Image shows an interior view of Ward 8 at Leeds General Infirmary. It is part of the 'New Infirmary' which was opened on 19th May 1868 by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales who was later to be crowned King Edward VII. There were 10 wards initially, two running the length of each of five pavilions. The ceilings were 16 to 18 feet high (between 4.80 and 5.40 metres). This made the wards difficult to heat and so in the centre of each were two open stoves with descending flues to carry the smoke away. It was so chilly for the patients that a supply of copper foot warmers was provided in 1873. Heating by steam pipes was introduced in the mid 1880s. From 1892 the 31 bed Ward 8 was reserved for female surgical patients as seen in this image where the beds are occupied by women. By 1919 it had become a children's medical ward. In 1922 a small ward was built close by with 14 cots for babies and toddlers. It became known as the 'Princess Mary' Ward as it commemorated the marriage of H.R.H. Princess Mary to Viscount Lascelles. Several of the uniformed nursing staff can be seen, and there is also a man wearing a suit, collar and tie who is possibly a medical or surgical consultant. Framed pictures adorn the walls above the beds and the ward is lit by the large windows. In the foreground a washstand supports two ewers and basins for washing the patients. At either end there are towel rails. Vases of flowers and plants are on display throughout the ward.
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