Extract from John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland 1832. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

ASTLEY AINSLIE HOSPITAL, GRANGE LOAN   David Ainslie of Costerton, Midlothian, died in 1900 leaving the residue of his estate for ‘the purpose of creating, endowing and maintaining a hospital or institution for the relief and behoof of the convalescents in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh’. In 1921 a Board of Governors was formed to carry out the bequest. The hospital opened in about 1923, the original site having been acquired in 1921 comprising a golf course and the four villas of Millbank, Southbank, Canaan House and Canaan Park with Morelands House and St Roque House being acquired later.

Extract from the revised 2nd edition OS map of 1932-3. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

At the core of the present hospital site are the three remaining villas, of simple classical style, and a gate lodge with good decorative ironwork. Canaan House dates from c.1805 with additions of 1877. Canaan Park, of c.1845, has substantial additions dating from 1922 by John Jerdan as part of its conversion to hospital use.

Canaan Park, photographed in 2007. It was the home of John Stuart Stuart-Forbes from about 1853-60; he was killed in action at the battle of Little Bighorn – Custer’s Last Stand – © Copyright M J Richardson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

St Roque was also originally built c.1845 with St Roque Lodge dating from c.1870.

“Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh” by Kim Traynor Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Canaan House became the administration department and various hospital blocks were constructed on the site, mostly by Auldjo Jamieson & Arnott, between 1925 and 1939. Designed as a convalescent home, it developed to provide for patients who required longer care and supervision after illness or surgery and to build up patients’ strength before treatment. It became a leading rehabilitation centre and established a pioneering training school for occupational therapy. The hospital continues (2015) to provide rehabilitation services both for in-patients and out-patients. [Sources: A. Miles, University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.III, 1929-30: http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/exhibits/hosp_hist/astley_ainslie.htm]

BEECHMOUNT HOSPITAL, 102 Corstorphine Road   Beechmount House, a loosely classical mansion built in 1900 to designs by John Watson, was bequeathed to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 1926 and opened as an auxiliary hospital c.1928.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1905. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Infirmary managers had initially considered reconstructing and equipping the house as a radiological institute. However, when the infirmary was recognized by the National Radium Commission as the National Radium Centre for Edinburgh, Beechmount was designated as an auxiliary hospital with accommodation for 40 patients before and after receiving radium treatment in the Infirmary.

Aerial photograph of Beechmount House, taken in March 2015 by RCHAMS © Crown Copyright: RCAHMS

The hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 and latterly was used as a convalescent home mostly for elderly patients. It closed in 1989-90 and returned to private ownership.The individual columns along the driveway were originally used as gas-lights; the hole through the shafts for the flow of gas can still be seen. [Sources: A. Logan Turner, Story of a Great Hospital, Edinburgh, 1979, p.337]

BRUNTSFIELD HOSPITAL   The founding of the hospital was due to the endeavours of Dr Jex-Blake and Dr Elsie Ingils, to provide medical care for women and clinical experience for young women doctors. The Bruntsfield Hospital opened in 1899 in the converted Bruntsfield Lodge (originally Greenhill Cottage), which and been the Edinburgh home of Dr Sophia Jex-Blake since 1883.

Extract from the 1877 OS large-scale town plan. Reproduced by permission of  the National Library of Scotland

She was the first woman general medical practitioner in Scotland and began practice at No. 4, Manor Place in June 1878. In September of that year Jex-Blake opened the Edinburgh Provident Dispensary for Women and children in Grove Street. In 1885 it expanded to provide six beds and was renamed the Edinburgh Hospital and Dispensary for Women and Children. When Dr Jex-Blake retired in 1899 and moved away from Edinburgh the managers of this small hospital acquired her home. Bruntsfield Lodge, and converted it into an eighteen-bed general hospital for women.

Former Bruntsfield Hospital, Whitehouse Loan, photographed in 2012 by Kim Traynor. Licensed under  CC BY-SA 3.0

In the same year Dr Elsie Inglis and the Medical Women’s Club opened a seven-bed hospital which was later known as the Hospice. These two institutions amalgamated in 1910. A new ward block was added to the complex, designed by Arthur Balfour Paul, which was opened by Queen Mary on 18 July 1911. In the later 1920s the hospital acquired No. 1 Bruntsfield Crescent, which had been owned by Professor James Lorimer, father of one of the best known of Scottish architects, Sir Robert Lorimer.

A ward in Bruntsfield Hospital decorated for Christmas in 1933, photograph from the collection of RCAHMS 

The hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948, but closed in 1989. In the 1990s the site was redeveloped for housing, retaining the former lodge. [For historic photographs of Bruntsfield Hospital, see also Lothian Health Services Archives flickr page]

CHALMERS HOSPITAL, LAURISTON PLACE   Chalmers Hospital opened in February 1864. It was designed c.1861, by John Dick Peddie, of Peddie and Kinnear, in an elegant Italianate style with a central three‑storey block over a raised basement, flanked by two‑storey wings.

Former Chalmers Hospital, Lauriston Place, photographed in 2011 © Copyright kim traynor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

George Chalmers (1773‑1836), a plumber in Edinburgh, left the residue of his estate, amounting to around £30,000, to the Dean and Faculty of Advocates for the purpose of founding a ‘New Infirmary or Sick and Hurt Hospital’. In 1854, once the funds had accumulated to £70,000, Lauriston House was purchased with seven and a half acres of land behind it extending down to the meadows. On part of the land the hospital was begun in 1860, and Chalmers Street was formed on part of the ground which was then feued for housing development. Lauriston House was let as a school.

Extract from the 1877 OS large-scale town plan. Reproduced by permission of  the National Library of Scotland

Work began in 1861 to erect a hospital with 48 beds in four wards. The polished ashlar exterior was considered to secure the building from impurities. The central block contained the staff accommodation and Nightingale-style wards were in the wings – these were built over an open basement to allow air to circulate and prevent damp. Between the wards and the central block were large open staircases, and the wards themselves were 54ft by 25ft and 16ft high, with a fireplace and a range of five windows on each side. Beds were placed against the wall, between the windows. Floors were of polished oak, the skirtings of Parian cement. Each ward had 12 beds and had its own bathroom and water closet at the far end. The two lower wards were opened in 1864 to non‑paying patients and the upstairs wards opened in 1872 to paying patients.

The building contractors were W & D. McGregor, masons; J & R Wilson, Leith, Wrights; J. Craigie & Sons, plasterers; J. Low, plumber; J. Young & Co., slaters. Cooking and heating apparatus were prepared by Mr Parnell, painting by Mr Moxon. The clerk of works was J. B. M’Fadzean. The cost, including the layout of the grounds was a little over £7,000. (Sources: The Builder, 3 Oct 1863, p.706)

CITY HOSPITAL, GREENBANK DRIVE   The City Hospital was built between 1897 and 1903 as the City Infectious Diseases Hospital to designs by the City Architect, Robert Morham.

City Fever Hospital, Colinton Mains viewed from across a ploughed field. Old postcard © H. Martin, reproduced with permission of H. Martin

It was of a similar scale than Ruchill Hospital in Glasgow with two ranks of ward pavilions ranged around the central administration building. Built of red sandstone on a site opposite the earlier Craiglockhart Poorhouse, these large complexes were relatively isolated when they were built.

The City Hospital, aerial photograph taken in 1948 by Aero Pictorial, from the RCAHMS collection

In 1871 Edingburgh Town Council had prepared Canongate Poorhouse for an epidemic hospital and after the Royal Infirmary refused to admit smallpox and cholera patients, premises in King’s Stables Road and part of the poorhouse in Forrest Road were converted for use as a temporary hospital for use in an emergency. The Royal Infirmary continued to cater for other infectious diseases and when Bryce’s new infirmary buildings were completed in 1879, the old Surgeons Hall was used to accommodate infectious cases.

City Hospital, Edinburgh, photographed in 1988 by alljengi reproduced under creative commons licence CC-BY-SA 2.0

In 1881 the Town Council purchased William Adam’s old infirmary building in Infirmary Street, together with the two surgical hospitals in High School Yards, to house fever patients during epidemics. In 1884 the old infirmary building was demolished and in the following year the Council bought from the Infirmary the Old Surgeon’s Hall and finally took over responsibility for the treatment of all cases of infectious diseases. These buildings remained in use as the City Fever Hospital until the new hospital opened in 1903.

The former City Hospital, from an OS map of 1958. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1913 accommodation was added for TB patients. The hospital closed in 1999. [Sources: A. Logan Turner, Story of a Great Hospital, Edinburgh, 1979, p.237: see also Lothian Health Board blogspot]

The Nurses’ Home, photographed by RCAHMS probably in 1996 © RCAHMS
A ward pavilion, City Hospital, photographed by RCAHMS in 1996 © RCAHMS

CORSTORPHINE HOSPITAL, CORSTORPHINE ROAD   The Corstorphine Hospital opened in July 1867 as the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Convalescent Home.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS Map, revised in 1893. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The symmetrical Italianate Home has an imposing setting on the hillside facing south. It was built to designs by Peddie and Kinnear of Edinburgh at the behest of William Seton Brown, who anonymously proposed founding such an institution in the summer of 1864. It cost £12,000 and provided accommodation for about 50 patients. In 1893 two wings were added by Kinnear and Peddie, as the firm had by then become. The extension was funded by a bequest of £13,000 from Mr James Nasmyth, engineer, and increased the accommodation by a further 40 beds.

Corstorphine Hospital, from an old postcard

By the early years of the 20th century the hospital had become known as Convalescent House. It was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 and continued to function as an auxiliary hospital associated with the Royal Infirmary. It closed for extensive modernisation in the late 1950s or early 1960s, during which time a new, two-storey nurses’ home was built. It re-opened in May 1962.  It then comprised four open wards with a total of 100 beds, and three single rooms attached to each of the main wards. Service kitchens were situated at the entrance to the wards, and in the centre of each ward was a linen and store room. The north wings of the building were enlarged and upgraded to provide sanitary and utility accommodation and a self-service staff dining room. On the south side of the building, reinforced-concrete balconies were built enclosed with aluminium and glass curtain walling to create dining, day and recreation rooms. The original floors were found to be badly decayed and were replaced in reinforced concrete and heavy quality linoleum laid for most of the floor coverings.

A part of the south front of Corstorphine Hospital, photographed by Leslie Barrie in September 2013, showing the 1960s enclosed balconies.

The nurses home (since demolished) was built in the grounds in front of the hospital, partly from reconstructed stone and partly of harled brick. Twenty bedrooms, two bed-sitting rooms, four study rooms, a lounge and the usual ancillary rooms were provided, along with a laundry on the ground floor.

The hospital closed in 2014. Housing was built on the site of the nurses’ home (Kaimes Court) and a new nursing home built on the garden to the east. Plans to convert the former hospital into housing were approved in January 2019. [Sources: A. Logan Turner, Story of a Great Hospital, Edinburgh, 1979, p.175: The Hospital, vol.58, no.7 July 1962, p.491: BBC News 10 January 2019, retrieved online 17.04.19: see also Edinburgh City planning files for details of the redevelopment.]

CRAIGLOCKHART HOSPITAL (Edinburgh Hydropathic) Built in 1877-9 as a hydropathic institution to designs by Peddie & Kinnear. (Sources: British Architect, 25 April 1879;  The Builder, 20 Oct 1877, 11 Oct 1879; Building News, 10 April 1880)

“Craiglockhart Hydropathic main view” by Brideshead – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – 
Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1893. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

CRAIGLOCKHART POORHOUSE, CRAIGHOUSE ROAD   Built in 1867‑1869 to designs by George Beattie and Son as the new City Poorhouse, it replaced the existing poorhouse in the Old Town. Like St Cuthbert’s poorhouse the old buildings had become unsatisfactory and a move to a new site with new buildings was needed.

Central block of the former Craiglockhart Poorhouse, later Greenlea Old People’s home. (The city hospital was on a separate site to the south.) ‘Former City Hospital {sic}, Craiglockhart’ photographed in 2009 © Copyright kim traynor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Unlike Peddie and Kinnear’s Craigleith Poorhouse (now the Western General Hospital), Craiglockhart is still relatively unchanged. It is comparable to many of the larger poorhouses such as that of Govan (now {1990} Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital), Greenock (now {1990} Ravenscraig Hospital) and Aberdeen (now {1990} Woodend Hospital). The large central octagonal tower marks the entrance and from there it was arranged symmetrically to achieve the required male/female segregation and the plan was minutely devised to allow for the maximum classification. There were separate departments for children, including school‑rooms. For the sick, an infirmary was provided and a distinction was made between paupers of good and dissolute character. So there are areas marked out on the plan such as ‘doubtful old men’ and ‘dissolute women’. The site was basically divided into three areas with a lunatic asylum to the west, the main poorhouse in the centre and the infirmary to the east.

Plan of lands at Craiglockhart, the property of the parochial board of Edinburgh, 11 August 1880. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Extract from the 2nd-edition OS Map, revised in 1893. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The poorhouse section consisted of five blocks linked by corridors. The central block had a large section behind for the dining‑hall, kitchen and stores and the eastern most block had a further block to the rear. The buildings were constructed of the local sandstone with Scottish baronial details. A competition had been held for the architect of the new building, the winning design by Beattie, had the motto ‘Comfort for the Poor and Care for the Ratepayer’. [Sources: The Builder, 14 Oct. 1865, p.727: Scottish Record Office, plans RHP 30842/1‑55, RHP 30843/1‑17. See also workhouses.org ]

DEACONESS HOSPITAL, PLEASANCE   The Hospital opened in 1894 in a red sandstone block designed by Hardy and Wight, situated next to the St Ninian’s Mission. In 1888 a scheme was approved by the General Assembly for the organisation of women’s work in the church which included the Women’s Guild and the Order of Deaconesses. In the following year the St Ninian’s Mission was opened as an institution for training Deaconesses for missionary work at home and abroad. The hospital was founded to provide practical training in nursing for the Deaconesses.

Former Deaconess Hospital, photographed in 2012 © Copyright kim traynor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The very Reverend Professor A. H. Charteris was largely responsible for setting forth the scheme and in 1912 a Memorial Church was opened adjacent to the Mission and the Hospital, designed by J. B. Dunn (now Kirk o’Field). In 1897 and 1912 the hospital was extended to increase the original accommodation of 24 beds to 42 beds.

Extract from the 25 inch OS map revised in 1931. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1934 a major reconstruction scheme was begun and a floor added to the original block by A. F. Balfour Paul. The new block, the Lord Sands Memorial Wing, was opened in 1936 by the Duke and Duchess of York.

DOUGLAS HOME, LAUDER ROAD, EDINBURGH A home for ‘crippled children’ was founded in 1872, and by 1878 occupied a detached house at No.20 North Mansion House Road, in the Grange area of Edinburgh. The local residents objected to the establishment of such an institution in their neighbourhood, but as no alternative suitable house was found, there the home remained for nearly fifty more years. In 1907 it treated 33 children, nearly all of whom came from Edinburgh. The home could accommodate 24 children at a time, and there was a charge of 4 shillings a week for their care. It took children aged between three and twelve years’ of age, suffering from hip-joint, spinal and other diseases that required a longer period of treatment and nursing than would usually be expected in other hospitals. It was not for incurable cases, and each child was assessed by a medical officer.

No.20 North Mansion House Road, from the OS Town Plan of 1876. The blue marker is on the garden of No.20. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Income for the home came from the fees charged, from subscriptions and bequests. Regular fund-raising events were held, from bazaars to concerts. In about 1926-7 the Home moved to a larger house not far away at No.2 Lauder Road. Then called West Thorn, it had been home to the Douglas Family from about 1913. Mr and Mrs Douglas also had a house at Largs, called Haylee. Mr Douglas was the son of General Sir John Douglas, G. C. B. of Glenfinart, Argyllshire, and their son, Captain Archibald J. A. Douglas, was in the 5th Camerons during the First World War. The house was large, with nine bedrooms, two with dressing rooms, four public rooms, stables and coach house, as well as a four-roomed apartment for the coachman. After the house had been acquired by the Home for Crippled Children the name was changed to Douglas House, probably after the former occupants, but it is a common enough name. Alterations to the house were carried out by the architects J. M. Dick Peddie & Walker Todd in 1928, the drawings for which are in Historic Environment Scotland Archives. By the late 1930s the home had 35 beds and was managed by the Edinburgh Cripple and Invalid Children’s Aid Society. It was described as well appointed and equipped in 1942, when it was included in the Scottish Hospitals Survey.

Douglas House, from Bartholomew’s Post Office Map of Edinburgh for 1932-3. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

At the outbreak of the Second World War the home was evacuated to the country and Douglas House was taken over under the Air Raid Precautions Scheme in Edinburgh as a First Aid and Gas Cleansing post. In 1944 Edinburgh Corporation carried out alterations to the Home to form a wartime nursery.

Douglas House from the large-scale OS Map surveyed in 1947. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

In about 2003 Douglas House was converted into private flats, and featured in an article in The Scotsman in 2012. The article states that the house was bequeathed to the Sick Children’s Hospital in 1931 which renamed the property Douglas House to commemorate the generosity of its benefactor. As yet I have found no evidence for this, but I have not investigated the records of the Sick Children’s Hospital, which are at Lothian Health Services Archives. If anyone can enlighten me on this, please do get in touch.

Sources, Edinburgh Evening News, 2 July 1878, p.2; 14 May 1885; 26 Dec. 1925;  March 1913; 5 Oct 1915; 8 Dec 1927: PP, Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress, 1909, Appendix vol.XV. Report to the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress on endowed and voluntary charities in certain places, and the administrative relations of charity and the Poor Law. A. C. Kay and H. V. Toynbee, Cmd. 4593, London, p.303: The Scotsman, 9 Sept 1939; 15 April 1944: Scottish Hospitals Survey, Report for the South Eastern Region 1942: Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Fiona Reid, ‘Interiors….’ The Scotsman, 14 Oct 2012 accessed online 11.06.2022.

EASTERN GENERAL HOSPITAL, SEAFIELD ROAD, LEITH   The Eastern General Hospital was built as Leith Poorhouse, to designs by J. M. Johnston, in 1903‑7.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1912-13. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Aerial photograph of the Eastern General taken in 1954 by Aero Pictorial, from the RCAHMS collection

The plans below for a Tb block may not have been executed, as a building of this plan form seems absent from the OS map and the aerial photograph above. Circular wards, or in this case octagonal wards, were seldom built but often proposed by architects.

Johnston’s elevations and plans for the ‘phthisical block’ – i.e. for patients with tuberculosis. From RCAHMS.

The buildings had, in 1990, an unusually modern appearance which is emphasised where the original windows have been replaced by modern glazing. The group of tall blocks were white‑harled with red dressings. The poorhouse was built in two sections, originally the poorhouse section and hospital section, but almost immediately the poorhouse section was converted into additional hospital accommodation. It was the last poorhouse to be built in Scotland, opening just prior to the damning Royal Commission on Distress Report of 1909 which criticised almost every aspect of the poorhouse system throughout Scotland.

The husk of the admin block, photographed in 2007 by RCAHMS

The hospital closed in 2007 and the site cleared for a housing development. [Sources : Architect & Building News, 10 Oct. 1930, p.509; The Scotsman, 19 January 2007. See also workhouses.org]

EDINBURGH DENTAL HOSPITAL, 30-31 CHAMBERS STREET   The Dental Hospital opened in its new building in Chambers Street in 1927, designed by Begg & Lorne Campbell. The origins of the hospital were laid in 1860 with the opening of the Edinburgh Dental Dispensary at No.1, Drummond Street. The dispensary subsequently moved to Cockburn Street and in 1873 the first dental hospital and school was established which was incorporated in 1892. In 1894 it moved again to premises in Chambers Street, purchasing the adjacent building in 1903. At this stage plans were drawn up for an extension to be built between the buildings and the pavement.

The Dental Hospital in School in Brown Square, Chambers Street © RCAHMS

In 1925 work began on the new purpose‑built hospital.

Edinburgh Dental Hospital, Chambers Street, photographed in 2001 © RCAHMS

It was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948, and the following year building plans, deferred at the outbreak of the Second World War, were set on foot. The new hospital and school were completed in 1953, to designs by R. Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth & Paul.

ELSIE INGLIS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, SPRING GARDENS (closed 1989) The Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital opened in July 1925 and was designed by Harold Ogle Tarbolton. It maximises its fine site overlooking Salisbury Crags in the design, with a sun balcony running across the south front.

Former Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Hospital, photographed in 2011 © Copyright kim traynor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Dr Elsie Inglis was one of Edinburgh’s best known medical women. In 1899, with the Medical Women’s Club, Elsie Inglis opened a seven‑bed hospital and a nursing home for women in George Square. This expanded in 1904 when they moved to premises in the High Street and became known as the Hospice. It provided accommodation mainly for the poorer women of Edinburgh during their pregnancy and confinement. In 1910 the Hospice amalgamated with the Bruntsfield Hospital. During the First World War Elsie Inglis worked with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals movement establishing units in France, Serbia, Russia, Corsica and Greece. She worked mainly in Serbia and Russia.

Extract from the 25-inch OS map revised in 1931. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The maternity hospital was built as a memorial to her work. Also on the site were a brick‑built nurses’s home and out‑patients’ block. The hospital closed in 1988, and a nursing home was built on the site, reusing some hospital buildings and retaining the name of Elsie Inglis, a part of the former hospital was refurbished as a nursery. The nursery and nursing home are now joined by new housing developments on the site. [Photographs of the hospital taken in the 1930s can be seen on the Lothian Health Services Archives flickr page.]

EYE, EAR & THROAT INFIRMARY, CAMBRIDGE STREET   The Eye Dispensary for Edinburgh was established in 1822 and in 1834 a separate Eye Infirmary was founded. In 1883 departments of Ear, Nose and Throat were added and it became the Eye, Ear and Throat Infirmary of Edinburgh. In 1922 it amalgamated with the Dispensary and moved to a house in Cambridge Street. In‑patient care ceased in 1949, the service concentrating instead on an orthoptic clinic, artificial eye centre and school eye service. These were transferred to the Princess Alexandra Eye pavilion when it opened in 1969.

GOGARBURN HOSPITAL, GLASGOW ROAD   Gogarburn House, dated 1893, designed by James Jerdan is situated to the west of the site, a cream‑harled Scots Renaissance style house with stone dressings. It was purchased by Edinburgh Corporation in c.1920 and used temporarily as a convalescent home for children. By 1924 female mental defectives were accommodated in the converted house and in the following year the stable block was adapted for male patients.

Aerial photograph of Gogarburn Hospital, taken in 2001 before redevelopment ©RCAHMS E 08408

The foundation stone of the new Gogarburn Hospital was laid in 1929 by the Duchess of York. The buildings were designed by Stewart Kaye on the colony system, by this time the established plan form for mental hospitals in Scotland. It comprised separate villas, administration and admission wards and a school as well as various ancillary buildings. The principal buildings seem rather dreary now, predominantly of a brown render with grey stone dressings, drowning the simplified classical detail. This seems a shame when it is an interesting hospital, the earliest use of the colony plan in a mental deficiency hospital and forming a contrast to the vast Lennox Castle Hospital, which was designed with less apparent sympathy for the patients.

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

Later additions were built by E. J. MacRae, including two villas for children in 1936. During the Second World War the Colony was incorporated in the Emergency Medical Scheme and in 1948 it was transferred to the National Health Service. A new children’s unit was added in 1970.

KINGSTON CLINIC, see Scottish National Neurasthenic Hospital

LEITH HOSPITAL (closed 1987)   Leith Hospital opened in Mill Lane c.1850 in a building designed by Peter Hamilton.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1894. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

This building, now {1990} with an additional upper storey, is at the core of a series of later additions ranging in size and style. The most attractive of these is the fine children’s wing built as a war memorial in the 1920s, in a stripped Tudor style with twin gables flanking the rich carving over the centre three bays. The hospital was founded by the amalgamation of the casualty hospital established in 1837 and the Dispensary which was set up in 1815 by the Edinburgh and Leith Humane Society (founded in 1788). The hospital comprised medical and surgical wards for men, women and children and an accident unit. In 1873‑5 the hospital was extended by James Simpson to the north‑east. In 1886 the Hospital Directors granted Dr Sophia Jex Blake permission to allow her female medical students to attend the hospital for clinical instruction.

Old Leith Hospital and Infirmary, Mill Lane, photographed in 2011. © Copyright kim traynor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A new block was added to the south and a nurses’ home in 1898‑ 1903 by W. N. Thomson, and a further new building provided in 1923‑7 by George Simpson. The hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 and finally closed in 1987. The War Memorial Wing and Cowan Hall were adapted to provide an out‑ patient department. Lothian Health Board aim to provide a Community Hospital on the site. The future of the existing buildings is uncertain {1990}. [Sources: Christine Hoy, A Beacon in Our Town, Edinburgh, 1988.]

LIBERTON HOSPITAL, LASSWADE ROAD   The oldest part of the hospital opened in 1906, designed by J. Dick Peddie and G. Washington Browne. Together with the Longmore Hospital, which opened in 1875, it constituted the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Incurables. In 1963 a new four‑storey geriatric hospital was built next to the original building, designed by John Holt.

LONGMORE HOSPITAL, SALISBURY PLACE   Begun in 1880 to designs by J. M. Dick Peddie, the Longmore Hospital for Incurables was named after Mr J. A. Longmore, whose trustees provided £10,000 for the building fund.

Longmore Hospital, photographed by Cowie & Seaton, from RCAHMS

The Edinburgh Association for Incurables was founded in 1874 and the first hospital opened in February 1875. In 1903 a Royal Charter was granted and three years later the Liberton Hospital opened. Jointly these hospitals formed the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Incurables. It is a stylish, classical building with a long, elegant street facade. The central bay is surmounted by a pediment and coupled columns distinguish the upper floor of the flanking bays. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2nd ed. 1988, p.636: Lothian Health Board Archives, Annual Reports ]

MINTO HOUSE MATERNITY HOSPITAL, CHAMBER STREET (demolished) Established around 1829 by Professor Syme.

NORTHERN GENERAL HOSPITAL, FERRY ROAD, LEITH (demolished) Built as the Leith Public Health Hospital for infectious diseases, it opened in 1896. It was also known as East Pilton Hospital.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map revised in 1905. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was designed by George Simpson, on a large site just beyond the western boundary of Leith. When the plans for the hospital were first drawn up George Simpson was working with his father, James, but the latter died not long after and the work was seen through by the son. The buildings were of brick, the wards in detached pavilions described at the time as being on the ‘cottage system’. The administration block was three storeys high, the ward pavilions and ancillary buildings of one storey. The site, extending to around 9 acres, was purchased for £4,000 and building costs amounted to around £46,000.

The interiors were described as bright and pleasant with the walls and ceilings painted with ‘Duresco’, and finished in enamel ‘in a great variety of tints’. The grounds were laid out with walks and recreation grounds for nurses and patients.

The principal contractors were James Kinnear, Leith, mason and brickwork; Drysdale and Gilmour, Leith, Joiner and carpenter work; Patrick Knox  & Sons, Edinburgh, plumbers; Charles Mitchell, Leith, painter; W. R. Clapperton & Co Edinburgh, furnishings; Maule & Son, Edinburgh, napery; R. & E. Simon, Leith, ironmongery furnishings.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map revised in 1931. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

During the First World War the hospital was commandeered by the Admiralty. It may have been at this time that the ward huts were built to the west of the site (see map above). [Sources: Edinburgh Evening News, 11 Sept 1896, p.4]

PRINCESS MARGARET ROSE ORTHOPAEDIC HOSPITAL, FROGSTON ROAD WEST (demolished)   The foundation stone of the hospital was laid in 1929 and the first two wards opened in June 1932.

Extract from the 6-inch OS map, revised in 1932. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Designed by Reginald Fairlie as a centre for the treatment of crippled children in the south‑east of Scotland, it featured sanatoria‑style ward blocks, open to the south with screens to keep the snow out. This type of hospital accommodation was necessary at a time when the major causes of crippling in children were TB and osteomyelitis. The third ward opened later in 1932 and a fourth was built in 1936. Additions to the hospital were made in the 1960s by Morris & Steedman for the South East Regional Hospitals Board.

The hospital closed in 2000, as part of the restructuring of health services in Edinburgh made following the building of the new Royal Infirmary. The site was sold for housing in 2002. The nurses’ home was converted into flats, but plans to adapt one of the ward blocks were scrapped following a fire. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2nd ed., 1988, p.568: Lancet, 20 March 1929: Lothian Health Services Archives]

ROYAL EDINBURGH HOSPITAL, TIPPERLIN ROAD   The original buildings by Robert Reid have now been demolished and the oldest section of the hospital remaining dates from 1842 by William Burn. The Royal Edinburgh is one of the most historically important hospitals in Scotland, playing a key role in the development of treating mental illness. The Craighouse development at the turn of the century was also of great importance in emphasising the significance of surroundings in the cure of mental disease.

Extract from Kirkwood’s map of Edinburgh, 1817. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

The foundation of the hospital originated with the death of the poet, Robert Ferguson, in the City Bedlam on 16 October 1774. He died tragically aged 24. Dr Andrew Duncan had been his medical attendant and after Ferguson’s death he resolved to try to establish a hospital for the mentally ill. In 1792 an appeal was launched but the response was small. In 1806 Parliament granted 2,000 from confiscated estates following the Jacobite Rising of 1745. This enabled the site at Morningside to be purchased. Plans were prepared by Robert Reid for the new asylum. He devised a courtyard plan consisting of four large blocks, each effectively resembling a modest neo‑Classical house, one each side of the square, with square lodges at the corners. The plan was intended to facilitate the classification of the patients. Reid produced a pamphlet on his Observations on the Structure of Hospitals for the Treatment of Lunatics &c. which compares closely with the slightly later writings of William Stark of 1810 concerning the construction of the Glasgow Royal Asylum. Like Stark, Reid visited several asylums and hospitals for lunatics in different parts of England. Classification was the key to the plan:

To admit of proper separation of patients into different classes, according to their condition and circumstances, this asylum should consist of several buildings, in some respects detached from each other. Distinct classes of patients, according to their rank in life, and the payment which their relations agree to make to the Institution for their accommodation and maintenance, should be placed in separate houses: and each of these buildings should be so constructed as to admit of a complete separation not only of the sexes but also of patients of the same sex, according to the condition of their disease, as being furious, tractable, incurable or convalescent.

These were the same criteria for classifying patients which persisted throughout the century, and the emphasis on the segregation of the classes was always as strong as that for the proper serration of different mental conditions.

Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum, East House, captioned ‘sketch showing the range of buildings which form one side of the square’ from RCAHMS

Reid’s design was on a larger scale than could have been built with the funds available. Aware of this, he concluded his pamphlet by drawing attention to the plan’s ‘peculiar advantage, that each part is separate and independent, and may be put to immediate use, as soon as it is finished’. Two wings of Reid’s building were built, and the first patient was admitted on 19 July 1813. Lack of funds not only prevented the rest of the plans being carried out but also prevented the managers from admitting pauper lunatics, which had, from the start, been one of its aims.

Extract from the OS Large-scale Town Plans 1876. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Additions were made in 1819‑1821 under the guidance of Reid, with modifications of the original plan, since ‘he has had an opportunity of visiting with a discerning eye almost every commodious asylum for the Insane which has lately been built whether in England, in Scotland or in Ireland’ as the Annual Report for 1821 declared.

The accommodation of paupers was proposed again in the 1820s and the managers considered that a separate house should be provided for this class. Reid prepared plans for such a building but they were eventually abandoned and in 1837 new plans were acquired from William Burn, consisting of the extension of the existing buildings. In 1840 a further new set of plans were drawn up by Burn for the West House. They relate most closely to Stark’s Dundee asylum being an H‑plan with central kitchen and dining hall to the rear. Only part of Burn’s plan was built initially, opening on 6 August 1842.

Extract from the OS Large-scale Town Plans 1876. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The new department contained wards for pauper lunatics and comprised three parts; a main wing of three stories with twelve dormitories and their accompanying workrooms, day-rooms, washing and bathrooms and six sick rooms, a separate single storey building for noisy patients of two large and six small dormitories and the kitchen and laundry. The new building was soon filled and after the patients from the City Bedlam had been admitted extension was necessary. The first addition by Burn in 1845 still left the accommodation inadequate despite many further minor alterations. By 1853 David Bryce was acting as the architect to the asylum and he produced plans for a new kitchen department at the East House as well as the completion of Burn’s West House, the south‑west wing remaining to be built. He also planned an octagonal building, a separate building for noisy patients, and a new wash‑house for the West House. These additions were completed in 1857.

William Burn’s West House, viewed from the south, from RCAHMS

In 1873 Dr Thomas Smith Clouston was appointed Physician Superintendent. At this time W. L. Moffatt was acting as architect to the asylum and he carried out various improvements. In 1877 the mansion house and estate of Craighouse was purchased and over the next 40 years the building activity at the hospital was centred there. The Craighouse development is considered separately below, and resulted in the demolition of Robert Reid’s original buildings in 1896. The hospital continued to expand its horizons after the opening of Craighouse. In 1929 an important development was made with the opening of the Jordanburn Nerve Hospital, where patients were informally admitted, and in 1931, a children’s clinic was established.

West House, Dining Hall, from RCAHMS

In 1948 the hospital was transferred to the National Health Service and in 1965 the Andrew Duncan Clinic was opened, designed by John Holt. He also designed the nine‑storey block for the University of Edinburgh’s Psychiatry Department on the site. These more recent additions have been less than sympathetic to the West House which has now lost most of its original impact. [Sources: Lothian Health Board Archives, plans, Annual Reports and Minutes.]

ROYAL EDINBURGH HOSPITAL, THOMAS CLOUSTON CLINIC, CRAIGHOUSE, CRAIGHOUSE ROAD Old Craighouse dates from 1565, the date appearing over the original entrance doorway. Macgibbon and Ross noted that the house appeared to have been built by the Symsones. A new wing was added in 1746. In 1877 Craighouse estate was purchased by the Royal Edinburgh Asylum and adapted for the accommodation of higher class patients.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS Map revised 1893. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

From 1889 to 1894 work on the new buildings was carried out to designs by Sydney Mitchell, these comprised the New Craighouse, East and West Hospital blocks, Queen’s Craig, South Craig and Bevan House. Dr Thomas Clouston was the key figure in the development of Craighouse. He had been appointed as Physician Superintendent to the Royal Edinburgh Asylum in 1873 and in his first Annual Report commented on the state of the buildings:

As regards our structural arrangements we are undoubtedly behindhand somewhat. We need more accommodation for those who wish the benefits of the institution and can pay high boards… we should be prepared to extend our benefits to the wealthiest …our poorhouses are palatial buildings and in the new asylums for paupers through the country no expense has been spared to make them cheerful and comfortable.

Aerial photograph taken by RCAHMS in 2015 of Old Craighouse (top right) and New Craighouse.

Once Clouston had established patients at Old Craighouse in 1878 he began planning the development of the site in a new and bold way:

Craighouse site affords ample room for many villas of various kinds, surrounding a central block for recent acute cases, kitchens, dining and public rooms. In the construction of these a principle might be adopted which has never yet been fully carried out in asylums, viz of adaptation of each house or part of house to the varied needs and mental conditions of its inhabitants … an asylum so constructed should contain all the medical appliances that would be likely to do good, it should have a billiard room, gymnasium, swimming‑bath and work rooms.

The scheme was long in the forming, in the Annual Report for 1885 Clouston comments that he has been devoting his attention to the principles of construction of hospitals for the better classes of the insane in the last years. He had visited asylums in America and other parts of Britain. In particular the Royal Asylums at Montrose, Dundee, Perth, Glasgow and Dumfries and in England the asylums at Northampton, Cheadle, Gloucester and St Ann’s Health Registered Hospital, the Bethlem Royal Hospital and two private asylums in London. By 1887 Sydney Mitchell had been appointed as architect. Work began in 1889 and the foundation stone of New Craighouse was laid on 16 July 1890 by the Earl of Stair. The scheme comprised five principal buildings. The main building or New Craighouse was situated to the west of Old Craighouse and further west again was the west hospital block, Queen’s Craig. To the south of these were the East Hospital, Bevan House and South Craig. New Craighouse was formally opened on 26 October 1894 by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. South Craig Villa, Bevan House and the Ladies Hospital had already been occupied for some time. The achievement was phenomenal, and on such a vast scale that it remains unrivalled in hospital architecture in Scotland. Variety was the key to the design, variety of style, colour and texture achieved through the finishes, the materials, the varied roof line and every conceivable means. Inside it was sumptuously furnished and fitted up. After 1972 the buildings became the Thomas Clouston Clinic, named after the individual whose personal ideals were embodied in the site. [Sources: Lothian Health Board Archives, Annual Reports of Royal Edinburgh Hospital: RCAHMS, National Monuments Record of Scotland, drawings collection: The Builder, 7 Jan. 1888, p.16; 15 June 1889, p.442; 10 March, 1894, p.203.]

ROYAL HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN, SCIENNES ROAD   The Sick Children’s Hospital was officially opened on 31 October 1895. It was designed by George Washington Browne, a leading architect in Edinburgh and formerly a partner of R. Rowand Anderson, he also designed other public buildings including the Edinburgh City Library. The hospital, built of bright red sandstone, has a tall three‑ storey and attic central block with twin, shaped gables and an ornate triumphal arch doorpiece.

Administration block of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, illustrated in Academy Architecture 1895 p.61

The children’s hospital in Edinburgh first opened in 1860 in a house in Lauriston Lane with 20 beds. A Royal charter was granted in 1863 and the hospital moved to Meadowside House where it remained until an outbreak of typhoid in 1890 when the patients were temporarily relocated in Morningside College. The managers decided that Meadowside House was unsuitable and a new building required. They purchased the former Trades Maiden Hospital and on the site erected the present building in 1892.

Sick Kids Hospital, Edinburgh by Stephencdickson – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 photographed in 2014

The hospital opened in 1895, it was designed on a U‑plan with central administration section. The ward pavilions are three stories high terminating in balconies between the turrets.

General view of the entrance, photographed around 1900 by Bedford Lemere © RCAHMS

One of the most charming features of the hospital are the murals in the mortuary chapel by Phoebe Traquair, painted in 1885 at Meadowside House, which were transferred to the new building. They are typical of the Edinburgh Arts and Crafts Style which she adopted.

Detail of mural in mortuary chapel, photographed in 1982  © RCAHMS

In 1903 Washington Browne added an out‑patients’ department in Sylvan Place. In 1906 Muirfield House at Gullane was built as a convalescent home (see separate entry in Lothian). The hospital was extended from 1959 with a new lecture hall and operating theatre designed by Cullen, Lochhead & Brown of Hamilton, a well established firm in hospital design. [Sources: The Builder, 1 Jan. 1898.]

ROYAL INFIRMARY OF EDINBURGH, INFIRMARY STREET  (Demolished) Built to the design of William Adam, the foundation stone of this, the first purpose‑built hospital in Scotland, was laid in 1738 and the first patients admitted in December 1741. In 1725 the first steps were taken towards establishing an infirmary by the Royal College of Physicians. Funds were raised by public subscription and a small house was rented at the head of Robertson’s Close. This first modest building was formally opened on 6 August 1729 and was the first infirmary in Scotland. In 1733 Glasgow countered with its Town’s Hospital but from the first this was designed to be primarily a workhouse with limited medical attendance. In the same year the question of new premises for the Edinburgh Infirmary was already under consideration. In November 1736 a Royal Charter was granted and the Infirmary acquired the ground of Thomson’s Yards from the trustees of George Watson’s Hospital as a site for the new building. The managers planned to provide a hospital with 280 beds but with limited funds needed to build piecemeal. In April 1738 the Infirmary managers published a memorandum detailing their intentions:

the building ought to be solid and erected of the most durable material, not slovenly, and yet that very little or no expense should be paid out in useless ornament… In order to form the plan in the best manner, they applied to William Adam, architect who has generously assisted them with a plan of the whole work which, when finished, will conveniently accommodate two hundred patients allowing each patient a bed.

The foundation stone was laid on 2 August 1738 and work commenced on the east section of the central block. By January 1739 work was already well advanced. Despite the decision to build in stages, fund raising was so successful that it was decided to proceed with the rest of the plan and a second ceremony of laying the foundation stone was held on 14 May 1740 for the west half of the building. The whole was finally completed in 1748, the year of William Adam’s death. Materials for the infirmary included timber from London and lime from England and unglazed paving tiles from Holland. The design was quite simple, on a U‑plan facing north, of three storeys and attic. The main block measured 210 feet in length and the wings each 70 feet long. It accommodated 228 patients distributed in wards with twelve beds in the wings and 24 beds in the main block. The centre bay projected twelve feet and was surmounted by a raised attic and cupola, containing the operating theatre, which had accommodation for 200 students and could also serve as a chapel. The cupola could also be used as an astronomical laboratory. Medical cases were accommodated on the lower two floors together with some cells for lunatics and surgical cases were located on the upper two floors, being closer to the operating theatre. The symmetrical plan allowed for the equal division of male and female patients. The infirmary was heated by open fires and a mains supply of water was connected in 1743. On the facade a statue of George II was added in 1755, since moved to Lauriston Place.

Various additions were made to the Infirmary, these included a new wing to the west in 1791‑2, and the acquisition of the old High School in High School Yards in 1829, which was then converted into a surgical hospital, opening in 1832. In 1833 the managers of the infirmary also acquired the old Surgeons’s Hall which was used as a fever hospital. The remaining buildings in the square were acquired over the next few years. In 1848 a more major building extension and alteration scheme was begun by David Bryce. A new surgical hospital and new kitchen and laundry and wash‑house were needed as well as a new drainage system. The new surgical hospital was built on ground between the original infirmary and the Surgeon’s Hall. It was of three storeys and attic and was linked with the earlier Surgical Hospital by waiting rooms. Altogether there was accommodation for 128 surgical beds and a further nineteen beds for eye patients. The new hospital opened on 30 April 1853. However, conditions were still unsatisfactory overall and in 1864 Bryce was requested to prepare a report on the condition of the old infirmary. The report recommended that a new building should be provided. At this stage there was no thought of abandoning the site and Bryce drew up plans for a new medical hospital on the existing site. By 1866 Bryce’s new Surgical Hospital was condemned as unhealthy and of having been built on a bad principles, perhaps in response to the emerging pavilion‑plan wards being highlighted in the national press and the architectural journals, particularly The Builder. Once it had been accepted that both the medical and surgical hospitals needed to be replaced it was only a matter of time before a new site was proposed for a new combined medical and surgical hospital, this was agreed to in March 1869.

The old infirmary buildings lingered after the opening of Bryce’s new Royal Infirmary in Lauriston Place, they were purchased by the Town Council and used during fever epidemics and as the City’s infectious diseases hospital until the new City Hospital opened in 1903. William Adam’s original infirmary was demolished in 1884. [Sources: records of the infirmary are held by Lothian Health Services Archive. Logan Turner, Story of a Great Hospital, Edinburgh, 1979: The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh,1929. See The History of High School Yards for more about the buildings and history of the buildings here.]

ROYAL INFIRMARY OF EDINBURGH, LAURISTON PLACE Now superseded by new Royal Infirmary at Little France, the former buildings have been partly demolished and partly converted to a mixed use development known as Quarter Mile, with modern infill designed by Foster + partners.

The main building of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Lauriston Place was designed by David Bryce and built from 1870 to 1879. It incorporated part of William Adam’s George Watson’s Hospital of 1738‑41. It replaced the former Royal Infirmary building designed by William Adam which opened in 1748. The foundation stone of the new infirmary was laid in 1870. David Bryce died before it was completed and his son John Bryce remained as the superintending architect. It was planned on the Nightingale model of St Thomas’s Hospital, London, but where the riverside site had produced a long range of pavilions in London, in Edinburgh, the shape of the site, coupled with the incorporation of the old George Watson’s Hospital, led to an asymmetrical arrangement of the ward pavilions. The roughly square site, sloping southwards to the meadows, created a logical split into the surgical hospital section, facing Lauriston Road, and the medical section to the south facing, the Meadows. The kitchen and stores were situated in the middle of the site behind the administration section. Originally there were four pavilions in each half, with three wards in each pavilion. Each ward was self‑contained, having its own waiting rooms, nurse’s room, physician’s room, bathrooms, lavatories and kitchen. Each pavilion contained a lift for patients and a lift for stores. The administrative department in the centre of the surgical section incorporated the remains of George Watson’s Hospital. The furnishing of each ward was undertaken by a different group from the Infirmary Managers to the domestic servants and from the Writers to the Signet to the Brewers. The London Illustrated News at the time of the opening described the Infirmary as the largest in the United Kingdom and probably the best planned. Its nearest contemporary rival in Scotland was the Glasgow Western Infirmary which had opened in 1874 designed by James Burnet Senior also on the pavilion plan.

Southern ward pavilions photographed April 2015 © Harriet Richardson

Despite the apparent vastness of the new Infirmary it was not long before additions and alterations were necessary. Sydney Mitchell & Wilson added a nurses’ home in 1890, the laundry in 1896, and the Diamond Jubilee Pavilion in 1897. In 1900 they designed two new pavilions for ear, nose and throat and ophthalmic patients. Early this century the major addition was the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion by Thomas W. Turnbull of 1935. After the Infirmary was incorporated into the National Health Service the desire for new buildings was first accomplished with the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion on Chalmers Street built in 1971 by Alison & Hutchison. The redevelopment of the site commenced with the new block, Phase I, designed in 1965 by Robert Matthew, Johnson‑Marshall & Partners. Work on the Lauriston Building commenced in 1976.   [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2nd ed., 1988, p.259‑61: Logan Turner, Story of a Great Hospital, Edinburgh, 1979. For images of the Laurston building see Lothian Health Services Archives flickr page]

ROYAL INFIRMARY OF EDINBURGH, Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion  (Demolished) The pavilion was constructed in 1935 by Thomas W. Turnbull, with James Miller acting as consultant. It is an imposing steel framed building faced with concrete, as is the Florence Nightingale Nurses’ Home which was built at the same time. The Pavilion was officially opened on 1 March 1939.

The Simpson Memorial had its origins in the Edinburgh Lying‑in Hospital which opened in Park Place in November 1793. This was financed by Professor Hamilton and then by his son, James, until his death in 1839. It moved in 1843 and occupied five further sites before becoming the Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital, in commemoration of the achievements in obstetrics of Sir James Young Simpson who died in 1870. The resultant building, designed by D. Macgibbon & T. Ross, opened in May 1879 and is now the School of Radiology, at No.79 Lauriston Place. The first ante‑natal clinic in Britain was opened there in 1915 as a result of the work of James Haig Ferguson. After the First World War buildings in Lauriston Park and Graham Street were acquired to try to combat overcrowding but this was not satisfactorily overcome until the new Pavilion was provided in the 1930s.

ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL, CRAIGLEITH ROAD   The present hospital dates from 1966 by Alan Reiach & Partners. Two blocks were incorporated from the earlier hospital buildings by Sydney Mitchell from 1906. These were the east lodge and the administration block. The founding of the Royal Victoria Dispensary marked the origins of Edinburgh’s tuberculosis scheme. It opened in 1887 and claimed to be the first anti‑tuberculosis dispensary in the world. A hospital for consumptives was established later. It originally operated from Craigleith House after its conversion in 1894. The house was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the present new buildings. From 1903‑6 five pavilions and a large administration block and dining hall were built on the ground adjoining the house. These sanatorium buildings formed a model for later sanatoria in Scotland. The floors of the wards were raised several feet from the ground so that the intervening air space ensured dryness and additional ventilation. Each pavilion was constructed on a half‑butterfly‑plan with two wards flanking centrally placed offices and lavatories. Open fireplaces provided the sole means of heating. There were also numerous shelters in the grounds for the open‑air treatment of patients. In the administration block, which survives on the site, was located the central dining hall for the patients. It was an airy room with an open beamed roof and decorated joists. It also contained the kitchen and offices, staff dining room and the Matron and Resident Physicians’s quarters. It is a picturesque building with its dominant tower and rich carving, showing powerful Scots Vernacular and seventeenth‑century influence. By 1960 the need for extensive hospital accommodation for TB had declined. Since 1966 a new hospital complex has been built on the site. [Sources: Building News, 7 December 1894, p.802: T. N. Kelynack (ed.), Tuberculosis Year Book and Sanatoria Annual, Vol.1, 1913‑14: Lothian Health Board Archives, Annual Reports.]

ST RAPHAEL’S HOSPITAL, Blackford Avenue private hospital, established by the Roman Catholic Church. Kilravock Lodge, a private house designed by MacGibbon & Ross around 1874 was enlarged as a hospital around 1925-6. A separate Art Deco wing was added to designs by J. Douglas Miller. The foundation stone was laid on 3 October 1934 by the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The Art Deco wing, St Raphael’s, photographed by Francis Caird Inglis. © RCAHMS

A year later the Archbishop returned to perform the opening ceremony.  In the 1960s a new wing was added to the west, and to the rear of the east ward wing. Further additions were carried out at the rear of the 1930s block in the 1970s or early 80s. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, p.599; The Scotsman, 22 Sept 1934 p.1; 23 Oct 1935, p.1]

SCOTTISH NATIONAL NEURASTHENIC HOSPITAL, CRAIGEND PARK, LIBERTON   The house, Craigend Park, was designed by Pilkington & Bell for William Christie, a tailor and built in 1867-9. It was converted into a hospital for shell-shocked soldiers and sailors in 1917, opening as the Scottish National Neurasthenic Hospital in March 1918.

Craigend Park, aerial photograph by R. Adam, RCHME taken in 2015

The hospital closed in 1925, and later became a school, before re-opening as the Kingston Clinic – a centre for naturopathy, or nature cure – in 1938. It ran for fifty years, finally closing in 1988.

SOUTHFIELD HOSPITAL, LIBERTON   Southfield House was designed in 1875 by John Chesser. This baronial style mansion house with its dominant turrets and quantity of crowstepped gables was acquired as a country branch for the Royal Victoria Sanatorium in Edinburgh, in about the 1920s and ward blocks were built in the grounds designed by Auldjo Jamieson & Arnott in 1930. [Sources: Lothian Health Board Archives, Annual Reports of Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh: RCAHMS, National Monuments Record of Scotland, drawings collection, plans of Southfield House.]

WESTERN GENERAL HOSPITAL, CREWE ROAD   The Western General Hospital began its life as the replacement St Cuthbert’s Poorhouse, which opened in 1868. It was designed by Peddie and Kinnear.

Aerial photograph taken by RCAHMS in 2014 of the Western General

The first poorhouse for St Cuthbert’s parish opened in 1761 on the site of the Caledonian Hotel. In 1865 Henry Littlejohn, the City Medical Officer, reported that the building was insanitary and ordered improvements. It was suggested that St Cuthbert’s should combine with the Canongate parish, which also had a poorhouse, and build a new one between them. However, this was not accepted and the new St Cuthbert’s Poorhouse was built on land purchased from the Fettes Trust. After it opened it was renamed the Craigleith Hospital and Poorhouse.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS Map, revised in 1893. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

During the First World War it was taken over by the army for casualties and in 1929, with the Local Government (Scotland) Act, Edinburgh Town Council took over and it became the Western General Hospital. D. & J. Bryce had extended the buildings in 1880 but the main alterations on the site came in the twentieth century. In around 1920 a recreation hall was added, in 1935 a nurses’ home was built and the pathology block was built in 1939. Before the outbreak of the Second World War plans had been prepared for a new hospital on p-to-date lines on the site, of which these additions had formed a part, but war put a stop to the reconstruction.

The Boiler House, photographed c.1978, from the RCAHMS Spence, Glover and Ferguson collection
Perspective view of proposed boiler house from mid-1950s, from RCAHMS Spence, Glover and Ferguson collection

After the hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948, a great many additions were made to the site by the South Eastern Regional Hospitals Board through the 1950s and 60s, under the guidance of the Regional Board’s architect, John Holt.

In 1957 a radiotherapy department was opened, furnished with one of the few linear accelerators in Britain at that time. William Wellwood was the architect in charge under John Holt. It was largely built with a reinforced-concrete frame, the floors above and below the treatment level being solid, reinforced-concrete slabs, the others hollow tile set in reinforced-concrete rib panels. The out-patients’ departments and workshops, however, were built with load-bearing cavity construction. Spandrel panels in the main block were faced with Westmoreland green slate slabs, and the lower walls finished in plum-coloured facing bricks. The south gable wall was finished with Blaxter stone slabs. It had about 100 beds and hostel beds, dining areas for staff and patients, X-ray, diagnostic and therapeutic rooms, operating theatre suite, and research laboratories. The main ward block was of four storeys, with four-bed wards located on either side of a corridor.

In December 1959 a new neurosurgical block was opened, designed by Basil Spence and Partners in association with Holt. The Architects’ Journal noted that:

‘Exceptional conditions required it to be built up in the air, so to speak, and there is evident endeavour to exploit this situation visually in the design of the [reinforced concrete] frame and cantilevers. Materials throughout are of the highest quality and very various, so one might expect this to be a relatively costly building – which it is.‘ [AJ, 10 Dec 1959, p.683.]

One of the more unusual additions to the site was the Scottish Hospitals Centre. Designed by Holt, and completed by 1966.

The Western General in 1948, from the 25 in OS map. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

These alterations continued after the 1974 reorganisation of the Health Service when the Western came under the management of the newly created Lothian Health Board and included the new library built in 1979 which finally covered the facade of the old poorhouse. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2nd ed. 1988, p.531‑2: Scottish Record Office, plans, RHP 30841/1‑62: Architectural Review, 1 April 1957, p.266See also workhouses.org]

WOODBURN SANATORIUM, CANAAN LANE  Established c.1899 and from around 1900 run by Dr Isabella Mears (1853-1936) and her husband Dr W. P. Mears. A purpose-built sanatorium was erected to the north of the house in 1899-1900 (a building application was submitted by a Mrs Elizabeth Macgregor ‘or Gray’ in June 1899), but the house itself had previously been run as a nursing and convalescent home.

Extract from the 25-inch OS map surveyed in 1905-6. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Isabella Mears was a pioneering woman, being the tenth woman on the General Medical Register – she had to take her final exams in Dublin, having studied Medicine at Edinburgh University. Before her work at Woodburn Sanatorium, Isabella had been a medical missionary in China. The sanatorium and Woodburn House later became a part of the Astley Ainslie Hospital. [Sources: information kindly supplied by Galen Bartholomew: Dundee Advertiser, 2 May 1896, p.1: Edinburgh Evening News, 1 June 1899, p.3]

103 thoughts on “Edinburgh

  1. Pingback: Craighouse, Edinburgh: former private asylum, future housing development | Historic Hospitals

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  3. I found this site by accident when I was looking for Beechmount and I noticed that the Northern General Hospital on Ferry Road is not mentioned . I have been a visitor to family members who were patients in many of these hospitals .

  4. You might want to include Graigend at Liberton. In 1918 it became the National Shell-Shock Hospital for Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen.

    Kind regards and well done,

    Dr. Yvonne McEwen

    • Dear Yvonne, many thanks for this, I will add the hospital to the gazetteer. I am sure there a numerous omissions, especially hospitals set up during war time or as a result of war,
      best wishes from Harriet

  5. Hi I was looking for a hospital run by nuns that my uncle resided from the age of 4 when he was struck down with menegitus which left him severely disabled he died aged 12 in the early 1950’s in the hospital he was my dad’s only sibling and I would love to find out anything about the hospital so I can include it in our family free any help would be greatly appreciated from Arlene Jamieson

    • Hi , I have just revisited this site and I wonder if the Edinburgh hospital run by nuns could have been St Raphael’s. Your uncle’s death details will be recorded at Scotlands People and will confirm the place of death.. Good luck with your family history – mine is never ending .

      • Could we have more information about St Raphael’s, which seems to have been omitted? I worked there as a seamstress making theatre gowns circa 1984, part-time, one summer when I was a student. Did they really do operations there?

      • Apologies for the omission Louise, there are some great photographs of the building on the Canmore site. At the moment I know next to nothing about it, as I mostly ignored private hospitals I’m afraid. But I will have a hunt about for more information and add it to the Edinburgh page.

    • Could it be st Joseph’s hospital Rosewell which was run by the nuns ( daughters of charity of st Vincent DePaul) until it closed around 2000 , they had many children and adults who were physically and mentally handicapped

  6. Fantastic Reading as i have very fond memories of these Hospital”s whilst working as an Auxiliary nurse in the 1990s . They were all great hospital”s but for me the best one out of them all ,
    Eastern General Hospital ! . I loved it that much i lived there as well as worked there .{ Nurses Home }.

  7. Thank you so much for this. I have been looking for information about Edinburgh hospitals as I am researching my Family History and a number of people lived, worked and/or died in one or other of them.

  8. My great great aunt, Dr Isabella Mears (1853-1931), apparently ran Woodburn Sanatorium in Canaan Road in the early part of the twentieth century. She was a pioneering woman, being the tenth woman on the General Medical Register – she had to take her final exams in Dublin, having studied Medicine at Edinburgh University, because neither Edinburgh nor London would allow women to do so! Before her work at Woodburn Sanatorium, Isabella had been a medical missionary in China. I am surprised that Woodburn Sanatorium is not mentioned in this article but wonder if it was part of Canaan Park (referred to above)?

    • Woodburn Sanatorium became a part of the Astley Ainslie Hospital. Thank you for the information on Dr Isabella Mears. I will do some more research and make sure Woodburn and your great great aunt are added to the Edinburgh page.

      • Thank you. If you would like some more information on Dr Isabella Mears (nee Bartholomew) please let me know. Best wishes, Galen Bartholomew

      • Yes, I would love to have some more information about her. I see that she wrote a booklet about open-air treatment and Woodburn was very early in adopting this type of treatment in Scotland.
        best wishes and many thanks, Harriet

      • I will let you have a note on Isabella within a week. Please would you confirm the email address to which I should send this.
        Best wishes,

  9. I found the information on your site very interesting and lovely to look at, but would it be possible for you to tell me which of those hospitals would have been located near Cants Close in Canongate in the year, 1871. I believe that a relative of mine was a night nurse in a hospital that the census for that year does not identify, but it was located in Canongate, ED99 and her record is on page 09 of that list. I’m trying to identify the hospital because, if I am correct, she was boarding her two-year old daughter with a family in Cants Close while she worked at the hospital, and I suspect that she would want her daughter to be relatively close to the hospital in which she worked. Any help would be greatly appreciated by this relative in Canada.
    Robert Brown

    • The most likely, perhaps, is the Royal Infirmary, which was nearby, still off the High Street at that time before it moved to Lauriston Place. Lothian Health Services Archives may be able to help if you get in touch with them, they may have records of the nurses from that time.

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  11. Your site is wonderful. Thank you for pulling all this information together. I am researching the Public Dispensary originally established in 1776 and wonder if you may have any ideas for me. I am trying to find out 1) if the dispensary was still in existence in Old Town in the mid to late 1800s and then 2) where it was located at that point. I believe it may have been south of St. Giles Cathedral and to the East of the National Library of Scotland, but I am finding conflicting information. Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thank you again for time time and effort you have put into creating this wonderful compilation of hospitals. It is a treasure.

    • Thank you, that’s so good to hear. Have you been in touch with the Lothian Health Services Archives, based within the University of Edinburgh at the main library, or the City Library? The City Library’s Dean of Guild Court records might be a good source although I’m not sure what date they begin. I’ll have a think and get back to you if anything else comes to mind.
      best wishes
      from Harriet

  12. It’s been so interesting reading about all the hospitals in Edinburgh. I have had relatives in a good few of them. It’s sad to see that most have gone now.
    Thanks for all your hard work in compiling this information.

  13. Sad to see the RIE (Royal Infirmary) carved up now, such lovely buildings. Enhanced the view across the Meadows too. I worked there in the early 1970s and have fond, and not so fond (!) memories.

    • Suzanne I worked in the RIE in the 70s and am sad to see the changes. I have been catching up on Old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Trained Nurses Facebook page. Lots of old photos and memories.

  14. Wonderful site, thank you. My mother trained at the Royal before WW2 and had many fond memories.
    I have a question – in researching the Zeppelin raids of 1916 I have an oral testimony of a lady who said she was at “Dick’s Moore Hospital” in 1916. At least that’s what she seems to say! Any ides?

  15. Wonderfully interesting website, thank you. I was looking to check when St Raphael’s hospital was in use as I have vague memories of having an operation on my hands there. My medical notes don’t seem to record this, maybe because it was a private hospital.
    It would be around 1950 give or take a couple of years. Do you happen to know whether records will be kept from the hospital? Thanks, James

  16. St Raphael’s is now a care home owned and run by Viewpoint Housing Association. Their head office is also situated there. The Kilravock name is retained in their nearby retirement housing complex.

    • That’s correct , I worked at St Raphael’s in for a year in 2015 .
      Undoubtedly the best care home in Edinburgh and it’s a Beautiful Building.

  17. As with some others, I came across the site by accident. Seeing these details from afar (New Zealand) really took me down memory lane. As a student (1973-1979), I had been in most of the institutions at one time or another, and then worked in Leith, Sick Kids, The Western, Deaconess, and The Northern General. Was also at Roodlands in Hadington, but probably too far out to include in the Edinburgh review. Thanks for putting this together.

    • My Dad was in the Northern General 74/75, can you tell me what the hospital was for ? My Dad had Autoimmune disease, I remember visiting with my Mum but can’t seem to find any photos of it.

      • History of the Hospital Site

        The Northern General Hospital was on the north side of Ferry Road, between Crewe Toll and Goldenacre. It closed probably in the mid-1990s. **

        I took some photos of the hospital being demolished in 1996. A Safeway supermarket was built on the site.

        This later became a Morrisons Supermarket..
        Sandra Hackathorn I just googled Northern General Edinburgh and got this ,
        It details the history of the hospital and has pictures as well , I done Auxiliary shifts in the last 2 wards before it closed and the 2 remaining wards then moved to purpose built ferryfield just at the back of the hospital site .

      • I would like to know what kind of hospital it was, I was only 13 at the time and there was an incident in the hospital when my Dad was in, it was around 1974/75, was it just a general hospital or did it specialise in certain illnesses ?

      • It was originally built for infectious diseases but that was no longer necessary by 1970. I would have to check what kind of hospital it was under the NHS. You could contact Lothian Health Services Archives for more details.

  18. The Deaconess Hospital could be the one patients recall the Zeppelin raids as nearby streets were hit including Simon Square. I read about this in ‘Edinburgh Curiosities’, by James U. Thomson.

  19. I worked in the Royal Infirmary X Ray Department as a Radiographer, leaving there in 1957. I remember it was a very busy department, with lines of patients waiting on long benches.
    There was a small bedroom we used when on night duty, resting fully clothed, with a very loud bell just above the bed to alert us to duty.

  20. I was a medical student and junior doctor in and around Edinburgh in the 1960s and your wonderful site illustrates so many of my memories of that time. Most of the places I worked have now been demolished, which makes it all the more precious. Thanks!

  21. I was reflecting on how many hospitals there were in Edinburgh when I was a medical student and how having fewer sites has an impact on management of infectious diseases. Lovely to find this. So many happy memories of great teaching and a particular soft spot for the Northern General.

  22. I worked as a medical student at the Royal Infirmary in the early 1990s and at that time the wards were still those large, cathedral-like spaces which were filled with at least 20 beds, separated by curtains. I wonder if anyone has any ideas where I could find photos of the interior of the Royal Infirmary? Thanks!

    • Hi Shiona,
      In response to the cholera epidemic of 1832 a temporary hospital was set up – Castlehill Hospital in Edinburgh. It was not there long enough to feature on maps of the time, but I think it must have been on Castle Hill – near the Edinburgh Castle – rather than on Calton Hill. Perhaps Calton was written by mistake instead of Castle, or mis-transcribed.

  23. A wonderful site full of interest. Thanks you for compiling. (Incidentally do you know of any resource on private hospitals for various professions in Edinburgh? I was looking for something about the Teacher’s Nursing home where a great aunt died in 1950s).

    • Thank you so much. Private hospitals can be harder to find out about, but local archives and libraries with good local history collections usually a good place to start. Happy to try to help for specific places. Though I am not sure about the Teacher’s Nursing Home. There may be something in either the National Records of Scotland or Edinburgh City Archives, perhaps relating to inspections or licensing, which may give details of owners or staff.

      • If in your searches for private hospitals you find anything re the whereabouts of the archives of St Raphaels in Edinburgh I would be interested, thanks. I am wanting to try to find out about an operation I had there as a child nearly 70 years ago. (I live in hope!)

  24. Thank you very much for this. Many memories of working in the old Royal Infirmary and on Mears Ward in the Astley Ainslie. At the entrance to Mears Ward we had a photograph of Dr Isabella Mears.

  25. Harriet, thank you for publishing this account on such a well designed website. It is a great and interesting read. What goes unmentioned is the silent improvement of health care, as care in the home and care in bespoke residential accommodation has rightly rendered most of the hospitals obsolete, which is not to deny the sterling care that they provided in their time. I note that the Victoria hospital is stated to be operational, and so it was at the time, when I guess the web pages were originally created. However, the hospital closed in 2017 as described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Victoria_Hospital,_Edinburgh
    I may have missed it, but the Marie Curie hospital does not appear. However, I am aware that the hospital is sensitive about making its function (terminal/palliative care) widely known, which might make some patients upset e.g. the idea of “going there to die”. Incidentally, I used to work there and recall the senior staff member (Matron in those days) having an ancient spaniel that used to pad around the ward, to the patient’s delight. I can be nostalgic now: of course that was before an unbalanced, misguided approach to Health and Safety throttled such relatively harmless initiatives for improving life.

    • Thank you for the comments and the information. It is hard to keep up with closures but I know there are a few that have been decommissioned since I started the website. I will look into the Marie Curie hospital. I am sure lots of patients would be very glad to have a canine visitor.

  26. Was there a Maternity hospital called St Cuthberts ? The only one I can find was a work house. I’m checking Ancestry and it says my Grandmother was born at St Cuthberts in 1897. It is unlikely my Grandmother was born in a workhouse.

  27. Hi Harriet, love this site and all the information. My mother has Inverard House on Inverleith Gardens on her birth certificate as the place she was born, I can’t find any information about it prior to becoming a care home. Do you know anything about this place and why my mother would be born there? Seems very odd. She was born in 1948.
    Thank you

  28. Hello Harriet – this gazetteer was most useful when researching Edinburgh hospital history regarding some of our museums collections. We have unearthed some Epsom Salts tins, from our Collection Store, containing rock and grit from engineering tests done at the site of the old Craigleith Hospital and Poorhouse in the 1930s. Your website informed us that a proposal for a new facility was being considered there and then was abandoned following WW2. We believe the samples are related to this! Thank you!

      • So would we! Our curator ‘unearthed’ the tins as part of our current project which is a universal collection audit. There was a brief handwritten note included with the tins which alluded to the proposed hospital at Orchard Brae; one of the tins was annotated with the word ‘Orchard’. The Lothian Hospital (NHS) archives had no knowledge of the plans to modernise or rebuild the St Cuthbert’s Hospital / Western General so this page helped to solve some of the mystery around the provenance of the geological remnants in the tins. I have put a post on the Lost Edinburgh Facebook page to see if we can generate any more information but my feeling is that there will be no one living who remembers the works. Thanks again!

  29. I found a book titled “Romantic Edinburgh” by John Geddie and there is an inscription mentioning two hospitals. I think one is listed in this article but I’d love to know more about who the author of the personal note is to my great grandmother. If you have any information I’d love to learn more.
    Inscribed is:
    “Helen of Troy had nothing on Helen of Dublin + Edinburgh + Cincinnati.
    Here’s looking at you through the bottom of a glass of Guiness!
    All the best-
    Dick Phillips
    Rotunda Hospital Dublin + Royal Infirmary Edinburgh.
    Sept. 4 1931”

  30. My late husband’s great-grandfather, James Chalmers, was a joiner, and family legend has it that he was working on construction at an asylum in Edinburgh around the turn of the century when it caught fire. His daughter described her terror seeing her father up on the roof, working to put out the blaze. Any idea where this might have been?

    • I have done some research on Douglas House, and will add my findings to the Edinburgh page. I haven’t been able to establish a link to the Sick Kids Hospital, except in a recent newspaper article. It was founded in 1872, in Mansion House Road, and moved to Douglas House in about 1927. It was for children with hip-joint, spinal and other diseases and called the Home for Crippled Children.

      • Hello Harriet:
        Fabulous info on this site…well done!
        I trained at Sick Kids 1972-75, and went back and worked there 1980-82.
        Douglas House was indeed a part of Sick Kids then.
        Kids would go there for rehab as they recovered from surgery, and I think in the 80’s it was mainly for kids with Special Needs.
        I was a Night Sister for a while, and we would go over there from the main hospital in Sciennes Rd. in a taxi in the middle of the night, to double check meds with the one staff nurse on duty at Douglas House!

        I’m actually looking to find out if there was a hospital on Whitehouse Loan in 1922 called the Whitehouse Hospital.
        My great aunt is on the census then as living there, and she was a nurse.
        I have a feeling it might have been part of Bruntsfield Hospital.

        Secondly, another aunt, also a nurse, apparently died as a patient in Bangour Hospital’s Mental Health Unit, possible in the 60’s or 70’s.
        I wrote to Lothian Health Archives twice, but got no response.
        Do you have any idea how I might find out if she worked there, died there or both?
        Can’t find a death notice for her.
        Thank you so much!

      • Thank you so much for the information – and kind comments. I will be visiting Lothian Health Services Archives in a couple of week’s time and I will try to remember to ask about patient and staff records for Bangour for you.

      • Hi Shelagh again – I have had some very helpful advice from Lothian Health Archives about researching ancestors – I can email it to you if you get in touch, but I will also put it on the useful sources page.

      • So good to here of someone else knowing about douglas house I remember the grounds being realy nice if anyone has any photos it would be great to see

  31. I was rushed to the ‘Sick Kids’ with a ruptured appendix in the mid 1950’s. Following surgery, I was sent to Douglas House to convalesce. I remember clearly standing on the landing of a grand staircase as my Mum went out the front door. Great site!

  32. As a US medical student I did a rotation at a hospital in Edinburgh in 1988. It was geriatrics but I remember being told it was a TB sanatorium at one time. Coming from inner city Chicago, the hospital in Edinburgh looked like it was in a park setting. Low buildings with slate roofs and beautiful grounds. Like a sanatorium would be. I thought it was in Morningside as I remember Canny Man’s pub! Could it have been the Astley Ainslie Hospital? Images on GoogleEarth don’t make it look like my memories. But memories are like that I suppose.

    • Yes, I’m sure it would have been the Astley Ainslie in Morningside. It was pretty unique for having single storey buildings and being in a park-like setting.

  33. Such an interesting research project! I wonder if someone can help me figure out where I was born?! 1947 – a hospital probably not far from Atholl Crescent, to the north. I can’t seem to see it in the listings or comments above.

      • Many thanks for coming back to me, Harriet. I was definitely not born at home and sadly I do not have my birth certificate. But you will see that I have had another reply from someone who said he was born in 1944 in 39 Palmerston Place. That could have been the place. But your study possibly does not cover nursing homes?

      • I have only occasionally included nursing homes when I come across them. Your birth certificate may not give a precise location but may be worth ordering up a copy from the National Records of Scotland. Otherwise it’s a bit of a needle in a haystack. Could there have been a birth announcement in a newspaper? That’s another possibility.

    • I was born in 1944 in a nursing home in 39 Palmerston Place, not far from Atholl Crescent. As far as I know the building is now offices.

      • Many thanks for your reply, James. That could well have been the place – I had heard from a relative that the place had been closed down… or demolished even? Do you know the name of the place? I do not have my birth certificate where Harriet R. believes the place could have been named.

  34. Sorry to find no mention of the Queen Mary Maternity Home, where my older son was born. As was Tony Blair, it seems.

    • There are, I am afraid, many omissions on the website, especially smaller nursing homes that were either independent or adjuncts to larger hospitals. I will add in Queen Mary’s – and if you have any details about the building I would be very grateful to hear from you.

      • I would be grateful if you could let me know when you have added details of Queen Mary’s. I was born there in 1944 but when I went looking for it a while back all I found was a hole in the ground.

  35. Hello! I’ve just found this website when trying to find out about 10 Royal Terrace where my dad was born. I think it was some kind of facility rather than a residence at the time. Would you happen to have any information? Thank you

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