When an infirmary was founded on this site in 1736 it was among the earliest in the country, but the Old Building itself is later in date, having been rebuilt in stages between around 1780 and 1810, when it replaced the earlier hospital buildings on the site.
The old Royal Infirmary at Bristol was one of the first to be founded in England outside London. Subscriptions began to be made in November 1736 and the present site was acquired shortly afterwards. The first patients were admitted the following year. It was not until 1782 that the decision to provide a new, purpose-built infirmary was taken. Thomas Paty, a local architect, drew up the plans and building proceeded in three phases. The east wing was erected first between 1784 and 1786. The central block was put up in 1788-92 and the west wing added in 1806-10. It was a large and impressive building of three storeys and basement, to which an attic storey was added later. A chapel with a museum underneath was added in 1858, an unusual combination.
In 1911-12 the King Edward VII wing was built to designs by H. Percy Adams and Charles Holden in a stylish, stripped classical style which looks forward to inter-war modernism. This building sits just across the road from the old building or Royal Infirmary and ended up taking all services from the aforementioned by 2016 which saw its closure.