At the end of September my husband, Chris, and I took a trip to the south-west corner of Scotland, to the Rhins of Galloway. On the way there and on the way back we stopped off at various hospitals, including this one at Girvan, on the Ayrshire coast.
This small cottage hospital was designed by the Glasgow firm of architects Watson, Salmond and Gray and built in 1921-2. It was officially opened on 15 June 1922. Thomas Davidson founded and endowed the hospital as a memorial to his mother. The Builder described the style as ‘a free treatment of the Scottish domestic’ and noted that the roofs were slated with Tilberthwaite slates (silver grey). The builders were the local masons, Thomas Blair & Son, who fashioned the handsome Auchenheath stone. They worked with J. & D. Meikle, joiners; William Auld & Son, slater, and William Miller, plasterer, all from Ayr. Tile work was carried out by Robert Brown & Sons of Paisley and the plumbing was done by William Anderson, Ltd, Glasgow. [The Builder, 1 July 1921, p.10.]
When it was visited in the 1940s as part of the Scottish Hospitals Survey it was praised for its good condition. At that time it had 14 beds in two wards, and two single rooms available for maternity cases. It was mostly used for accident cases and work connected with the local medical practitioners. It had a fairly well-equipped operating theatres and good domestic offices.
It is one of my favourite Scottish cottage hospitals, but it has been on the Register of Buildings at Risk since 2014. It has been replaced by a new Community Hospital on the outskirts of Girvan.
Plans to turn the building into an Enterprise Centre came to nothing. More recently an application was submitted for the conversion of the building into two dwellings. I do hope that the former hospital will be cherished by its new owners.