The impetus for establishing an infirmary in the town was an accident in which four builders were killed and around a dozen more injured when their scaffolding collapsed. Much of the initial money for the building was raised by Samuel Clay who reportedly collected £2,658 in donations and subscriptions in just four days. Clay later stated:
Some years ago, I accidentally saw St. Thomas's and Guy's Hospital, in London, and was much gratified by the arrangements in those instutions. I then thought that it was possible a building might be raised at Huddersfield to relieve a few patients selected from the afflicted poor; and where those objects of distress might have equally good attention paid to them; and, at the same time, experience and enjoy equally clean and quiet accomodation, as well as receive the best medical treatment and assistance. We had, at that time, a Dispensary in Huddersfield, and at the next annual meeting I introduced the subject to the subscribers. Indeed, I set to work, in the first instance, and made a calculation of what I thought it probable might be easily raised in this charitable town and district, for the erection of a suitable building, and the probable amount of what could be raised for its support.
The foundation stone was laid by John Charles Ramsden (son of Sir John Ramsden) on Monday 29 June 1829, by which time Samuel Clay had raised nearly £10,000. The brass plate attached to the stone read:
This first stone of the Huddersfield and Upper Agbrigg Infirmary, erected by the voluntary donations of the Inhabitants and land-owners of the district, was laid the 29th day of June, 1829, by John Charles Ramsden, Esq. M.P. of Newby Park, in this county.
John Oates, Architect.
Joseph Kaye, Builder.
The statue of King Edward VII was commissioned from sculptor Percy Bryant Baker (1881-1970) of Chelsea and unveiled by King George V in 1912 during a visit to Huddersfield with Queen Mary.
A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) edited by Samuel Lewis:
The Dispensary, established in 1814, has been consolidated with the Huddersfield and Upper Agbrigg Infirmary, for which a spacious building, in the Grecian-Doric style, was erected in 1831, at an expense of nearly £5000, raised by subscription, and the profits of a sale of fancy articles ; it is adapted to the reception of 40 in-patients, and attached are two acres of land, granted at a nominal rent, for 999 years, by Sir J. Ramsden.
NEW NORTH ROAD (South Side). Highfield Huddersfield Technical College (Administration and Business). 1831. Architect John Oates or Joseph Kaye. Former Huddersfield Infirmary. Ashlar. Hipped slate roof. Two storeys. Moulded eaves cornice. Blocking course. Continuous sill band. Nine ranges of sashes with glazing bars. Giant tetrastyle Greek Doric temple frontispiece up flight of nine steps with flanking dies. Central three window ranges have moulded frames: door has Egyptian surround. Lamp on ornamental cast iron bracket. Interior: stone cantilevered staircase with cast iron balustrade.
NEW NORTH ROAD (South Side). Highfield Statue of King Edward VII outside the former Infirmary. Early C20. Sculptor: P Bryant Baker. Granite plinth with bronze plaques of Peace, Sympathy and Industry on three sides. Inscribed "Edward VII King and Emperor 1901-10" on 4th side. Life size bronze statue of King in Garter Regalia.