Manchester Royal Infirmary

The Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) is a hospital in Manchester, England which was founded by Charles White in 1752 as a cottage hospital capable of caring for twelve patients. It is a teaching hospital of the School of Medicine, University of Manchester and part of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (former Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust). Other teaching hospitals which are part of the same NHS trust are: St Mary's Hospital, Manchester (founded 1790), the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (1814), and the University Dental Hospital of Manchester (1884); Royal Manchester Children's Hospital (1829).

The hospital today

Manchester Royal Infirmary now has over 750 beds. On the same site since summer 2009 are the new Children's Hospital, St Mary's Hospital (Maternity and Babies), the new wing of Manchester Royal Infirmary, and the new Eye Hospital (one of the largest teaching hospitals for ophthalmology in Europe). It is possible to access one hospital from the others without going outside. A link bridge links St Mary's Hospital with the new wing of the Royal Infirmary and the Children's Hospital.

  • The Children's Hospital contains 371 beds and is the largest free-standing children's hospital in the UK.
  • Manchester Mental Health and Social Care trust also runs a mental health unit on the site for inpatients and outpatients: see route map: access via Hathersage Road.
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary itself specialises in cardiology, in renal medicine and surgery, and in kidney and pancreas transplants. Its A&E department deals with around 145,000 patients every year.
Town centre

Its first premises was a house in Garden Street, off Withy Grove, Manchester. It grew in importance and needed to expand, the infirmary moved to considerably larger premises on Lever's Row in the area now known as Piccadilly Gardens (the gardens were only created after the demolition of the former MRI buildings in 1914). The site was donated by the Lord of the Manor and had previously been called the Daub Holes: these pits had filled with water and they were replaced by a fine ornamental pond. The new building was opened in 1755 and by the late 19th century statues had been installed on the esplanade on the northern side while the streets to the south beyond Parker Street were narrow. White co-founded the Manchester Royal Infirmary with local industrialist Joseph Bancroft in 1752, and was an honorary surgeon there until 1790. In an adjacent building was the Lunatic Asylum, established in 1763; in 1849 the asylum was removed to Cheadle, Cheshire. Students in the nineteenth century were awarded external degrees by the University of London.

Oxford Road

A fire in nearby buildings showed hospital staff that the crowdedness of the area would badly hamper evacuation if there was a fire in the hospital. In 1908, in partnership with the Victoria University of Manchester, it relocated to its present site on Oxford Road, Chorlton on Medlock, opposite Whitworth Park; it was opened by King Edward VII. The years of World War II were busy and bomb damage destroyed parts of the building.

The hospital has been very much enlarged in the last 25 years: in summer 2009 came the latest additions, a new children's hospital and a new eye hospital.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via