Due to an increase in rail networks and industry pollution levels grew rapidly coupled with poor living conditions this lead to an increase of eye conditions. The local Royal Hospital struggled to cope with this rise. In 1881 a house was rented to aid the hospital in providing eye care. In the first year alone over 2000 patients had been treated with up to fifty patients a day and only 13 beds for in-patients it was clear these facilities were insufficient.
In 1884 money was raised by local benefactors to build a new site. On October 23rd 1888 the hospital was opened by the Earl Of Dartmouth. Built at a cost of £13,000 it was constructed of red brick in a simple gothic style. Providing a total of six wards, three for men and three for women which consisted of 35 beds and six cots.
By 1893 the annual patient flow was at 12,000. By world war one this increased to 23,000 annually.
Additional buildings were added to the site the nurses home in 1927 and an outpatients/ A&E in 1937. All three buildings are locally listed and reside in a conservation area.
During world war two caring for the wounded increased annual patient numbers to 100,000!!
In 1948 the Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary became part of the NHS and became renowned globally for their advancement in corneal grafting.
Due to advancement in drugs and technology the need for eye care diminished in the 90's.
In 2004 the local health care trust closed the site and moved to a new larger premises.
In 2012 there were plans to transform the derelict hospital. Keeping as much of the original 1888 building as possible, and converting the site into shops and a care home. Also plans for more than 100 flats fell through.
Sadly as of the beginning of 2014 the hospital was still owned by the Wolverhampton NHS trust who were having difficulty selling the site without permission of demolition. Various parties are interested in the site but not the building and the council will not give permission for demolition. So now it lays dormant other than the occasional squatter.