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Emergency Services

Healthcare – Hospitals & Infirmaries

Kilmarnock Infirmary


In 1840 a Fever Hospital Committee was founded in Kilmarnock, but it was difficult to get enough support. Eventually money was raised by public subscription; with a substantial sum donated by John Finnie of Springhill House (John Finnie Street was named after him). The foundation stone was laid in September 1967, near Hill Street in the grounds of Mount Pleasant House.

The Kilmarnock Fever Hospital and Infirmary opened in 1868. There were 24 beds. The matron and two nurses had quarters in Mount Pleasant House. Dr. Borland, one of the doctors who had set up the Dispensary, was Medical Officer.

Both the buildings and the staff were steadily extended over the years that followed. Among the best known were the additions in 1891 of the Children’s Block and the Nurses’ Training School. Half the cost of these was met by the dowager Lady Howard de Walden, the rest by a bazaar.

It was found desirable to keep highly infectious diseases isolated, so in 1874 Irvine Bank Hospital in New Mill Road was opened for smallpox. In 1909 all infectious cases were moved to the new Kilmarnock Burgh Fever Hospital at Kirklandside, leaving medical and surgical cases at Kilmarnock Infirmary.

After a new block was built in 1921, the original infirmary was used as a Nurses’ Home. Kilmarnock Infirmary closed in 1982, after the opening of the new hospital at Crosshouse. The Infirmary has since been demolished.

The Dick Institute
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East Ayrshire Council