The Surgical Block at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in course of demolition, 1926.
The building opened in 21 May 1861, the same year in which Joseph Lister was appointed a visiting surgeon at the Royal. The block contained eight wards, each with sixteen beds and a nurse's room. The extra capacity provided some relief from overcrowding in the old building and its new operating theatre, like its predecessor, could accommodate up to 200 students.
Ward 24 (the "Lister Ward") in the Surgical Block was particularly identified with Lister's pioneering work in antiseptic surgery, and there was an outcry when the infirmary's managers announced in 1914 their plans to demolish the block to make way for new buildings. Suggestions that the ward might be preserved as a museum or rebuilt at the University of Glasgow came to nought, and the block was demolished in 1926. An extension to the Admission Block was erected in its place, with a lecture theatre on the spot once occupied by Ward 24.
Reference: RCPSG 28/109
Reproduced with the permission of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Admission Block, antiseptic surgery, demolition, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, hospital wards, infirmaries, Lister Ward, operating theatres, surgeons, Surgical Block, voluntary hospitals