stone as the pavilion wing. The south elevation is largely obscured by the north end of the Wellcome Trust Wing (not listed). The large, rectangular waiting room hall is to the rear. It has a stepped brick eaves cornice and a row of round-headed clerestory windows (with a modern, external metal walkway). The pitched slate roof has an eaves group of brick stacks and three polygonal roof ventilators to the ridge. In front of the waiting room hall is a three-storey range with a double-pitched roof and a projecting polygonal bay to the centre with a polygonal tower at the south-east corner. The polygonal bay has a steep roof with finials to the short ridge. It is flanked by two brick ridge stacks. The tower has a steep, polygonal roof with a finial. The two outer bays of the south elevation are slightly recessed. Set back on the left-hand side is a three-storey, two-bay block with a hipped roof on the right-hand side. There are a variety of arched windows with alternating stone and brick voussoirs, some with stone plate tracery.
Joining the south-west corner of the waiting room hall to the north-east corner of the east pavilion on the south side of the original infirmary and to the corridor flanking the south side of the central court is a high-level, enclosed corridor. It is built of brick with a slate roof, hipped at the west end, with decorative red tiles to the ridge. The south side of the corridor has a decorative brick eaves cornice. Beneath is an arcade of round-headed arches with alternating stone and brick voussoirs and stone capitals and columns rising from decorative stone corbels with stone moulded corbel string and low brick infill walls with stone coping with iron railings. Timber windows are set back behind the arcade. At a lower level is a moulded corbel string, which continues the string on the original east pavilion. Above and below the string are two-light and three-light with transom square-headed windows with stone frames, sills and lintels. The north side of the corridor is only partly visible. It has similar two-light and three-light with transom windows.
INTERIOR: the large waiting room has a barrel-arched roof with curved steel trusses rising from stone corbels. The original side arcades have round-headed arches and granite columns; the arcades are now infilled.
Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that: the lower, enclosed corridor which runs from the north-west corner of the waiting room hall to the corridor flanking the north side of the central court; the flat-roofed, brick building with rooftop extensions built across the lower part of the west gable of the waiting room hall; the 1910 link block and lift shaft between the waiting room hall and Corson's pavilion wing to the south; the extension of around 1937 built against the north side of the waiting room hall, the King Edward VII Memorial Wing built against the east side of the waiting room hall and the mid-C20 inserted floor in the waiting room hall are not of special architectural or historic interest and are excluded from the listing.
Books and journals
Wrathmell, S, Minnis, J, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Leeds, (2005), 83-88
'Leeds General Infirmary Extension: Selected Design' in The Building News, (September 13, 1889), 347-348 plus illustration
Report on Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, West Yorkshire, by Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, NBR number: 102031.
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
The listed buildings are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.
End of official listing