Ayrshire and Arran

From Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland, 1832,  reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

AILSA HOSPITAL, AYR   Aisla Hospital was originally built as Ayrshire District Asylum. A competition was held for the design which was won by the Dundee architects Edward and Robertson. The present main block represents the original building, with many later alterations and extensions. The asylum was built to accommodate 230 patients at a cost of £30,000 and opened on 28 July 1869.  In 1879 two, two-storey ward wings of 56 beds were added and in 1886 the original recreation hall at the centre of the building to the rear, was extended to the south. In 1894 the east and west wings were extended again and a separate fever hospital opened.

2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Two villas were constructed in the grounds of the asylum in 1899, Alton and Albany House. One was for male and the other for female patients.

Ailsa Hospital photographed in 2008. The building to the left is one of the villas built in 1899, © Copyright Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The separate hospital block to the north-east was added in 1904-6 which provided 132 beds. It was designed by J. B. Wilson, on the pavilion plan, although the central pair of pavilions contained double wards, separated by a spine wall. The main building contractor for the mason and brickwork was D. Kirkland of Ayr, the other tradesmen were McLeod & Son, Dumbarton, wright; Auld & Sons, Ayr, plumbers and plasterers; P. & W. McLellan Ltd, Glasgow for the steel work;, Kean and Wardrop, Glasgow, tilers; Willock & Son, Ayr, painters, and J. Gibbons of Wolverhampton, ironmonger.

2nd edition OS map, revised in 1908. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

This addition was in keeping with contemporary developments in asylum planning exemplified by such new asylums as Gartloch, on the eastern fringe of Glasgow, with its separate hospital section. Such developments quickly filtered through to the older asylums. The hospital block at the Ayrshire Asylum was built during Dr Charles Easterbrook’s term there as Medical Superintendent from 1902-7, after which he went on to the Crichton Royal.

In 1958 the asylum adopted the name of Ailsa Hospital and ten years later Glengall House was converted for use as a short term Neurosis Unit and renamed ‘Loudon House’. There are some major post-war additions to the original complex, Croy Ward, to the west of the original building was built in the 1970s, along with a new boiler house. [Sources: Ayrshire and Arran Health Board: plans: Building News, Sept 1905: The British Architect, 11 Nov 1904, p.ix]

ARDMOHR LODGE, WHITING BAY, ARRAN   Ardmohr House or Lodge opened c.1930 as a convalescent home established by Bute County Council Health Committee for Infectious Diseases. It contained six beds and was staffed by nurses from the War Memorial Hospital. It closed in 1951 as it was considered to be too small to be economic, and thereafter was transferred to the Board of Management of Dykebar Hospital as a holiday home. (Ardmhor Hospital, Arran closed in 1983) [Sources: Robert McLellan, Isle of Arran, Edinburgh, 1970, p.209.]

ARDROSSAN FEVER HOSPITAL (demolished) This was probably the small infectious diseases hospital built at Parkhouse Bridge in the 1880s-90s. By the 1960s it had been taken over by the Electricity Board, which built an office to the south. The cemetery had been extended to the northern boundary of the former hospital and an electricity transformer station built on the site to the east.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

ARDROSSAN & SALTCOATS JOINT HOSPITAL This isolation hospital seems to date from the late nineteenth century when The Builder announced a competition for plans for a new hospital at Ardrossan in December 1898. It was won by the architects Fryer & Penman of Largs.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS Map, reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The buildings survived until relatively recently, having been converted into Springvale Nursery School by the 1960s (Springvale was the name of the original buildings on the site). The administration block/nurses accommodation may still be extant – a two storey red brick building, but the school has been replaced by a new building. [Sources:The Builder, 3 Dec. 1898, p.508; 10 Dec, 1898, p.533; 7 Jan 1899, p.16]

AYR COUNTY HOSPITAL, HOLMSTON ROAD (demolished) The hospital was built in 1880-2 on rising ground near the river on a site adjacent to the unusually attractive, blond sandstone poorhouse (see below). It was designed by a local architect John Murdoch. The strong red sandstone set up an immediate contrast to the adjacent poorhouse, carried through in the heavier details of the hospital. The principal façade of the two-storey entrance and administration block was symmetrical with a three-bay centrepiece and outer gabled wings, linked by lower ranges. It had a handsome doorpiece and was crowned by a vigorously varied skyline with its central carved panel framed by fluted Ionic pilasters.

The hospital originated in 1817 with the Ayr, Newton and Wallacetown Dispensary, established to provide medical aid to the indigent sick. This led to the first general voluntary hospital being opened in 1844 in Mill Street. The Mill Street Hospital was built in response to the frequent outbreaks of fever in the district. The site was obtained in 1842 near the old poorhouse and the foundation stone laid on 31 March 1843.

Extract from 1st edition OS map published in 1860 showing the 1840s hospital (marked Fever Hospital) just west of the Poor’s House. It was right on the southern edge of the town, as can be seen in the larger extract below. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
The county buildings with the gaol behind are a distinctive feature on the western edge of the town. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The new hospital also provided for fever patients, together with 44 beds for general cases. There was a considerable over spend on the buildings, sufficient for the architect, John Murdoch, to submit a detailed report of the expenditure to the Board of Management, which was later published in the local newspaper. In part he blamed the change of site from Millbrae Road which required greater costs for digging, levelling, drains etc, but much of the extra cost seems have been due to higher specifications in finish – particularly in the fever wards – and additional detached buildings. Items listed included enamelled bricks for the fever wards, building a disinfecting room, Pennycook’s patent sash openers, enclosing coils of pipes with sliding board, fittings required for fireclay baths, ‘deafening’ of lower ward and fittings for hoist, enamelled Stourbridge baths, Keene’s cement in various parts of the buildings (bathrooms, fever wards, and ‘arisses of piers), Portland cement floors to the verandahs, zinc tubes connecting ventilators with outlets.

In February 1883 the hospital was officially opened by R. F. F Campbell of Craigie M.P. It comprised a central block of three storeys, with wings at either end, containing admin offices, staff accommodation, four large and four smaller wards, and a convalescent ward, in all providing for 45 male and female patients besides children. A separate fever hospitals was situated to the rear with 24 beds in two pairs of wards and two small extra wards. Dr Charles C. Scott of Edinburgh was appointed house surgeon.

Fever patients continued to be treated there until the local authority built the hospital at Heathfield. The last patients were transferred to Heathfield Hospital in 1904, and the old fever wards at the County Hospital converted into medical and surgical wards.

Extract from 2nd edition OS Map published 1896. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1907, financial constraints led to the Board of Management closing one large and four small wards, the difficulty of raising funds was a common problem with the voluntary hospitals. The hospital closed in 1991. It was subsequently demolished and the site redeveloped for housing.  [Sources: Ayrshire and Arran Health Board: Minute Books and Annual Reports, 1880-1939, Scrap Book 1890-1920 at Hospital: The Builder, 24 July 1880, p.127; 6 May 1893, p.354: The Scotsman,  5 Dec 1882, p.4: Ayr Advertiser or West Country Journal, 25 Jan 1883, p.4: Glasgow Herald, 14 Feb 1883, p.10]

AYR COUNTY SMALLPOX HOSPITAL, TROON   This tiny hospital was to the north of Troon, towards the Barassie Carriage and Wagon Works.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1908. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

The hospital closed in about 1935, although the buildings remained into the 1950s and 60s as St Quivox House. [Sources: Department of Health for Scotland, 7th Annual Report, 1935]

AYR POORHOUSE, HOLMSTON ROAD   Probably the most visually appealing poorhouse in Scotland with its three central, shaped gables. Although the plan was not particularly advanced it is more architecturally interesting than many contemporary poorhouses in its details. It has also been well preserved and maintained.

Holmston House photographed in March 2015. Holmston House started as the Kyle Combination Poorhouse, opening in 1860 to accommodate and care for 150 destitute people. The H-shaped layout was typical of 19th century poorhouse design. It was renovated in 1906 to deal with serious overcrowding and poor standards of welfare. Holmston House became the headquarters of the Social Work Department. South Ayrshire Council is still trying to sell the building off. © Copyright Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It was opened in 1860, built to designs by William Lambie Moffat, and reminiscent of his later Chalmers Hospital at Banff. It replaced an earlier poorhouse built in 1756.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Latterly used as council offices and an adult training centre, named Holmston House, it was put up for sale in 2010, but had still failed to find a buyer early in 2014. [Sources: Scottish Record Office, plans RHP 30860/1-34 See also www.workhouses.org ]

AYRSHIRE CENTRAL HOSPITAL, IRVINE   Comparable to both Inverurie and Hawkhead Hospitals, though lacking the flair of Tait’s buildings at the latter, these three hospitals constitute a interesting and important group of local authority infectious diseases hospitals built in the international modern style, adopting bold cubic shapes and flat roofs.

Ayrshire Central Admin block, photographed in 1997 by RCAHMS

Ayrshire Central, designed in 1935 by William Reid, the County Architect, has a strong impact with its brilliant white finish enhanced by good maintenance and sympathetic extensions. The hospital was built to replace the old, small infectious diseases hospitals scattered over the county, and to meet the local authority’s new responsibility for maternity cases. The site was split into two halves to cater for the different functions. The infectious diseases section opening in 1941, and the maternity section in 1944. The specialities within the hospital altered when cases of tuberculosis declined and hospital confinements increased. Eventually, the infectious section became a general area with the ward pavilions adapted to various new functions.

Aerial photograph of the site taken in 2014 by RCAHMS. The original blocks are to the left of the picture. Bare ground can be seen marking the sites of demolished pavilions at the centre of the site.

The nurses’ home, in a central position between the two sections of the hospital, was designed on a U-plan and is a particularly pleasing small-scale example of its type. It has an almost Italian feel with the arcaded ground floor. The glazing and contemporary fire escapes are particularly notable details. [Sources: Ayrshire and Arran Health Board, Souvenir Brochure of Opening, 1941, site plan: Architect & Building News, 18 June 1937, p.359] 

BALLOCHMYLE HOUSE AND HOSPITAL, MAUCHLINE   The original house of Ballochmyle was a modest, neo-classical residence, designed by John Adam. An elevation and plan of the original house, built for the Whitefords, appeared in Vitruvius Scoticus. In 1791, a nursery wing was added by Sir Claud Alexander who had purchased the house in 1784. The mansion had associations with Robert Burns who was familiar with the Adam house. It was greatly extended in the late nineteenth century by the prominent Edinburgh firm of architects, Wardrop & Reid, who were particularly notable for their schemes of interior decoration.

Ballochmyle House, photographed in September 2012 © Copyright Richard Dorrell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Wardrop & Reid created a grand new façade which was largely symmetrical, with a servants’ wing to one side. As might be expected, the attention to interior details was considerable.In the 1980s the house had been empty for some years and was rapidly decaying. Some of the earlier parts of the building were still visible to the rear though in a perilous condition.   The lavish interiors survived only in a photographic survey, carried out by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland in the 1970s.

Ballochmyle House, photographed by RCHAMS in 1990

Ballochmyle is one of a number of country houses taken over for hospital purposes but unlike others it has suffered from shameful neglect and needs a serious attempt to find a long-term future. The house and estate were taken over under the Emergency Medical Scheme at the beginning of the Second World War. A complete new hospital was built in front of the house and the mansion was converted into staff accommodation.

The first part of the hospital opened in August 1940 comprising single-storey, timber-framed ward huts. More wards were completed in the following year. By 1948 there were 692 beds in four units of eight wards each. The units catered for general, surgical and medical cases, orthopaedics, physiotherapy, diversional therapy and stores, together with accommodation for Polish patients. Later the bed complement was reduced to a less overcrowded 385.

The closure of Ballochmyle Hospital in 2000, saw the surrounding buildings demolished. Work began early in 2006 on the grounds to build luxury homes. The company, Ardgowan Homes, also restored the mansion to as close to its original structure as possible. Scaffolding for the house began going up in November 2006, the house was completed in 2012. [SourcesVitruvius Scoticus: Edinburgh University Special Collections, Wardrop and Reid plans for Ballochmyle House: RCAHMS, National Monuments Record of Scotland, photographic collection: http://www.ayrshirescotland.com/mansions/ballochmyle.html%5D

Bellfield Hospital, Riccarton see Kaimshill Sanatorium

BIGGART MEMORIAL HOME, PRESTWICK   Biggart Hospital was originally founded as a holiday home for crippled children in connection with the Fresh Air Fortnight scheme by Mr and Mrs Robert Biggart of Beith as a memorial to their parents. The oldest part was built in 1903-5 to designs by R. A. Bryden, of red sandstone with three gabled bays. Extensions of 1909-10 were probably by J. K. Hunter. By the mid-1930s the home had been almost doubled in size by extensions to the south.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map revised in 1908. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

All the older parts of the building are now somewhat lost amongst the more recent additions and extensions. In 1966 the home became a geriatric hospital and in 1969 a day hospital was added. In 1976 Kildean units were added and a new central kitchen built. [Sources: Pevsner Guide Ayrshire and Arran, Rob Close and Anne Riches, Yale University Press 2012: Edinburgh Evening News, 19 May 1905, p.6]

BROOKSBY HOUSE, LARGS   Brooksby house was formerly the convalescent home for Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary. The Board of Management for the Infirmary purchased this substantial villa by the sea-front at Largs in 1896 and later, overhauled and repainted the inside before it was officially opened by Lady Watson on 26 June 1897. It offered accommodation for 24 patients.

Brooksby House, photographed by RCAHMS in 2012

The house was originally built c.1837 as a yachting residence for a Glasgow merchant, Matthew Perston. It was designed by David Hamilton and is one of the architect’s finest classical villas. The main elevation faces west and is of five bays, with a verandah, now missing its canopy, in front of the central projecting bay. The interiors were particularly fine, with plaster ceilings, chimney-pieces and a painted armorial ceiling in the rooms on the ground floor.

Postcard of Brooksby House, postmarked 1910. Reproduced by permission of H. Martin

Perston had a house in Largs by 1836, when he was the owner of the Yacht ‘Wave’, though his house is not named as Brooksby until 1845. In 1839 he won a challenge cup with Wave and he had been elected a steward of the Royal Northern Yacht Club by 1844. The Club’s Regatta was held in Largs in 1844. In 1846 he was a shareholder of the Glasgow, Largs and Milport Steam-boat Company, but his main business was the Bothwell Street Spinning Company in Glasgow. Perston was bankrupted in 1847, and had to put Brooksby House up for sale or to let. A buyer proved hard to find, and a sale of his wines, port, madeira, sherry etc along with much of the house’s furniture was held in June 1848. The following year, in October 1849 ,the house was advertised for sale again, at the reduced price of £3,700, despite having cost £10,000 to build. It was described as a splendid marine residence. It had three reception rooms, seven bedrooms, as well as a bathroom and hot and cold water. It seems that Perston and his family emigrated to Australia.

By the 1850s the house had become the home of Robert Graham, a Justice of the Peace for Ayrshire, and his family. Robert Graham had died by the mid-1860s, but his daughter, Gertrude Schuyler Ramsay, wife of George Gilbert Ramsay, Professor of Humanity at the University of Glasgow, and son, R. C. Graham and his wife, retained the house. In 1897 Brooksby House was acquired by the Victoria Infirmary from Robert Graham of Skipness. Graham agreed to sell for £4,000, but the Infirmary Governors did not wish to pay more than £3,500. After some haggling, they agreed to meet half way. The Infirmary wished to acquired a suitable property in which their patients might convalesce partly in order to fulfil the wishes of their great benefactor Robert Couper, had had left £40,000 in his will to establish the infirmary and a convalescent home in connection with it.  The Governors also recognised the benefits of having such a facility. It would allow patients to be discharged earlier, and thus help to lessen the waiting list for beds in the Victoria. They calculated that they should be able to treat at least 400 more patients a year.

Brooksby House was attractive because of its seaside location, easy distance from Glasgow, and because the service buildings to the rear, including coach-house and stables, could easily be rented out and provide an income without interfering with the amenity of the home. After a swift refurbishment, the home was formally opened on 26 June 1897 by the Lady Watson, wife of the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Sir Henry Watson. Accommodation was provided for 24 patients, later raised to 30.

Under the National Health Service Brooksby initially remained under the same Board of Management as the Victoria Infirmary. Latterly it was mostly used to provide a fortnight’s holiday for long-stay psychiatric patients from Leverndale Hospital. In 1983 it was transferred to Ayrshire and Arran Health Board and more recently, since 2009, has been used as the North West Ayrshire Resource Centre by the NHS. [Sources: The Scotsman, 8 Sept 1847, p.4: Glasgow Herald, 18 April 1845, p.2; 6 March 1846, p.4; 25 Feb 1848 p.3; 29 May 1848, p.3: Greenock Advertiser, 14 December 1852 p.2: Morning Advertiser, 11 Aug 1865, p.8: Largs & Millport Weekly, 3 July 1897: NHS, Greater Glasgow & Clyde Archives, Victoria Infirmary Annual Reports: S. D. Slater & D. A. Dow, The Victoria Infirmary of Glasgow 1890 -1990, 1990, pp.245-7.]

BUCKREDDAN MATERNITY HOSPITAL, KILWINNING   Located in a converted house to the south east of Kilwinning which may once have belonged to the owner of the Eglinton Iron Works, this hospital was originally opened as the Kilwinning Maternity Home by the local authority in September 1932.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 15.05.17
Buckreddan House, above, on the revised 2nd edition OS map published in 1939 and below, the house on the 1st edition OS map of 1860. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The labour and sterilising rooms were in the main house. A new ward block for 24 patients was added to it in 1936 with the intention of using the Home as an additional ante-natal rest home after the new maternity until at Ayrshire Central Hospital was completed. In 1978 it became a post-natal recuperative home for mothers and babies but closed in 1984 when Crosshouse Hospital opened at Kilmarnock. It is now a care home. [Sources: Department of Health for Scotland, 8th Annual Report, 1936 ]

BUTE COTTAGE HOSPITAL, CUMNOCK   Provided by Lady Bute in 1882 and staffed by nurses from the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the Bute Cottage Hospital was a small stone building with just ten beds.

Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It closed in 1950 and has since been demolished. [Sources: John Laurenson, Cumnock & New Cumnock in Old Picture Post-Cards, 1983, p.39]

CLARK HOSPITAL, LARGS  (demolished) The Clark Hospital was built in Moorburn Road in 1882 at the expense of John Clark of the Anchor Mills, Paisley. It was taken over around 1897 by the County Council as an infectious diseases hospital. The hospital closed in 1931. A clinic was built to the south and the former hospital, renamed Clark House, became a children’s home. There was a planning application to turn the clinic into a museum in 2010, around which time Clark House was demolished and the site redeveloped for housing.

extract from the 2nd edition OS map published in 1897,  the infirmary was in an isolated spot to the north-east of the town. Note Brooksby house on the left of the map. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Intended originally to serve the poor, suffering from infectious disease or accident, the infirmary was built of local red sandstone, and contained two principal wards, one on either side of the central entrance, with pine floors and, somewhat bizarrely, the walls were wallpapered but painted to look like tiles. Each ward contained four ‘cots’… ‘complete with the newest contrivances in the shape of back-rests, sliding tables, spring bottoms &c.’ Adjoining the main wards were smaller ones, and there was also a ‘commodious dining room’ for convalescent patients, and the usual ancillary rooms. The ladies committee was provided with their own room, that was handsomely furnished and ‘made doubly attractive by a well-stocked bookcase and a number of valuable engravings’.  A separate building housed the mortuary, laundry and wash-house, while the grounds were laid out as an garden for the patients with walks, grass plots, a lawn and seats placed along the walks. The tradesmen who constructed the building were mostly local men: John Caldwell, masonry; W & T Duff, joinery; John Stewart, slating; Stirling & Telford, plastering; Joseph Walker, painting. The plumber, Mr Kirkpatrick, was from Paisley. [Sources: Glasgow Herald, 29 Sept 1882, p.9]

CO-OPERATIVE SEASIDE HOME, SEAMILL  Now the Seamill Training Centre, this large former convalescent home was built in 1895-6 to designs by James Davidson. Davidson also drew up the plans for its extension in 1901-2.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland. (The Sanatorium, down on the seafront, later became a hydrophapthic hotel, see Seamill Hydro below.)

The interior had fine woodwork and stained glass. On the staircase the windows had photographic images of six of the benefactors.  By the 1980s the building was being used as a teachers’ centre.  [Sources: Pevsner Guide to Ayrshire and Arran, by Rob Close and Anne Riches, Yale University Press 2012: for a photograph see North Ayrshire Council Yesterdays photo stream on flickr]

CROFTHEAD SMALLPOX HOSPITAL, AYR   Constructed by Speirs & Co. in 1903, well to the east of Ayr, the hospital also provided accommodation for Cholera patients until Heathfield Hospital opened in 1905. Crofthead consisted of the usual administration building and two ward blocks with ancillary buildings.

From the revised 2nd edition OS map published in 1909. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

A further ward block was added in 1921 which brought the bed complement up to thirty but after 1925 it ceased to be used for infectious diseases. Nevertheless it was transferred to the NHS in 1948, at which time it was listed as having 20 beds.

CROSSHOUSE HOSPITAL, KILMARNOCK The new District General Hospital for Kilmarnock opened in 1984. Its long, low white frontage, set on high ground, is a landmark for many miles around. Work began on the hospital in the 1970s. It was designed for the Western Regional Health Board around 1972, as the North Ayrshire District General Hospital.

Crosshouse Hospital photographed in 2004 © Copyright Tom Morrison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Since 2012 it has been called the University Hospital Crosshouse, as a partner of the University of the West of Scotland, administered by NHS Ayrshire and Arran. In 2006 a new Maternity Unit was opened on the site, designed by Keppie Design, replacing the maternity services at Ayrshire Central Hospital. The addition of a pitched roof to the modernist hospital building is somewhat ridiculous. 

Cunninghame Combination Poorhouse, see Ravenspark Hospital

DALRY COTTAGE HOSPITAL This small, single-storey hospital, established by the 1880s, appears to have gone out of use by the time that the NHS was inaugurated and was converted into a private house.

from the revised 2nd edition OS map published in 1910. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

DAVIDSHILL INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL, DALRY   A small brick‑built local authority infectious diseases hospital with the usual administration block and two pavilionsIt was in operation by 1895.

Extract from the 6 inch OS map revised in 1902. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

DAVIDSON MEMORIAL COTTAGE HOSPITAL, THE AVENUE, GIRVAN The hospital was founded and endowed by Thomas Davidson as a memorial to his mother. It was designed by Watson, Salmon and Gray, and built in 1921 on the standard cottage hospital plan, with its central administration block flanked by wards.

‘Entering the Davidson Hospital’ photograph taken in 2009 © Copyright Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It has much charm with details such as the balustrade to the front, broken segmental pediment above the entrance, and the simple Lorimeresque dormerheads. The quality of the masonry and slate‑work is excellent. Tilberthwaite slates were used which are a silvery grey colour. The hospital has a much more intimate character than the firm’s work at Philipshill Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow (see separate entries). A new day hospital was added to the rear and in 1970 a new ward, out‑patients’ department and boiler house were opened.

The hospital was scheduled for closure in 2010, and replaced by a new community hospital on the outskirts of Girvan designed by Austin Smith Lord. In 2021 the cottage hospital was boarded up. [SourcesThe Builder, 1 July 1921, p.10:  http://www.austinsmithlord.com/projects/girvan-community-hospital/%5D

DRUMLEY HOUSE, ANNBANK (demolished) Drumley House is mentioned in the 3rd Statistical Account  as ‘recently presented to the county for a Maternity Hospital by Mrs Davidson, its one‑time owner, [it] has recently been adapted and equipped’.  In about 1960 it became an independent school. This merged with Wellington School, Ayr, in the 1990s. The building may have then been converted into flats but was derelict by 2012 and demolished the following year. [Sources: 3rd Statistical Account, Ayrshire, 1951]

DUBS MEMORIAL CONVALESCENT HOME, KIRKMICHAEL   The Dubs Memorial Convalescent Home opened c.1947‑9 in the mansion house Cloncaird Castle. It is listed in early directories for the National Health Service but closed in the early 1970s.

Cloncaird Castle, photographed in 2012 © Copyright Mary and Angus Hogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence  

DUNLOP HOUSE, DUNLOP   The original house and lands were called Hunthall and belonged to the Dunlop family from the fourteenth century. The family played a prominent part in Scottish history from the seventeenth‑nineteenth centuries. Sir John Dunlop married the eldest daughter of the Earl of Rosebery and was member of parliament for Ayrshire from 1833 until 1839. It was he who built the present mansion house. He was succeeded by his son Sir James, the second baronet, but he died in 1858 and the title became extinct.

extract from 1st edition OS map 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Dunlop House, photographed in 1995 by RCAHMS

The house was acquired in 1933 as a mental deficiency institution by the local authority. Despite the unfortunate recent additions of lift towers, it is a fine example of David Hamilton’s work in the Neo‑Jacobean style with its blend of historical details seen in the strapwork window pediments, angle turrets and buckle quoins. Internally some of its original effect has been lost by flooring over the central hall (carried out after conversion to a hospital), which would have risen up through all floors, with galleries and top lighting. However, some good plaster ceilings and chimney-pieces remain. [SourcesGlasgow Herald, 30 Nov. 1933 p.7: A. H. Millar, Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire]

EAST AYRSHIRE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, CUMNOCK  Built to replace Ballochmyle Hospital. It was procured under a PFI contract in 1999. Designed by MacLachlan Monaghan and built by BAM Construction at a cost of £9m, it was completed in 2000.

EAST PARK HOME, LARGS   The Architect & Building News for 1933 refers to the hospital with work done by the architect J. Fairweather, though this may refer to work at the Glasgow East Park Home for which this was presumably the country branch. Established as a seaside home for ‘crippled’ children in the former Warren Park House. The building has resumed its original name and is now a nursing home.

GIRVAN INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL   The Carrick District and Girvan Burgh Combination Hospital was built around the later 1890s or early 1900s. It was converted into a war‑time nursery during the Second World War.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised 1907-8. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

GLENAFTON SANATORIUM  Situated to the north of Craigdarroch and on the lower slopes of Black Craig Hill, the sanatorium was built by public subscription and opened in 1906 with accommodation for 20 patients. The building was designed by F. E. Jones of the London partnership of Weatherly & Jones, in 1903. According to The British Architect,

It is stated by experts that a heavy rainfall has no effect on consumptives during treatment and therefore the Ayrshire sanatorium is to be built on a 30 acre site 825 feet above sea level at Glen Afton, a very wet district on the border of the county at a cost of £2,000. [British Architect 10 April 1903 Page 274]

The sanatorium was transferred to local authority control in 1908, and was called simply the Ayrshire Sanatorium.

Extract from the 6-inch OS map, published in 1910. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was extended in 1909 and 1913 to provide 70 beds. In 1939 a recreation hall complete with stage was added for female patients, also to be used as a concert hall, a cinema and for social activities. The cinema apparatus installed in the hall was of the type supplied at that time to British warships, and was suitable for full-size sound films. A film was shown after the opening ceremony. Most of the cost of building the hall was met by a bequest from Robert Blackwood, the former Kilmarnock burgh surveyor, who had died in 1937.

With the inauguration of the National Health Service it was linked to Ayrshire Central Hospital’s chest unit and a new nurses’ home opened in 1952. With the decline in the need for TB treatment it began to change its function and in 1958 it provided twenty beds for the chronic sick. Although it was upgraded and extended in 1960‑64 the hospital closed in 1966 and the patients transferred to the Biggart Hospital. The site is now {2015} the Glen Afton Caravan Park, and at least one of the sanatorium buildings remains (there is a photograph on newcumnock.net).[Sources: T. N. Kelynack (Ed.), Tuberculosis Year Book and Sanatoria Annual, 1913‑14, p.291‑2; Lancet, 14 July 1906, p.128: Glasgow Herald, 18 Dec 1939, p.5.]

HEATHFIELD HOSPITAL, AYR (demolished) Heathfield Hospital was built by John Eaglesham, c.1904. It is a standard‑plan, medium‑sized infectious diseases hospital, reminiscent of Bryden’s Glasgow area hospitals, with its multi‑ gabled administration block.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised 1908. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

A small isolation hospital for smallpox and cholera had existed at Heathfield before this hospital was built. The new buildings took fever patients formerly treated at the County Hospital. Originally it had accommodation for 60 patients in three pavilions, with a laundry, porters lodge and kitchen block as well as the administration building. It was formally opened in June 1905. From 1907, beds were being provided for Pulmonary TB.

Heathfield Clinic photographed in 2013. These buildings are part of the original Burgh Fever Hospital. The buildings now house day clinics and are part of the Heathfield Clinic complex. © Copyright Richard Dorrell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

By 1931 three more pavilions had been added and the nurses’ home was built in 1937. It has since been converted into office accommodation. A large out‑patients’ department was built on the adjacent site which opened in March 1962 (latterly the Heathfield Clinic).

This had closed by 2014, and had been demolished by June 2015, together with the remaining buildings of the original hospital.

HOLMHEAD HOSPITAL, CUMNOCK  (mostly demolished) Holmhead Hospital was one of the ten local authority infectious diseases hospitals in Ayrshire, built after the 1897 Public Health Act. It was provided for the Cumnock District and is typical of these smaller hospitals. In  about 1920 a TB block was added which has been altered and extended with the enclosure of its former verandah to make a day‑room. It was superseded as an infectious diseases hospital by Ayrshire Central and was converted for geriatric patients.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1908. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

In 1973 a new 30‑bed Kildean Unit was opened, the first purpose‑ built geriatric ward in Ayrshire. The Kildean Units were designed to be self‑contained with small wards, good dining room and lounge, and its own kitchen, staff rooms, doctor’s room and treatment room.

The original buildings have lost most of their interest as a result of later adaption. Although relatively recent, the Kildean Unit is of considerable interest in the history of caring for the elderly. All but the gate lodge has been demolished, demolition seems to have been in progress around 2009.

IRVINE BANK SMALLPOX HOSPITAL, KILMARNOCK   This small smallpox hospital was in existence by 1874. It is probably the same as Bellfield Hospital, which is labelled as a smallpox hospital on the OS map for 1908, or Bellfield may have replaced Irvine Bank.

ISLE OF ARRAN WAR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, LAMLASH   The hospital is of two-storeys in red sandstone with a gabled roofline and a veranda across the entrance. It has an old-fashioned appearance, more typical of the late-nineteenth century than post-First World War. Designed by Archibald Cook, the Arran cottage hospital opened in 1922, and is one of a group of hospital buildings founded as a memorial to local men who lost their lives in the First World War. A memorial tablet in the hallway of the hospital commemorates its foundation in February 1919. It consisted of the usual two wards, small operating theatre and administration block, together with a central home for district nurses. The first sod was cut by the Marquis of Graham on 1 January 1921 and the foundation stone was laid in July by the Marchioness. The hospital was opened by the Duchess of Hamilton.

Early 20th century postcard of the hospital

It was extended in 1927 and a maternity ward was built in 1930 from a legacy left by Mrs. Gemmell. A further eight‑bed extension was opened in 1972. [Sources: for a photograph of the hospital see the BBC Your Paintings site, which also has details of three artworks at the hospital, there is also an old postcard of the hospital on flickr from the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum. The Scottish War Memorials Project has recorded the hospital and the memorial plaque.]

KAIMSHILL SANATORIUM, KILMARNOCK   This hospital enjoyed a chequered career. Variously known as the Kilmarnock Infectious Diseases Hospital, and Bellfield Hospital, it first opened in 1892. The original buildings on the site were  designed by R. S. Ingram for smallpox and cholera cases and comprised the usual administration department and two ward blocks. It was estimated to cost £1,200 and provided twelve beds. Typically for a local authority hospital for infectious diseases, was located right next to the cemetery. (Later Kirklandside hospital was built near by, to the south-west on the other side of the railway tracks.)

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1909 the first TB patients were admitted and the hospital became known as Kaimshill Sanatorium. There were two brick‑built wards and an assortment of wooden chalets and tents. It later developed as a sanatorium for children.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1937. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In the 1950s, as the need for TB accommodation lessened, there was a timely bequest from the Misses Mary Ann Hay, and Eliza Jane Torrance, to found a convalescent home for the Kilmarnock Infirmary patients. This was used to adapt Kaimshill into a continuation unit for the Infirmary. After the necessary renovations the hospital re‑opened as Torrance House on 22 May 1959. The site now contains a random assortment of buildings. It closed in 1984 when Crosshouse Hospital opened, and latterly has been used as a residential care home for the elderly. [Sources: The Builder, 8 October 1892, p.288: T. N. Kelynack (ed.), Tuberculosis Year Book and Sanatoria Annual, Vol.1, 1913‑14.]

THE KERR HOSPITAL, LARGS   The Kerr Hospital at Largs was in existence by 1878. As no other reference to this hospital seems to have emerged, it seems probable that it was a misprint for the Clark Hospital (see above). [Sources: Largs & Milport Weekly News, 16 Nov. 1878.]

Kilmarnock Infectious Diseases Hospital   see Kaimshill Sanatorium 

KILMARNOCK INFIRMARY, WELLINGTON STREET   The foundation stone for the infirmary was laid in September 1867 and it opened in the following year.

aa hosp sep 21106
This rather blurry snap was taken in about 1988, showing the main front of the building. ©
H. Richardson

A dispensary had been opened in 1826 for the sick poor, run by the town’s doctors. There were some beds attached to the dispensary but it was quite inadequate, particularly for dealing with fever patients. An attempt was made to set up a fever hospital in the 1840s, but the scheme did not get under way for a further two decades when the building in Wellington Street was constructed to accommodate both fever patients and general cases.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

William Railton, the notable local architect, furnished plans for this imposing building set on rising ground, which forms an important landmark in the town. It shows the influence of Alexander (Greek) Thomson, not merely in the neo‑Greek details, such as the incised ornamental masonry, but in the assured handling of the composition, reminiscent of some of Thomson’s Glasgow terraces. Originally the Infirmary provided 24 beds, but expansion was soon required. In 1874 the first major extension was built, the fever wards were enlarged in 1882. In 1891 a wing to the rear was built after funds were provided by Lady Howard de Walden. A further new block of dormitories was completed in 1900.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1938. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The largest extensions to the hospital were designed by Sir J. J. Burnet in consultation with Dr Mackintosh of the Western Infirmary Glasgow, from 1911. The first phase being completed in 1915, with a three‑storey surgical ward block of fifty‑seven beds. The scheme was completed after the First World War in 1921 and the original block by Railton converted into administration offices and nurses’ bedrooms. The Infirmary closed when the new District General Hospital at Crosshouse opened in 1984. The site was subsequently cleared and redeveloped with housing.[Sources: Archibald MacKay, History of Kilmarnock, p.313.]

KILMARNOCK MATERNITY HOME, Holmes Road  (demolished) When the Home opened on 11 October 1937, it consisted of a new building by W. F. Valentine and a former dairy school which was converted for hospital use. The hospital provided 32 beds with three labour rooms, one theatre and a nursery for premature babies. The building is quite plain with shaped gable‑heads and simple contrasting details in the brick and roughcast finishes.

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The Maternity Home was newly opened and as yet unlabelled in this extract from the 6-inch OS map revised in 1938. It is shown in outline next to Holmes Farm. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

In 1991 the building was converted into Strathlea Resource Centre, a residential complex for people with mental health problems. It was the first of its kind in Scotland, with many innovative features and services. The buildings were extant in about 2010, but have now been demolished and replaced by a housing development (Strathlea Crescent). [Sources: Journal of the Institute of Municipal and County Engineers, 16 March 1937, p.1254: Frank Beattie, Kilmarnock Through Time, 2013] 

KILWINNING INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL (demolished)   The infectious diseases hospital at Kilwinning was designed by John Armour Junior  c.1897. It was built to the east of the Town opposite the cemetery and consisted of the standard administration building with two ward blocks, together with mortuary and laundry and contained 30 beds. [Sources: The Builder, 30 Jan. 1897, p.105.]

KIRKLANDSIDE HOSPITAL, KILMARNOCK  (demolished)  This local authority infectious diseases hospital was opened in 1910 and was designed by James Hay of Kilmarnock. It is brick built, as were the majority of Ayrshire’s infectious diseases hospitals, but it has a marked superiority to Heathfield, or Holmhead in its setting, fine brickwork and striking masonry details in the lodges, chimney and administration building, all enclosed by a perimeter wall with good iron railings.

This shows Kirklandside in relation to the railway, the cemetery and Bellfield Hospital, at this date marked as a smallpox hospital, which later became Kaimshill Sanatorium (see above). From the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1908. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The ward blocks are plain and simple with some more recent additions. The excellent condition of the garden grounds enhances the buildings. The administration building has a stone carved panel above the door and a good stone chimney-piece in the entrance hall. The hospital chimney is above average and, unusually, square. When the need for such small infectious diseases units was ended by the provision of the large Ayrshire Central Hospital, Kirklandside was adapted as a geriatric unit. Extant in 2015, the site appears now to have been cleared. [Sources: Frank Beattie, Kilmarnock in old Picture Postcards, 1984, p.67. ]

KIRKMICHAEL HOUSE, AYRSHIRE   This domestic house, formerly belonging to Mr F. Shaw Kennedy was converted into a convalescent home for miners and opened c.1930. It accommodated about 50 men.

LADY MARGARET HOSPITAL, MILLPORT, ISLE OF CUMBRAE   Built by Millport Town Council as an infectious diseases hospital, the Lady Margaret Hospital took the Darnley Hospital, Glasgow, as its model.

Millport Cottage Hospital photographed in 2007 © Copyright John McLeish and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The ground, well to the north of Millport, was leased to the council by the Marquis of Bute. A competition was held for the design and work began in 1899. It was built at a cost of £4,475 of which £1,783 was raised by the Bazaar Committee. The hospital was opened on 25 September 1900 by Lady Margaret Stuart. In 1929 it was taken over by Bute County Council and was converted to a general hospital with a maternity unit. [Sources: Glasgow Herald, 15 Jan. 1900: Largs and Millport Weekly News, 29 Sept. 1900]

MAYBOLE POORHOUSE  (demolished) This small poorhouse was built in Ladyland Road with accommodation for 48 paupers. The plans were drawn up in 1863.

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Extract from the 2nd edition OS map surveyed 1894-5. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It closed after the First World War when it was converted into offices and a Labour Exchange. The main building was demolished c.2000, and only the former two-storey buildings at the entrance survived up to at least 2009 but have now been replaced by new houses. [Sources: James T. Gray, Carrick’s Capital, 1972, p.131: Scottish Record Office, plans, RHP 30869/1‑6: and see workhouses.org]

RAVENSPARK HOSPITAL, IRVINE   Formerly Cunninghame Combination Poorhouse, the original section of the present {1990} hospital was designed by William Railton. Plans were approved in 1857, by which time the land had been acquired and the site cleared. The poorhouse was designed on the standard H‑plan, similar to Maud Hospital in Grampian, with an advanced central tripartite bay and surmounting gable.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was officially opened on 22 September 1858. The first pauper lunatics were admitted the following year. The Cunningham combination was one of the largest with eleven parishes combining from the outset with a population of over 53,000. The buildings were designed to accommodate 250 inmates.

Ravenspark Asylum Now in developers hands. 117 flats plus houses etc. The facades will be retained. Photographed in 2007 © Copyright wfmillar and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

In 1958 the hospital was renamed Ravenspark in an effort to dispel the aura of the poorhouse. The hospital closed in 1996, and was largely derelict by 2003 when an application was submitted to redevelop the site with housing, demolishing most of the buildings but retaining some façades. In 2011 the site was acquired by Dundas Estates, and redevelopment began for a housing scheme named Fairways View. The facade of the principal block was retained and the shell of the gate lodge. In 2012 a ‘mass grave’ was discovered by construction workers, this was an area where paupers were buried if they had no friend or relative to pay for burial elsewhere. [Sources: Ayrshire and Arran Health Board, plans: Ayr Local History Library, Minutes 1853‑1930: see also workhouses.org.]

ROCKVALE CHILDREN’S WELFARE HOME, CANAL STREET, SALTCOATS   The Home was operating in the 1930s caring for debilitated children up to four years old. Rockvale House had been built by 1856 on what was then the eastern edge of Saltcoats. By the early twentieth century it had become a maternity hospital and home.

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Extract from the 2nd edition OS map revised in 1909. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

On the OS map published in 1939 it appears as a Miners’ Welfare Home, and in that year there was a fatal accident when a train crashed down the embankment behind the home.

It seems that the name Rockvale transferred with the children’s home to a house at the north end of Montgomerie Crescent. That building later became Saltcoats Burgh Chambers and has now been replaced by a block of flats. Around 1959 the Miners’ Home was  turned into a large public house, the New Argyle, and by the 1980s had become the Sands Hotel and largely, if not entirely, rebuilt. It was advertised for sale in 1986 and described as ‘a modern purpose built public house and function/disco business’. It then became the Seabank Nursing Home. [Glasgow Herald, 20 Aug 1986, p.19: aerial photograph and information supplied by Scott McCallum on A Stroll round 1960s Saltcoats]

ROYAL ALEXANDRA INFIRMARY CONVALESCENT HOME, WEST KILBRIDE   The convalescent home was built in 1886 after a site was offered by Mr James Arthur of Carlung. It was considerably extended in 1897. Rather than being for the Royal Alexandra Infirmary this seems to have been another Co-operative society convalescent home, this time serving Paisley.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It continued in use as a convalescent home into the 1960s, but in the 1970s was taken over as a community centre.

ST ANDREW’S HOME, MILLPORT This private hospital designed on the lines of an open‑air sanatorium treated non‑pulmonary TB cases and other orthopaedic conditions in children. It comprised a converted house with four ward blocks in the grounds.

SEAFIELD CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, AYR   Seafield House is a well detailed, Italianate villa in the pleasant suburbs of Ayr. Built of yellow sandstone ashlar c.1859, by Clarke & Bell and extended  c.1880 by R. A. Bryden. The interiors are generally well preserved with fine wood panelling. In the entrance hall there is a glass lantern providing top‑lighting with painted panels of considerable charm, and a turret room, reached by a stone turnpike stair, has a mosaic tile floor. The house was formerly the property of Sir William Arrol, engineer of the Forth Rail Bridge. During the First World War the house was used as an auxiliary hospital by the Scottish Red Cross after which it was acquired by Ayr Town Council as a Maternity and Child Welfare Hospital. During the 1930s it developed ear, nose and throat treatment for children. With the opening of Ayrshire Central’s Maternity Hospital it became purely a children’s hospital.

SEAMILL HYDRO Established by John Newbigging in 1879. The original block is to the south (on the right in the photograph, behind the single-storey addition). It was extended on the north side and to the rear in the 1890s, possibly by Thomas Smellie. A garden house was added around 1905 on the front lawns.

Seamill Hydro photographed in 2007 © Copyright Paul Thomson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Extract from the 2nd edition OS map revised in 1909. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.


THORNYFLAT MATERNITY HOSPITAL, AYR  (demolished) This unappealing Emergency Medical Scheme‑style hutted hospital was opened as a maternity home on Saturday, 3 July 1948 by Sir Alexander MacGregor, Chairman of the Western Regional Hospitals Board and a former Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow. The building was originally used as a sick bay for Heathfield aerodrome by the RAF and later by the Fleet Air Arm. It is an example of the elementary building required quickly in war time. After the Second World War, in 1946, due to a lack of hospital accommodation for normal maternity cases in Ayr, the Town Council acquired the building to adapt into a maternity hospital. The gas cleansing station on the site was fitted with windows and converted into a nurses’ home. The hospital initially provided sixteen beds.

The hospital closed in the early 1990s, it had been demolished by 2008 when the site and surrounding area were redeveloped for new housing.

Torrance House, Kilmarnock    See Kaimshill Sanatorium

UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL AYR Built on part of the site of Ailsa Hospital, this new district general hospital opened in 1991. Originally called Ayr Hospital, it changed its name to University Hospital Ayr in 2012. It replaced Ayr County Hospital, Seafield and Heathfield Hospitals.

27 thoughts on “Ayrshire and Arran

  1. I was born at Thornyflat maternity hospital and just wanted to view a picture I now live in Canada would love to see a picture especially from 1956 thanks kindly

    • I’m sorry Janie, but I don’t have a photograph, although I will see if I can track one down. The hospital has been demolished and housing built on the site – I have updated the entry. I probably photographed it in the late 80s, just black-and-white snaps. I deposited all my photographs in the National Monuments Record of Scotland. Best wishes, from Harriet

  2. Pingback: Ayr District Asylum, William Railton’s unbuilt design | Historic Hospitals

  3. Pingback: Lunatic at Large: an escaped patient from Ayr District Asylum | Historic Hospitals

  4. Dear Harriot,,,in the 1950s a relative of mine was pregnant at the age of 13-14 from what I know she was supposed to have been sent to an asylum on Arran,,,have you any information on asylums on Arran ? or could she possibly have been sent to the War Memorial Hospital in Lamlash ? I would be grateful for any assistance on this matter please thank you and God bless….she was obviously sent there to keep it all hush-hush.

    • I haven’t come across an asylum on Arran, but there could have been a mother and baby home to which your relative was sent. There were such homes in Glasgow and Aberdeen for unmarried mothers. She might have been sent to Ailsa Hospital, the former district asylum for Ayrshire and Arran. Patient records should survive at Ayrshire Archives in Ayr, and they might be able to search for you.

  5. I was a patient in Davidshill Hospita Dalryl at the age of 6 after developing scarlet fever. I was there for 6 weeks ( circa 1943) and remember playing in the grounds and talking through a wire fence to men whom the nurses told us were Polish……was there some sort of camp there at that time?

  6. Hi,

    A relative was killed in a car accident when he and the passengers he was traveling with hit the Dalry Boston Bridge. This happened on the 20 September 1936 and his body was taken to Davidshill Hospital Mortuary. Would you know where, if we can get hold of any of the hospital records relating to our relative?

    Thanks for your help.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mike Lunn

  7. my mum was born in a sanatorium in irvine would that have been the county hospital or the poorhouse place or somewhere completely different it was in 1950 thanks any feedback would be great.

  8. Hi I wonder if anyone can help, I have a house in Ayr, Ayrshire which I believe was a maternity hospital at one point although I can’t find any info anywhere! I can’t even find out the age of it

    Any advice on where to look would be much appreciated

    • Might it be the old Thornyflats Maternity Hospital which was demolished in the 1990s. New houses were built there. It’s the other side of the bypass from Thornyflat Farm.

  9. Thank you for this! I was born at Thorneyflat Maternity Hospital in 1962, treated as an outpatient at Seafield Children’s at various times in the 60s, sang as a Brownie Guide to ‘enertain’ the old folks at Biggart Memorial (where my Mum volunteered). We left Prestwick in 1970 when my Dad was posted to England.

  10. I spent one month in Clarks Convalescent Home in Largs when I was aged 10 in 1935. I was there for health reasons. Remember getting liver mince and mashed potatoes almost daily. Had a great time while it lasted. Our nurse was Nan Gemmell and we all liked her very much. I immigrated as an adult to Canada and on one of my visits home, I popped in to see the old place (around 1990?). The staff were pleased to see an old recipient of their care. They said at that time that the building would be closing and all would be moving to Saltcoats but I neve got the address. Wondering if there is such a place still? I have fond memories of Clarks Home.

  11. Can someone help me..I was in a Sanatorium for a good few months in the early 60s with my bad chest.i can remember it was on the Ayrshire coast..it even had a school we attended every day and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it..I was in there between the age 5 to 9..I will never forget it..we used to go walks along the sea front most days.

  12. Which hospital would injured navy sailors have been taken when the HMS Dasher blew up near Ardrossan in 1943, please.

    • In all likelihood, there will be nothing on-line regarding survivors/deaths due to wartime reporting restrictions. An article on the sinking can be read here:
      However, my grandfather – a Merchant Navy Master Mariner – long disputed the Steele’s assertions. He was present on the Saltcoats (our home town) foreshore and claimed he viewed an aircraft land-on then disappear BEFORE the explosion. He was visited two days later by a local police officer and an “unidentified security gentleman” who cautioned him to say nothing about what he saw. Take from that what you will.

      • Many thanks for your reply my old mate George Humphreys said the very same thing but no one believed him ,I am so thankful for your comment, he was in the R.N.

      • Can you contact me by email on f/b or by phone at 01995600709 please to Bucephalus.

  13. My GGGgrandmother was admitted to the House of Refuge in the parish of St. Quivox. I do not see any mention of this poorhouse/hospital/asylum in this list.

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