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Killingbeck Hospital History & Heritage Murals

located in the Jubillee Wing, Leeds General Infirmary, West Yorks, England



Project Scope


This heritage display comprises of 4 landscape and 3 portrait format, ash framed displays.

The landscape format murals are each approx 8ft x 4ft and the portrait ones are 3ft x 6ft




This heritage display was designed to celebrate the staff, patients and history of Killingbeck Hospital, a much loved Leeds building which was about to close after almost a century serving people from all over Yorkshire. The intention of the design was to reflect the rural environment and relaxed atmosphere in which Killingbeck was situated. When researching through the vast and intriguing selection of old photographs, plans and newspaper cuttings, it became clear that the surrounding landscape was a considerable influence on staff and patients, which still evoke fond memories to this day.


The permanent retrospective exhibition of Killingbeck Hospital is made up of 4 landscape and 3 portrait panels. The four landscape panels chronologically illustrate the history of Killingbeck Hospital. Key historical dates are explained by a continuous timeline across the centre of the four landscape panels. The 3 portrait panels focus on significant events throughout the hospitals history in greater detail. The first subject, Dr Gilmour, a former medical superintendent, was extremely important in the treatment of Tuberculosis. The second, a Hospital Events panel, illustrates past social and charity events, and thirdly a reflection on paediatric surgery, depicting royal visits and openings.





“Most people knew of the hospital for its internationally-renowned expertise in later years with heart and chest patients, but we found that the buildings had many other stories to tell. These were rooted in the Hall which stood there for many years before the city fathers chose Killingbeck as a site for a new smallpox hospital at the very end of the nineteenth century.


During our research we found pictures of the maimed soldiers who were cared for there and the nurses who tended them during the darkest days of the Great War. We spoke to and interviewed some of the patients who lived in the hospital for months and in some cases for years during the time it treated the scourge of tuberculosis, and heard the memories of the doctors, nurses and many other staff who made Killingbeck such a special place over the years.


Assembling such a diverse and apparently disjointed history into a mural was no mean feat, and we were lucky to have the enthusiasm and expertise of the staff at Woodgate Design. Presented with literally hundreds of old photos, newspaper cuttings, drawings and pamphlets, they worked closely with us on sifting the material and came up with a design proposal which everyone involved in the proposal liked from first sight."



Mona Illingworth, Retired Radiographer &
Andrew Bannister, Public Relations Manager

© Hospital Art Studio part of Woodgate Studios Limited