Aberdeenshire (see also Aberdeen)

Extract from J. Thomson & Co.’s map of Aberdeenshire etc. published in 1826. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

ABOYNE HOSPITAL, Bellwood Road   Formerly the local authority infectious diseases hospital, this small hospital opened in 1898 and was designed by the local firm of Jenkins & Marr.

Aboyne Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

In 1895 the Medical Officer for the Deeside District Committee of Aberdeen County Council had plans drawn up for an isolation hospital at Aboyne, to cost an estimated £1,200. By July 1897 work had commenced. Belatedly there was a move to stop the works and have the hospital built elsewhere, orchestrated by the local landowner, and barrister, Sir William Cunliffe Brooks.

Extract from 2nd edition OS Map, surveyed in 1899, showing the hospital near the railway and next to a slaughter house. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Work was not halted, but a committee was appointed to look into the matter, no doubt sweetened by Sir William Brooks’ offer of £1,000 to assist them in relocating the hospital. On due investigation, the Deeside District Committee considered themselves blameless. It was rather the local community that might be considered at fault for not having acted sooner, the plans having been made public from the beginning. ‘The people of Aboyne were too long in realising the possible effects of the proximity of a fever hospital on the  prosperity and popularity of the town, but as they have at the eleventh hour awakened to the fact we think that the committee is bound to give every consideration to the protest against the selected site. … Nobody cares to have an hospital for contagious diseases near them, and it is well nigh impossible in many instances to obtain a site at all.’

Old postcard showing the main ward block
detail showing a patient’s bed on the veranda.

By the beginning of August a site about 400 yards to the north-east was being considered, and was agreed to by both sides pending the advice of a Local Government Board official. However, building work on the original site was not halted, and by this time the walls had reached the height of around 6ft. Had the District Committee genuinely been considering moving the hospital, it seems unlikely that they would have allowed work to continue. They had an offer of £1,000 from Sir William to defray the cost of removal, but had commissioned estimates which put the figure at more than twice as much. This they forwarded to the Local Government Board, which, unsurprisingly, declined to visit and declared in favour of the original site. Later in August, the Dundee Courier noted that the hospital was almost ready to be roofed, and that work was proceeding as if no opposition to the site had ever been offered.

Aboyne Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

Sir William and others continued to argue for removal, but the majority of the Deeside Committee voted against the proposals. The hospital was completed in 1898, and soon pressed into use. Any fears that the presence of the hospital would put off visitors to this popular health resort proved unfounded. As originally built the hospital comprised a  a central administration building resembling a typical granite-built Deeside house, with a ward block to the north. Its principal elevation is at the rear of the site, facing south, and consists of a compact single-storey block with a steep piended roof. Large dormer windows flank the central high chimney stack and the rose garden in front of it completed the picture. A single-storey detached block to the east presumably housed the wash-house, and other ancillary services.

Aboyne Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

In the 1925-6 a further ward pavilion was built to the south (H. S. Tawse and Allan of Aberdeen, architects). The hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 and ceased to deal with infectious cases. A Health Centre was added on the site which opened in 1980.

Aboyne Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
Aboyne Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

In 2015 the hospital is still in operation, with more recent infill buildings supplementing the original accommodation. [Sources: Aberdeen Press & Journal, 11 Feb 1895, p.3; 23 July 1897, p.4; 5 Aug 1897, p.4, 12 March 1923, p.6, 1 June 1925, p.4; 1 Feb 1926, p.4 – tenders accepted: Dundee Courier, 25 Aug 1897, p.4]

ALFORD INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL This small isolation hospital built to the north of Bridge of Alford was opened in June 1898. Additions were subsequently carried out by Walker and Duncan, but the hospital closed in 1932.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, surveyed in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

ARDUTHIE HOSPITAL, STONEHAVEN (demolished)  The hospital opened in August 1903 and was designed by Brown & Watt. It was built on high ground on the outskirts of the town as the Joint Infectious Diseases Hospital for Kincardineshire and was established by a combination of local authorities. The central two-storey administration block had a domestic appearance with a round-arched doorway and mullioned windows, deep eaves and broad chimney stacks. Initially, the hospital provided twenty beds, but by 1948, when it was primarily used for patients with tuberculosis, this had increased to 45 beds in four ward blocks, and a corrugated-iron sanatorium block which was latterly used as a store. This was still on the site in 1988.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, surveyed in 1902. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The hospital closed in 1958, by which time it was no longer needed for its original purpose because of the decline in the demand for tuberculosis beds, and it was decided to convert it into a general cottage hospital. It re-opened in 1961 after reconstruction and modernisation costing £36,000, with 28 beds, 21 for geriatric and medical patients and seven for maternity cases, staffed by general paractitioners. It then incorporated the James Mowat Nursing Home, formerly situated in a converted private house, which had been established in 1927. One ward block at Arduthie Hospital was named the James Mowat Wing in memory of the Provost of Stonehaven at the time when the hospital originally opened. When Mowat died he left his house, Carron Lodge, as a nursing home for local people unable to afford ordinary nursing homes but able to pay for a doctor’s attendance and a little towards the cost of nursing a board. He also left £14,000 for its endowment. The hospital closed in 1996 and the site cleared for the present Kincardine Community Hospital. [Sources: The Hospital, vol. 58, no.5, May 1962, p.332.]

BALLATER ISOLATION HOSPITAL   This small isolation hospital was built by the Town Council of Ballater. The plans were drawn up by a Mr Ironside, from the firm of Walker & Duncan, in 1910 for a hospital of two wards. One of the wards was to be larger and capable of being divided by a partition to form an extra small ward for any special cases. There was also the usual administration block and a separate disinfecting block.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised 1923. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The hospital was discontinued some time before 1948, but in the mid-1950s was being used to house the local District Nurse.

BRAEMAR INFECTIOUS DISEASES    This small isolation hospital opened in the Spring of 1901 but had a brief life, closing in 1923.

CAMPBELL HOSPITAL, PORTSOY   Originally built as a Joint Infectious Diseases Hospital for Lower Banffshire. It was designed by the Aberdeen architect William Kelly and opened in 1904. It follows the usual plan with a two‑storey administration block at the centre, resembling a domestic house, flanked by ward pavilions. It does, however, have a fine pair of gate‑piers with ball‑finials, with simple iron gates and railings on the flanking low stone walls.

Campbell Hospital, photographed around 1989-91 © H. Richardson

Extract from the 6-inch OS map, revised in 1938. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The site was gifted by the Dowager Countess of Seafield and funds for the building were donated by Mr. Campbell of Old Cullen. The hospital was extended in 1924‑6 by Malcolm Sinclair McCallum and again in 1938‑9 when a new pavilion was added. [Sources: Local History Library/Ba19LI.3; report on hospital from 1902]

CHALMERS HOSPITAL, BANFF   Recognisably by William Lambie Moffatt with the characteristic shaped, neo‑Jacobean, gables, it has been well preserved and presents a fine street facade. The tall, two‑storey original block has a busy sky‑line with a proliferation of gables crowned at the centre by an ogee‑capped cupola.

Chalmers Hospital photographed in 2006 by RCAHMS

Funds to build the hospital were left by Alexander Chalmers, who died in 1835. His wife died in 1848 after which nearly ten years of legal wrangling delayed any progress on the building. In 1859 an agreement was reached and in the following year plans obtained from Moffatt. His U‑plan building was rooted in traditional hospital plans, built just too early to be influenced by the move towards the pavilion plan. The wards were linked by a corridor running around the inside court, with the wards facing outwards.

Extract from the 1st edition OS Map, surveyed in 1866. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
An old postcard of Chalmers Hospital, undated, from the collection of RCAHMS

Many additions were subsequently made but the street frontage remains unaltered. The first extension in 1866 provided separate fever wards. A contemporary account of the History of Banff claimed that the hospital ‘has quite the appearance of Donaldsons hospital in Edinburgh, which is saying a good deal for a Banff building’.

The North Nurses’ Home, photographed by RCAHMS in 2006

The executive committee of the hospital decided to build a new and larger nurses home in 1935, and acquired draft plans from the Department of Health for Scotland, drawn up by the Department’s architect. They decided, however, to have these revised by G. Bennett Mitchell, architect, of Aberdeen, who designed the new home at an estimated cost of £4,000. It comprised bedrooms for the nurses, a lounge or recreation room, nurses’ sitting-room, study, matron’s suite, consisting of sitting-room, bedroom and bathroom, sick room, sisters’ sitting-room, bathrooms, store rooms, pantries etc. One of the aims of providing separate accommodation for the nurses was to free up space within the hospital for private, paying patients. There was even a proposal to convert the board room into a  private ward, reflecting both the demand from paying patients and the necessity for the hospital to raise money. The old, smaller nurses home, which had not been sufficient to accommodate all the nursing staff, was made over to the domestic staff. [Sources: Aberdeen Journal, 21 May 1935, p.5]

CRIMOND COTTAGE HOSPITAL    The Cottage Hospital at Crimond opened in 1865 and was the first to open in Scotland, just preceding the St. Andrews Cottage Hospital which opened in the same year.

Extract from the 1st edition OS map, surveyed in 1870. Its isolated position makes it unsurprising that it did not last very long. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

It was also purpose‑built unlike St Andrews which occupied rented accommodation. However, it was not so long lasting, closing in 1905. By the time the OS map was revised in 1900, the hospital was labelled as ‘old hospital’, suggesting that it may already have fallen out of use by then.

DUFF HOUSE, BANFF In around 1914 Duff House was operating as a hospital for the treatment of diseases of nutrition. It was fitted up with laboratories, X-ray equipment and medical baths and advertised as a centre for the treatment of diseases of the stomach and intestines, glycosuria, nephritis, gout, arterial disease and other conditions requiring ‘thorough investigation and dietetic treatment’. There was a medical and nursing staff, including masseurs and masseuses. [Sources: British Medical Association, Handbook and Guide to Aberdeen, 1914, advertisement p.158]

DYKE NEUK COTTAGE FOR CONVALESCENT CHILDREN   The home opened c.1886 and functioned for about ten years, closing in 1896. It was on Deeside, a few miles from Aberdeen and though privately run, took children from the Aberdeen Hospital for sick children. I can’t find it marked on the 2nd edition OS map, but it seems to have been south of Blairs College, near Auchlunies. [Sources: Lancet, 28 Feb 1892, p.445]

EIDDA HOME, PETERCULTER This Convalescent Home for children opened c.1880 and closed in 1925. Situated to the north of Peterculter, it too took children from Aberdeen Hospital for Sick Children, just opening in the summer and autumn from early June to the end of October. It looks as though the house may still be there. [Sources: Lancet, 28 Feb 1892, p.445]

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, surveyed in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

ELLON MATERNITY HOSPITAL, Hospital Road (demolished)  The Ellon Maternity Hospital was originally built as Gordon Hospital for infectious diseases c.1889.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS Map, surveyed in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library for Scotland

It seems to have become a maternity hospital in the late 1930s. In the 1950s the maternity hospital had 14 beds. By the 1970s the hospital had closed and the buildings adapted as the Elizabeth Summers Home for the Elderly. The old hospital buildings were demolished and the site is now occupied by the Ellon golf club house. [Sources: Medical Directory, 1904; OS maps]

FORDYCE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, GARDENSTOWN   According to the 3rd Statistical Account, in 1933 a nurse’s house with two small wards attached was opened at Gardenstown. Funds for building and partially endowing the hospital were left by Mr. Fordyce of New Zealand, a native of Gamrie. The Fordyce memorial Institute was not transferred to the National Health Service as it was not considered to be a hospital, the district nurse lived there rent free and the endowments paid for the maintenance of the institute. The wards were used as a centre for a children’s clinic.

FORGUE COTTAGE HOSPITAL  (Alexander Morrisons Hospital) The Forgue Cottage Hospital opened in 1876. According to the Medical Directory for 1904 it was established the preceding year and provided eight beds. It closed in 1926. The building is still extant, having been converted into a pair of semi-detached houses, Clarewood and Morriston.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 13.59.48
Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1900. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Grampian Alexander Morrisons hospital east portion (c) crown c HES List C Survey 1975 to 6
Alexander Morrisons hospital, east side, © crown copyright: HES (List C Survey 1975-6)
Grampian Alexander Morrisons hospital (c) crown c HES List C Survey 1975 to 6
Alexander Morrisons hospital, west side, © crown copyright: HES (List C Survey 1975-6)

FRASERBURGH HOSPITAL   The hospital opened on 27 September 1968, and was designed by Moira & Moira of Edinburgh. It was built on the site of the old Infectious Diseases Hospital and replaced the Thomas Walker Hospital.

Fraserburgh main view
Fraserburgh Hospital, photographed in 2020. © H. Richardson
Fraserburgh 2 storey wing angled
Fraserburgh Hospital, main ward wing, photographed in 2020. © H. Richardson
Fraserburgh Hospital, main ward wing to left, entrance on right, photographed in 2020. © H. Richardson

FRASERBURGH INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL (demolished)   This Local Authority Hospital was built c.1905 to the south-west of the town. It was demolished to make way for the new Fraserburgh Hospital in the 1960s.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1925. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

FYVIE COTTAGE HOSPITAL, FYVIE   Built in 1879 by Colonel and Mrs Gordon of Fyvie to designs by James Duncan this small cottage hospital provided seven beds, originally for medical and surgical cases. It was a single‑storey building with a central gabled entrance bay, and a bay window in each outer bay.

The former cottage hospital, sympathetically converted to private domestic use. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1900. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Elevation and plans, Fyvie Cottage Hospital, 1879, James Duncan architect, from the Duncan and Monro collection held by the National Monuments Record for Scotland, RCAHMS.
Elevation and sections of Fyvie Cottage Hospital, 1879, James Duncan architect, from the Duncan and Monro collection held by the National Monuments Record for Scotland, RCAHMS.
Rear view of the hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

The hospital was enlarged in 1907 and two huts were added by Aberdeen County Council for non‑pulmonary TB cases. When it was transferred to the National Health Service it mostly dealt with maternity cases. It closed in 1964. [Further Reading: The hospital building was photographed in January 2012 by Frank Muir and posted on blipfoto. Captioned: This is where Mrs Muir was born a number of years ago. It closed in the sixties and is now used by Guides and Brownies for their summer camps.]

GLEN ODEE HOSPITAL, BANCHORY, destroyed by fire October 2016   The first Sanatorium to be built in Scotland on the fresh‑air principle. It was designed by George Coutts of Aberdeen and opened in 1900. It was constructed mainly of timber with a central tower of Hill of Fare granite. Balconies and verandas were provided for all the rooms, facing south across the Dee, with access corridors along the north side. The recreation pavilion added to the south‑east below the dining‑hall was built in the same style with windows running all around the block. Stylistically it was closer to the sanatoria in Germany than any others that were subsequently built in Scotland. Two new single‑storey ward blocks were  constructed to the rear, the most recent on the site of the former nurses’ home. Its name of Glen O’Dee was changed from Nordrach‑on‑Dee when the building became a hotel for a time in 1934. It was founded as a private sanatorium which treated TB on the Nordrach System pioneered at Nordrach in Baden, established in 1888 by Dr Otto Walther. This treatment mostly consisted of rest in the open air. Nordrach‑on‑Dee was founded by Dr David Lawson of Banchory, who had a distinguished career, pioneering work in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Before the Hospital was built, much discussion took place as to the site. In 1899 Lawson published an article outlining the criteria and giving details of the eminent committee formed to acquire a suitable site. This committee consisted of, amongst others, Professors of Medicine from Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities. According to their research Deeside’s record for minimum rainfall and maximum sunshine were favourable.

Glen O’Dee Hospital photographed in 1990 by RCAHMS

The site was purchased from Sir Thomas Burnett of Crathes for between £5,000 and £6,000. The building itself was estimated to cost £12,000. Initially there were 40 bedrooms though later additions were made. In 1928 Nordrach‑on‑Dee closed and was unused until its re‑opening as a luxurious hotel in 1934.

Undated postcard of Glen O’Dee, after 1934 and probably after the Second World War

Brochures surviving in Grampian Health Board Archives from both its incarnations give a similar picture of the regimes at the Sanatoria and Hotel. In the earlier document the text describes how:

Each room is accordingly constructed so as to admit a maximum of pure sunlight and fresh air. The windows occupy over two‑thirds of the outside wall space and are so arranged as to permit of their being kept open during all weathers.

It was one of the first sanatoria to use x‑rays in the treatment of TB. In 1941 the Hotel was requisitioned by the army and at the end of the war it was purchased by the Scottish Red Cross Society, who re‑fitted it as a sanatorium for ex‑service men and women suffering from TB. It was opened as such by the Queen in 1949. In 1955 it was transferred to the National Health Service and was latterly devoted to the care of geriatric patients. In the late 1980s Grampian Health Board had plans to demolish part of the original sanatorium. Whilst its timber construction made it understandable that the building presented difficulties with both maintenance and fire prevention, its undoubted historic importance has made its loss regrettable. [Sources: Grampian Health Board Archives, booklets on Sanatorium and Hotel. The Hospital, 1 June 1901, p.152‑3]

HADDO HOUSE COTTAGE HOSPITAL   Also known as the Tarves‑Haddo House Cottage Hospital, it was established in 1883 and provided seven beds. It closed in the 1920s. [Sources: Medical Directory, 1904.]

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
The former Haddo House Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
The former Haddo House Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
Memorial on the former Haddo House Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
Red Cross plaque from the First World War on the former Haddo House Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

HOUSE OF DAVIOT, INVERURIE   The House of Daviot was acquired by Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Asylum in 1888. On the site were the two mansion houses of Old and New Glack. The Old House of Glack dates from 1723 and was converted into nurses’ accommodation when it was acquired by the Hospital. It is a dignified three‑storey, five‑bay harled house. In about 1780 the estate was bought by the Reverend Colin Mackenzie, who was reputedly the first person to recognize the therapeutic properties of the mineral springs at Strathpeffer. It was his grandson who built the New House of Glack.

Extract from the 1st-edition OS map, surveyed in 1867. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, surveyed in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

This boldly baronial mansion was of recent construction when it was acquired by the Aberdeen Royal Asylum, having only been built in 1876. It was designed by James Matthews and it was his firm of Matthews & Mackenzie carried out the conversion into hospital accommodation. It is a large mansion house with some fine interiors, including plaster ceilings, wood panelling and chimney-pieces as well as a good collection of furniture. There is a fine steading on the estate and in 1935 a butterfly‑plan male hospital block was built, designed by George Bennett Mitchell.

The hospital closed in 1994, and after a period of disuse the buildings on the site were converted into housing in 2005. The New House of Glack, renamed House of Daviot, has been converted  into four dwellings. The 1930s male patients’ villa was renamed Craigshannoch Mansion. [Sources: Aberdeen Royal Mental Hospital prospectus on Daviot Village website; Aberdeen Press & Journal, 22 July 2014, article on sale of No.1, House of Daviot.]

INCHMARLO COTTAGE, BANCHORY   This convalescent home for children opened in 1886 but only survived for three years closing in 1889.

INSCH & DISTRICT WAR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL   Now much extended, the original modest hospital lies at the core of the present building. It was designed by G. B. Mitchell. The site for the hospital was provided by Mr Keith Hay after the idea of providing a cottage hospital at Insch was considered in November 1919. The Town Council proposed that the hospital be erected as a memorial to the soldiers killed in the First World War and that they join with the parish councils of Insch, Premnay, Leslie, Kennethmont, Oyne and Rannes on the project. The hospital opened in 1922. [Sources: H. C. Burdett (ed.), Hospitals and Charities Year Book, 1925. see also Friends of Insch Hospital]

INVERURIE HOSPITAL   An earlier infectious diseases hospital was built in Inverurie which opened in January 1897 in Cunninghill Road.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was replaced in the 1930s by the present building. Plans were prepared in 1936 by the architect R. Leslie Rollo and the Medical Officer for Health for the new hospital.

Entrance to the hospital photographed in 2000, © Ian Shepherd, from RCAHMS

Provision was made for 60 beds, 20 in a cubicle block of two storeys and 40 in two single‑storey pavilions. These ward blocks were arranged about a square with the nurses’ home on the fourth side opposite the cubicle block. There was also the administration block with Kitchen, Stores and Dining‑rooms and the usual service buildings. Space was reserved for additional pavilions. The buildings were designed in the stream‑lined manner of the International Modern style, with wide bow windows, on the lines of Tait’s Hawkhead Hospital in Paisley.

Administration block, photographed in 1994 © Ian Shepherd, from RCAHMS

The hospital has been very well maintained by Grampian Health Board and still presents an impressive ensemble of clean white blocks. Rather less impressive was the standard plan 30‑bed ward unit added on the site in the 1980s. [Sources: Grampian Health Board Archives, minutes of county council health committee; Ian Shepherd Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie – An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 2006]

JUBILEE HOSPITAL, HUNTLY   This cottage hospital was opened in November 1889, and was designed by Robert Duncan, a local architect. It was built at a cost of £1,257.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1900. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Jubilee Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
Jubilee Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

The original granite building is now somewhat swamped by later additions and extensions. There are large modern buildings as well as many earlier additions, including former fever wards and at the bottom of the site, the former isolation block built in 1925 for TB patients, with its south facing verandah. This block was converted into a maternity unit in 1944. [Sources: The Lancet, 11 October 1889, p.755.]

KINCARDINE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, Stonehaven Opened in 1998 on the site of Arduthie hospital. A renal unit was added in 2018.

Kincardine Community Hospital, photographed in June 2023 © H. Richardson
Kincardine Community Hospital, Renal Unit, photographed June 2023 © H. Richardson

KINCARDINE O’NEIL HOSPITAL, TORPHINS   This small hospital was built as a War Memorial to those who fought in the First World War. It opened in 1925 and a two‑storey maternity unit was subsequently added to it. The earlier block was built by Robert Robertson, the local carpenter.

This postcard shows the hospital with the stone memorial in the foreground. © H. Martin

KINGSEAT HOSPITAL, NEW MACHAR   This was the first mental hospital to open in Scotland designed on the Colony or Villa system, and was an excellent example of the type. Built as the District Asylum for Aberdeen, it opened on 16 May 1904, and was designed by A. Marshall Mackenzie.

Aerial photograph by RCAHMS taken in 2001

It was built when Royal Cornhill Asylum could no longer take such numbers of pauper lunatics. The site had been purchased in 1899 and a deputation of the building committee visited the continent in December 1899 to see asylum buildings there. The foundation stone was laid in September 1901 and the Aberdeen Daily Journal noted that:

‘The Parish Council of Aberdeen, after much consideration and inquiry, resolved to adopt a system, tried chiefly on the continent, by which fatuous and insane persons, instead of being crowded into one large building, are attended to in separate colonies under adequate oversight…The buildings are dotted in picturesque fashion over the area which is intersected by walks, margined by shrubs and broken up by trees.’

Photograph of Kingseat Hospital from the 1914 Handbook of Aberdeen produced by the British Medical Association

There were three sections to the Colony, the Administrative department, the Industrial Department and Villas and the Medical Section. The Administration Section comprised the Kitchen, Stores, Laundry, Steward’s House, Hall and Medical Superintendent’s House. The Industrial and Colony section comprised four villas for male and female patients and Workshops for the men.

The admin block at Kingseat Hospital, photographed c.1989 © H. Richardson

The villas were two storied with their own kitchens, dining‑rooms and bathrooms and sleeping accommodation on the first floor. The Medical Section had the Hospital building as its principal feature and also two observation villas. During the Second World War the Hospital was taken over by the Naval Authorities and after the War when it was returned to Aberdeen Corporation it remained empty for some years due to the difficulty of providing sufficient staff.

OS 1:1,250 map revised in 1964.  Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Although it was still a mental hospital in the 1980s, it closed in 1995. (Kingseat rehabilitation centre closing two years later in 1997.) Many of the buildings are on the Heritage at Risk register and are in a very poor state. [Sources: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 1901]

LADYSBRIDGE HOSPITAL, BANFF   Built as Banff District Asylum, Ladysbridge Hospital was designed by the Elgin architects, A. & W. Reid, and opened on 6 May 1865. Originally it consisted of the one main block to the south of the present site. Its combination of the H‑plan and Tudor‑style, gabled front elevation tend to give it the air of the contemporary poorhouses.  A separate villa for male patients was designed by W. & J. Smith and Kelly and opened in 1903.

Extract from the first-edition OS map, surveyed in 1866. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, surveyed in 1902. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The main transformation of the site took place in the 1960s when a new central section with recreation hall, dining‑room, shop and tearoom were built, situated up the hill behind the original block and surrounded by new villas. A sculpture group was erected in front of the new main building.

Aerial photograph of the hospital taken in 2009 by RCAHMS

In May 2003 the hospital closed, and a redevelopment brief was drawn up for the site in 2005, revised two years later. Redevelopment as a large housing scheme took place under the name Ladysbridge Village. The original main building, which was listed in 1990, has been converted into terraced houses and named Ladysbridge House. [Sources: planning brief at aberdeenshire.gov.uk ; Ladysbridge Village website]

LINMOOR CONVALESCENT HOME, PETERCULTER   This building was formerly used as a ‘Fresh‑Air Fortnight’ home for children founded c.1889. It later became a convalescent home for children and then a children’s home. It was built partly of stone and partly of wood around a domestic house which was used for administration offices and staff quarters. It was a voluntary institution but also used by local authorities.

MAUD HOSPITAL, Bank Street   In the minutes for the first meeting of Buchan Combination Poorhouse Board held on 21 April 1866 at the Station Hotel, New Maud, it was decided to invite plans from architects for the poorhouse ‘to be built on a site at or near the New Maud Station to contain 125 or thereby beds or billets, including accommodation for 36 fatuous paupers’. Seven architects submitted plans: Mr Ellis of Aberdeen, Mr Moncur of Edinburgh, Messrs Henderson and Son of Aberdeen, Mr Daniel Mr McAndrew of Aberdeen, Mr Hay of Edinburgh, Mr John Ogilvie of Elgin and Messrs M’Gregor and Millar of Edinburgh. The winning design was by Alexander Ellis.

The former Maud Hospital from the north-east photographed by RCAHMS in 2013

It was based on the standard plan for such poorhouses, as recommended by the Board of Supervision. The building uses contrasting dark whinstone and grey granite dressings for its principal effect. Decoration was kept to a minimum, concentrating around the central gabled bay marking the entrance and administration section, and in the use of Aberdeen bonding in the construction. After it was built very few additions were made and it remained largely unaltered externally when visited in 1988. After closing, the building was vacated in 2008 and put up for sale, but in 2013  it was still lying empty. It has been on the Buildings at Risk register since 2009. [SourcesGrampian Health Board Archives, Minutes: Buildings at Risk register; workhouses.org]

NEWHILLS SANATORIUM, BUCKSBURN (Newhills Home)   Now part of a housing development: Christie Grange. Established by a Mrs Smith of the Manse at Newhills who acquired a cottage near the parish church for the purpose around 1870. A new home was built in 1881 and officially opened on 8 July 1882 as Newhills Convalescent Home. By 1900, patients suffering from tuberculosis were occasionally received into the home, and from 1902 they were treated on a regular basis. The home then became the Newhills Convalescent Home and Sanatorium. From 1908 it was run by a publicly-elected executive committee, initially chaired by Dr Walter A Reid. Under his encouragement the Home was greatly extended and modernised.  Huts and shelters were erected in the grounds for the outdoor treatment of cases of tuberculosis from 1913 onwards, and in 1916 the admission of non-pulmonary and surgical cases of tuberculosis was sanctioned. The following year, to meet a condition of a generous endowment by Sir Alexander MacRobert, the home was incorporated under the Companies Acts as a company with limited liability. Electric lighting replaced oil lamps in 1924 and some ten years later the worn-out huts and shelters were demolished to make way for two purpose-built modern pavilions.

Newhills Convalescent Home and Sanatorium around 1914, from the Handbook and Guide to Aberdeen of that year.
Extract from the second edition OS map revised in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Newhills Convalescent Home and Sanatorium was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948. Because of staffing difficulties and the fact that the convalescent facilities were deemed unsuitable for use during the winter months it was agreed to close the Home. Patients were transferred to other local hospitals in the summer of 1953 and in November the same year the Home was sold to the Aberdeen Town Council for £17,000. They converted it into a home for the elderly and homeless, thus partly replacing Oldmill Hospital in Aberdeen, which had been handed over to the NHS in 1951. As Newhills Home for the Elderly it continued in use until March 1980 when it was closed and the residents moved to Fergus House in Dyce. It was subsequently put up for sale. [Sources: NHS Grampian Archives: British Medical Association, Aberdeen 1914, A Handbook and Guide, Aberdeen, 1914: Dundee Courier, 26 May 1953, p.2 ]

OLD DEER COTTAGE HOSPITAL The small cottage hospital at Old Deer opened in 1890 but only survived in operation for fifteen years closing in 1905. The second edition OS map shows a small fever hospital to the north of Old Deer, which may perhaps be the same institution.

Extract from the second edition OS map, surveyed in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

OLD DEER POORHOUSE (demolished) Built by the parochial board around 1851. (See also workhouses.org)

Extract from the first-edition OS map, surveyed in 1870. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

PETERHEAD COTTAGE HOSPITAL   The hospital was formed from a converted villa in Links Terrace of the later‑nineteenth century. It was substantial granite building of two storeys and attic and remains at the core of the present hospital. A cottage hospital for Peterhead had been discussed in 1925 by Peterhead Trades and Labour Council and was taken up by the Towns Women’s Guild. In 1934 the house was purchased after a contribution of £5,000 from W. B. Shewan to the Town Council. It was converted into a hospital by A. B. Grant. A large extension in the 1960s greatly increased the services of the hospital.

PETERHEAD PARISH HOME, UGIE ROAD (demolished)   A poorhouse was erected on the northern outskirts of Peterhead c.1849.

Extract from the OS Town Plan of Peterhead, 1868. The building on the left is the poorhouse. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Detail of the Town Plan (above). It may be that a part of the poorhouse was used as a fever hospital, there are wards marked on both the larger blocks. The square room in the centre is labelled as a kitchen, the small room behind as a washing-house.

It was rebuilt in 1898-1900 on a larger scale to designs by the Aberdeen architect Arthur Clyne.  and continued to operate into the 1950s. It was renovated in 1954 and became a home for the elderly, later known as Craigewan. The building survived until 2008, when the site was cleared. [Sources: Aberdeen Journal, 12 June 1897, p.8; Peterhead Sentinel, 4 March 1899, p.4;  see also  workhouses.org]

Extract from the second edition OS map, surveyed in 1902. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

PORTSOY CHOLERA HOSPITAL, corner of Links Road and St Comb’s Road A remarkable survival, the hospital was established by Fordyce Parochial Board in about 1893, when they spent £25 to set up a cholera hospital in Portsoy. As the building appears in a watercolour view of the harbour area dated to 1877 it seems likely that the Board converted an existing building. [Sources: Banffshire Advertiser, 14 Feb 1884.]

ROSE‑INNES COTTAGE HOSPITAL, ABERCHIRDER   The Hospital was endowed by Miss Rose‑Innes of Netherdale. The foundation stone was laid on 18 May 1891 and the hospital opened c.1894.

The former Rose-Innes Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

It was originally for infectious diseases. A maternity ward was added in 1950, but otherwise was largely used for the chronic sick. In 1958 the Norther Eastern Regional Hospital Board disposed of the hospital to Banffshire County Council, after which it was then adapted as a home for the elderly. [Sources: Department of Health for Scotland, Annual Report 1958, p.53.]

Extract from the second edition OS map, surveyed in 1902. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
The former Rose-Innes Cottage Hospital, viewed from the south-west. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
Memorial stone to Elizabeth Ogilvie Rose Innes, dated 1891 by the entrance to the Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson
North elevation of the former Rose-Innes Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

THOMAS WALKER COTTAGE HOSPITAL, FRASERBURGH   The hospital opened on 17 July 1878. The building itself is dated 1877, the date of the foundation stone. It was superseded by the new Fraserburgh Hospital built on the site of the former Infectious Diseases Hospital and closed in 1968. The building appears to still be there, at least the main front part, with a warehouse built to the rear – a handsome little hospital, with two-storey central section and single-storey wings to either side that presumably originally contained the wards.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1901. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

TOR‑NA‑DEE HOSPITAL, MILLTIMBER   Tor‑na‑Dee Hospital was formerly the Deeside Hydropathic which had originated at Heathcot, across the Dee.

Advertisement for the Deeside Hydro from the Dundee Post Office Directory of 1893-4. Reproduced from the National Library of Scotland, under CC licence BY-4.0

The advertisement above drew attention to the beautiful situation and its easy reach from Balmoral Castle, ‘Her Majesty’s summer residence’, and easily accessible from London by steamer or railway, adding that the climate of Deeside was the most healthy and bracing in Britain. If that was not enough to tempt visitors, there was also preserved salmon and trout fishing for a two-mile stretch on the Dee.

The core of the present building was designed by R. G. Wilson and opened on 31 May 1900.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1899. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It is a muscular building of grey granite with battered walls and arched windows in the upper storey of the centre bay. There is also a fine garden to the front. The character of the building has been somewhat spoiled by unfortunate stair additions and replacement glazing. It was converted into a sanatorium in 1918 by Dr Lawson of Glen‑o‑Dee, particularly to provide accommodation for Officers, invalided from the services with TB. An additional wing was built in 1919 which opened in the following year.

Aerofilms photograph taken in 1950, from the RCAHMS collection

The ministry of pensions was responsible for invalid officers with TB after the War, but as the number of officer patients declined private patients took their places. Roxburgh House was built on the site in 1977, and a day-care unit added in 1990 at which time the hospital still retained a specialist chest department together with accommodation for geriatric and acute patients. In 2002 the hospital was declared surplus to requirements by Grampian Health Board,

TURRIFF HOSPITAL   In 1892 Turriff District Committee decided to erect a joint infectious diseases hospital for the common use of the burgh and district.

Turriff Cottage Hospital. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

It was designed by James Duncan and has a cottagey centrepiece linked to two plain, outer wings. The hospital opened in 1896 but closed in 1932. It re‑opened, however, in 1936 as a voluntary hospital. A nurses’ home was added in 1936-7 to designs by W. L. Duncan, James Duncan’s son. The hospital  was still owned by Aberdeen County Council but managed by the local Board as a voluntary concern taking medical and maternity cases.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1900. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
View of the hospital from the east. Photographed in 2018. © H. Richardson

UGIE HOSPITAL, PETERHEAD   Ugie Hospital was formerly the infectious diseases hospital for Peterhead. The foundation stone was laid by Provost Leash in June 1905 and the hospital opened in 1907. It was built on the standard plan with, at the centre, the two‑storey administration building of a very domestic character.

Valentine’s postcard of Ugie Hospital, probably dating from soon after the hospital was built.

The pink Peterhead granite of the façade is enlivened by bull‑faced quoins and dressings, and the patterned small‑pane upper sashes of the windows. It was designed by the Burgh Surveyor, T. H. Scott. The construction cost £4,000 and was helped along with a bequest of £1,500. In 1920 Peterhead Town Council built a small TB annexe and further additions in 1922.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1924. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Before the Ugie Hospital was provided a small hospital had been built in 1880. Prior to that, c.1865, a house at Roanheads had been used for a fever hospital, although it only provided two beds. (It may be that this was attached to the poorhouse – see above under Peterhead Parish Home.)

WOODCOT HOSPITAL, STONEHAVEN   Formerly the Kincardineshire Combination Poorhouse, it opened in August 1867. It is unusual in its choice of the classical style, although it followed the standard H‑plan. It was designed by William Henderson.

former Woodcot Hospital photographed in June 2023 © H. Richardson
former Woodcot Hospital view from main road, photographed June 2023 © H. Richardson
former Woodcot Hospital view from main road, photographed June 2023 © H. Richardson
Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1902. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Former Woodcot Hospital, photographed in April 2010  © Copyright Liz Gray and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The bold pedimented centre is built of grey granite while the remaining building is in a warm browney coloured sandstone. Because of the simplicity, every element is important, in particular the multi‑pane sash and case windows. The hospital closed in 1998 and was converted into flats in 2000. [Sources: Aberdeen Journal, 19 July 1865; E Christie The Haven under the Hill, 1977, p16; B H Watt Old Stonehaven, p16. J Geddes Deeside and the Mearns, 2001, p18;  Third Statistical Account, The County Of Kincardine, 1988;  NHS Grampian Archivesworkhouses.org.uk]

2 thoughts on “Aberdeenshire (see also Aberdeen)

  1. Thank you for posting this. My great aunts worked in Rose Innes and Dufftown Hospitals in the 1900’s so it awesome to see where they worked.

  2. Pingback: Ugie Hospital | Historic Hospitals

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