History of Pontefract Dispensary and General Infirmary

    The red brick building on Southgate dates from 1880, but Pontefract Dispensary was founded in 1812 in Sessions House Yard, later moving to Baxtergate before its final site on Southgate. The Hermitage Gardens were owned by Dr William Wright, surgeon to the Dispensary and public health doctor, and following his death in 1877, the land was left as a legacy for the building of a new dispensary. The foundation stone was laid on Friday 7th May 1880 by the Rt. Hon. H.C.E. Childers MP, Secretary of State for War, and the Dispensary was officially opened by the Mayor, John Rhodes, on Wednesday 8th December 1880. The building of the Dispensary and its continued maintenance was funded by donations and legacies from the local community, and its status was that of a voluntary hospital until 1948 when it became part of the NHS under the Pontefract and Castleford Hospital Management Committee.