April 1871: University Chapel and Western Infirmary

An article on page four of The Glasgow Herald, on Saturday the 22nd of April, 1871, reads:




We are glad to observe the announcement that a collection is to be made in aid of the funds for the erection of the Western

Infirmary on Sunday (to-morrow), at the concluding meeting for religious services in the University Chapel for this session.

This is no more than appropriate, considering the close connection which has subsisted between the origin of this intended

charitable institution and the University. We trust that the public, who have been freely admitted in large numbers to these

services, may show their appreciation of the benefits to be expected from the extension of sick-hospital accommodation in

the western part of the city by the liberality of their donations on this occasion; and we might venture to suggest to the

Committee of Management that, as the works for the erection of the Infirmary building have now been vigorously commenced,

they may with propriety extend their solicitations for contributions to a wider range.


We understand that all the arrangements for the erection of a general sick hospital on the Donaldshill site have been completed.

These contemplate an hospital of upwards of 300 beds, and the plans have been drawn out on this scale; but as sufficient funds

for the erection of the whole have not yet been obtained, the committee of public subscribers, who have now assumed the whole

responsibility of the enterprise, have prudently resolved to go on at once with such part of it as may be accomplished with the

funds already in their possession, or which they may confidently expect within a short period, thus affording at no distant time a

certain relief to the sick and maimed of the district, and furnishing the means of clinical teaching for the University Medical School.

The site appears to be admirably chosen and of very ample dimensions, and the pavilion-form of the building is such as to leave large

spaces of open exercise ground encircling it, so that we believe the Western Infirmary, instead of presenting the dull surroundings

which have too often formed the characteristic features of sick hospitals, may both afford open and cheerful views to its inmates, and

be an ornament to the neighbourhood in connection with the extensive grounds of the University and Western Park. As to the building

itself, we can only speak of the external elevation and design as appearing to be very simple and elegant, and highly appropriate to the

situation and the purposes which it is to serve – avoiding unnecessary expense on the side of ornament, and yet presenting such a

combination of architectural form as cannot fail to be a very pleasing and conspicuous object from the principal neighbouring roads.

From the well-known ability and care of the architect, Mr Burnet, and the knowledge of those under whose guidance his plans have been

framed, we cannot doubt that the internal arrangements will be entirely in accordance with the most improved scientific and sanitary

principles and practical skill of the present time. The extreme length of the main building, extending from east to west, is under 450 feet,

and the breadth, from north to south, including two ward pavilions, is about 250 feet – the disposition of the pavilions being such as to

provide for the free access of air and light on every side to an extent not surpassed, we believe, in any other hospital of modern



The announcement referred to, in the first line of the article, can be found on page eight of the same issue of the Herald, under

“Church Notices. &c.”




George Fairfull-Smith, June 2023.