Extract from John Dower’s map of Glasgow c.1830. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

BAIRD STREET AUXILIARY HOSPITAL (demolished) Glasgow Corporation built an infectious diseases Reception House on a part of the site of the former fever hospital (Kennedy Street Hospital, see separate entry, also known as the Parliamentary Road Hospital). It opened in March 1906. The plans were prepared under the direction of A. B. McDonald, the City Engineer.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1909. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Baird Street Reception House for infectious diseases, when newly opened in 1906. Reproduced from the Glasgow Medical Officer of Health Annual Report.
Baird Street Reception House for infectious diseases, ground and upper floor plans. Reproduced from the Glasgow Medical Officer of Health Annual Report.

The reception house was designed to house 190 adults, though children were also admitted. It was built of harled brick on a stone plinth. The main range facing Black Street was of three storeys and attics over a basement, the rear wing three storeys and attics but no basement. The basement contained the heating chamber, coal house and stores; the ground floor had separate dining rooms and day rooms for male and female patients, kitchens and staff accommodation. Dormitories occupied the upper floors of the front section, and individual bedrooms the rear wing – the latter were designed to take single families or a mother and her children. The detached block to the south was the admission block, containing four suites of baths, with undressing and dressing rooms, fumigating chamber, clothing store, laundry and wash-house.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1933. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

To this a TB dispensary was added, designed in 1912. Further clinics were added later. The reception house had become known as the Baird Street Auxiliary Hospital by the 1930s, during which time a pneumothorax clinic was established for the treatment of tuberculosis. [Sources Medical Officer of Health Reports]

BARNHILL POORHOUSE (demolished)  Barnhill or Barony Parish Poorhouse first opened in 1853. The plans were drawn up in 1848 and comprised two sections. The front block had a tall, nine-bay, three-storey centrepiece with lower three-storey wings flanking it and four-storey pavilions at the ends. This contained the offices, kitchen, dining-hall, day-rooms and work-rooms as well as the accommodation for male paupers. The rear block was allocated to the female inmates.

Extract from 1857 Town Plan of Glasgow, reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The poorhouse rapidly expanded. A separate hospital block was provided which later became the nucleus for Foresthall Hospital. For a time Barnhill was reputedly the largest inhabited building in Scotland. All the buildings on the site have now been demolished. [Sources: Scottish Record Office, plans RHP 30844/1-63: see also]

BELVIDERE HOSPITAL, LONDON ROAD (demolished)  John Carrick, the Glasgow City Architect, was employed by the Town Council from 1870 at the Belvidere Hospital. In 1874 he designed the first of the single-storey, polychrome brick ward pavilions. This unusual treatment for hospital buildings in Scotland gave them a utilitarian air reminiscent of Glasgow’s industrial buildings. The simple polychrome of thin, horizontal bands of white amongst the red bricks created a streaky bacon effect. This treatment was abandoned for the administration block, which also contained the nurses home, recreation hall and senior staff residences. It was a large, austere stone block.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised 1892-3. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

When Glasgow Town Council opened the Parliamentary Road Fever Hospital in 1865, more beds had still been required and in the Autumn of 1870, Belvidere House and its 33 acre estate were purchased to provide a site for the new fever hospital. The first wooden pavilion was occupied on 19 December the same year, and by March 1871 there was space for 250 beds (although, rather alarmingly, 366 patients were in residence).

Low Belvidere House and grounds in the 1850s, later the site of Belvidere Hospital. Extract from OS Town Plan of Glasgow, 1857. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In the following year it was decided to build a smallpox hospital at Belvidere. Great lengths were taken to ensure that the most up-to-date features were incorporated in the design and many other hospitals were visited to this end, including the Herbert Hospital in London ‘reputed to be the finest specimen of a pavilion hospital in existence’. By 1882 the first five brick pavilions had been built and Belvidere house was being used as the residence of the Medical Superintendent. In the same year the Medical Officer for Health in Glasgow, J. B. Russell, produced his ‘Memorandum on the Hospital Accommodation for Infectious Diseases in Glasgow’, which resulted in Carrick’s expansion of the site. Russell’s memorandum itemised the requirements for a large infectious diseases hospital and considered various details of its construction. He drew attention to many new developments, including the surface treatment of the main walls at Tenon’s hospital in Paris.

Detail of the ward blocks at the south end of the site from the OS Town Plan of Glasgow, 1892-4. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The extended hospital was officially opened on 4 March 1887 with 390 beds. In the ‘Report of the Official Inspection by the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Council’ the different buildings and their functions were described. The inspection began with the administration block.

A handsome three-storey stone structure, built on the site of the old mansion house of Belvidere. The chief features of the original building have been reproduced and there have been added at each side substantial wings. The central portion contains the board room and accommodation for Doctors and Matron, while in the additions there are dormitories and sitting rooms for eighty-two nurses.

In 1929 a house was provided for the Medical Superintendent and a new observation ward was opened in 1930. After the inception of the National Health Service various additions were made and changes in function introduced. Two important developments at Blevidere were the opening of the first Cobalt Therapy Unit in Scotland in February 1961 and in March 1973, the opening of the second Neutron Therapy Unit in Britain.

The hospital closed in 1999. After years of neglect the derelict buildings were mostly demolished in 2006 – all except the administration block and nurses’ home. [Sources: Strathclyde Regional Archives: Account of Proceedings at Inspection of New Hospital for Infectious Diseases erected at Belvidere, 1877: J. B. Russell, ‘Memorandum on the Hospital Accommodation for Infectious Diseases in Glasgow’, 1882: ‘Report of proceedings at Official Inspection…’, 1887 Corporation of City of Glasgow, Municipal Glasgow, Glasgow, 1914.]

BLAWARTHILL HOSPITAL, Holehouse Road, Knightswood  Formerly the Renfrew and Clydebank Joint Infectious Diseases Hospital, it was designed by Robert Bryden in 1897.

Blawarthill Hospital photographed in 2008 © Copyright Stephen Sweeney and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It followed the standard plan with three ward pavilions: one for scarlet fever with sixteen beds and six beds in an ante-room, one for enteric fever with eight beds and an isolation block with six beds. Contemporary with Bryden’s Birdston Hospital, the tow are, not surprisingly, similar in detail and plan. As at Birdston, the treatment of the administration block is domestic in character but of no great distinction.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS Map, revised 1909-10. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The hospital was extended in 1903-4 and again in the early 1930s with two additional ward pavilions. In 1960 it was decided to convert it into a geriatric unit. The conversion was completed in 1967 and included the provision of a day hospital. Two of the wards were demolished to allow for the expansion of the former laundry into a day centre. A 60-bed psycho-geriatric unit was built c.1972 and a further ward block demolished.

In 2012 the hospital closed, with plans to build a new care-home on the site. No progress had been made three years later when there was a serious fire at the site in the summer of 2015.

BON SECOURS HOSPITAL, Mansionhouse Road, Langside (demolished) In 1960 the Sisters of Bon Secours opened the first new hospital to be built in Scotland without state aid since the NHS began. The new building replaced five private nursing homes which the Order had run since 1948, when it first settled at Langside. The 100-bed hospital consisted of three wings; a five-storey block containing wards and administration, the theatre and X-ray wings in single-storey, cul-de-sac form, and a four-storey annex for staff accommodation. Each ward floor had three four-bed and eight single-bed wards. The four-bed wards were equipped with cubicle rails and ward floors were of cork tile. Oxygen was piped to sockets on each ward. In its design, efforts to avoid an ‘institutional’ atmosphere were made, and particular thought given to the selection of colour schemes. Routing to ward floors was indicated by coloured bands on the stairs. The hospital cost £250,000, and admitted fee-paying patients of all denominations.

In 2000 the hospital went into receivership. It was taken over by Greater Glasgow Health Board and continued in hospital use for a further 15 years or so. It was put up for sale in 2015 as a residential development site and was demolished in 2017.

CALDERBANK HOUSE, BAILLIESTON (demolished)   The mansion house was purchased by the District Committee of the Middle Ward of Lanarkhire in April 1919 and converted into a maternity and child welfare home. It opened in the following year and in 1929 was extended.

Extract from the 25-inch OS map, revised in 1936. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It closed in 1964 but re‑opened later in the same year as an independent GP Maternity Unit. The house was demolished following a fire in 2002.

CANNIESBURN HOSPITAL, BEARSDEN  James Miller designed the original buildings for Canniesburn Hospital as an auxiliary hospital for the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. It opened in 1938 and was largely of two storeys.

Canniesburn Hospital from the north. Aerial photograph taken in 1952 by Aerofilms, from RCAHMS

Miller’s buildings comprise three blocks, each linked by corridors. They are flat‑roofed with white‑painted harled walls and balconies and verandas on the south facing elevations. The idea of providing such a hospital was first mooted in 1925 by the chairman of the Royal Infirmary, James Macfarlane. In 1926 he and his brother presented the 22‑acre site of Canniesburn to the Infirmary. By 1930 a further nine and a half acres were added. The site was further extended to 40 acres before the first sod was cut in April 1935. The hospital provided 120 beds, 30 of which were for convalescent patients from the Royal Infirmary the rest were for paying patients.

Extract from the 1:25,000 OS Map, published in 1958. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It had been resolved to build a hospital on European lines, other examples of this ‘horizontal’ planning already adopted in Scotland were the Astley Ainslie’s new buildings, Stirling Royal Infirmary and Falkirk Infirmary. The streamlined forms of the modern style adopted by Miller illustrate the functional aesthetic introduced into hospital design at this date. The relative scarcity of this type of design makes the Miller blocks of particular importance. James Miller had a very large architectural practice ranging from domestic to commercial work and produced, along with Sir J. J. Burnet, the most varied and interesting architecture of the early‑twentieth century in Scotland.

Early in its life the proportion of convalescent beds was increased and in 1952 ten beds for plastic surgery patients were introduced. A plastic surgery unit was opened in May 1968, designed by John Peters, Assistant Architect to the Western Regional Hospitals Board. The other major extension on the site was the geriatric unit designed by Frank Burnet, Bell & Partners, the first two wards of which were opened in June 1967. It was modelled on the Cameron Unit at Windygates, Fife. The post-war additions have been demolished.

The hospital closed around 2003, and the pre-war buildings have since been converted into flats, with new blocks of similar scale erected to the south. The conversion was completed in 2007 by Cala Homes.[Sources:Architects Journal, 3 March 1938: Glasgow Herald, 7 January 1938. See also]

CARNBOOTH CHILDREN’S HOME, CARMUNNOCK   Now Carnbooth House Hotel, it became a school in 1986. The house was built in 1900-1 to designs by Alexander Cullen

COWGLEN HOSPITAL, CROOKSTON (demolished)  Designed by T. Somers, Glasgow City Engineer, the development of this hospital was radically affected by the outbreak of the Second World War. Originally it was designed as an infectious diseases hospital, the need for which was outlined in 1931 by Glasgow’s Medical Officer of Health. It was planned to supersede Shieldhall Hospital. In 1933 plans were commissioned for a 350‑bed hospital on the Cowglen site.

Extract from the 1:25,000 OS Map, published in 1958. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The plans were ambitious and innovative. There was to be generous provision of cubicle accommodation, the latest development in ward design for infectious diseases whereby several different types of disease and cases which had not yet been diagnosed could be treated within the same building for the first time. This was achieved by means of locating beds in cubicles partitioned and isolated by partly glazed screens. The wards were mostly single‑storey with 24 or 30 beds, except the observation block of two storeys which was connected to the X‑ray and theatre units. A three‑storey nurses’ and maids’ home was planned to be built on the site of the old Cowglen House. However, the ensuing delays meant that by the time the work was completed it was no longer at the forefront of hospital design. The discovery of old coal workings on the site, which required to be filled in, delayed construction work. The plans were finally passed in February 1937 and the hospital still incomplete by the beginning of the War. Nevertheless, it was commandeered as a military hospital for the American forces and finished off in a temporary fashion.

The site remained in the hands of the British Army as a military hospital until the early 1960s. Part of the site was transferred to the Hospital Board in 1964 and converted into accommodation for the chronic sick and in 1965 additional beds were to be provided for geriatrics. At this time it was agreed to release part of the site to the GPO for their Savings Bank head quarters.

The hospital continued in used until around 2000, when services were transferred to the Southern General. The buildings were demolished in 2001. [Sources: Architect and Building News, 1937: Department of Health for Scotland, 7th Annual Report, 1936, p.92. See also]

CROOKSTON COTTAGE HOMES, CROOKSTON ROAD (demolished)  The Renfrew Combination Poorhouse was the first building on this site, parts of which remained in the 1980s. It was designed by the Glasgow architects Ninian MacWhannel and John Rogerson in 1902. 

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1909-10. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

W. Barrie of the Glasgow Public Assistance Department carried out the designs for the new buildings on the site from 1936 for Glasgow Corporation. Officially opened on 8 September 1938, these buildings were specially designed to provide accommodation for the elderly, including married couples, which was an innovation long resisted by the Local Government Board in its poorhouses.

Crookston Cottage Homes, photographed c.1989 © H. Richardson
Extract from the 1:25,000 OS map, published in 1958. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The Department of Health acknowledged the progressive step the Corporation was proposing and added a brief outline of what such a home should offer:

In a field as yet so little explored in Scotland, the Department feel that it would be unwise to attempt too rigid a definition of the type of institution suitable for this purpose and they are anxious to encourage experiment by authorities on any lines that promise a reasonable prospect of success. An old peoples’ home should usually be small, and the needs of populous areas should be met by multiplying the number of homes rather than by increasing the size of the institution. Such a home should be, if possible, near the old haunts of the people who are to occupy it, so that they may not feel exiled or be too far from their friends. Most of the accommodation should consist of rooms for private occupation by single people, with possibly one or more dormitories containing not more than four or five beds for inmates who prefer them or for whom they are adjudged more suitable. One good hot meal a day should be provided in a central dining room accessible without exposure to the weather, but the inmates should be allowed to make their other meals in their own rooms if they so desire. [Sources: Strathclyde Regional Archives, Minutes of Renfrewshire Combination Poorhouse, Crookston Cottage Homes, opening brochure, 1938: Department of Health for Scotland, 8th Annual Report, 1937, p.132: Scottish Record Office, plans, RHP 30867/1‑13.]

Crookston Cottage Homes, c.1989 © H. Richardson
This gloomy photograph does not really do justice to this range at Crookston Cottage Homes. Photograph c.1989 (c) H. Richardson

DAVID ELDER INFIRMARY, GOVAN (demolished)  The Infirmary was completed in 1928, designed by the firm of John Keppie and Henderson. Alexander Elder allocated £100,000 from his estate to construct a hospital shortly before he died in 1915. The hospital was to be built in memory of his father David Elder (1785‑1866) who had founded the Elder Dempster Company and is generally regarded as the father of marine engineering on the Clyde. The site was acquired in 1919 though delays, due to prohibitive costs, lead to the project only beginning in 1925. Dr D. J. Mackintosh, the Medical Superintendent of Glasgow’s Western Infirmary, was consulted over the design of the hospital. Mackintosh had by this date become a recognised authority on hospital construction within the medical profession and was increasingly called in to consult with the architects of new hospitals.

Extract from the 1:25,000 OS map, published in 1958. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The design for the David Elder Infirmary consisted of seven blocks, two for administration, two for wards and one for the operating theatre. It provided 43 beds for general surgery and a further seven beds for gynaecology cases. The trustees handed over the Infirmary to the Managers of the Western Infirmary in December 1927. The blocks are grey‑harled with blond sandstone dressings, they are mostly quite plain with any architectural interest reserved for the two‑storey administration block with its mansard roof and pedimented dormers.

aa hosp sep 21096
Photograph taken in about 1988 © H. Richardson

In 1963 with the construction of the new ring road which cut off the infirmary and the Elder Cottage Hospital from the Southern General it was considered that the smaller hospitals would eventually be closed. The David Elder infirmary continued as a gynaecological unit until after 1985 before finally closing down. [A postcard of the hospital can be seen on the Mitchell Library’s Glasgow Story web page]

DRUMCHAPEL HOSPITAL (demolished)  Drumchapel Hospital was designed by Robert Bryden after Miss Margaret Montgomery Paterson of Dunblane gifted £6,000 to construct a Country Branch of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in 1901 on a one‑and‑a‑half acre site near Drumchapel station. The hospital comprised two wards of twelve beds each with a sun-room. It was intended for long‑stay patients suffering from severe chronic illnesses. 

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1914. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1921 it was extended to provide 30 beds and in 1929 a major extension scheme was carried out after a gift of 17,000 from Peter Coats’ Trustees. Five additional wards, a nurses home and a new administration block were constructed and the hospital re‑opened on 31 October 1930.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1933-4. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The extensions were by James Cairns and incorporated some innovative features including heating panels in the ceiling and vita glass to permit the penetration of ultra‑violet rays. In 1966 a new 120‑bed geriatric unit was begun on the site with a new kitchen and dining area. This, like the geriatric units at Lighburn and Canniesburn, was based on the unit at Cameron Hospital in Fife.

Drumchapel Hospital, photographed in 1996 by Michelle O’Connell, reproduced under Creative Commons Licence CC BY-NC 2.O 

The original hospital buildings have since been demolished. Drumchapel Day Hospital was built to the north in the 1960s-70s, on the site of the original hospital a new facility for patients with mental health problems has been built, Surehaven Hospital, and Almond View care home has been built on the site of the 1930s ward blocks. [For a historic photograph of the hospital and further details of its history see the Historic Hospital Admission Records Project – HHARP web page]

DUKE STREET HOSPITAL (largely demolished)   Duke Street Hospital originally opened as the Eastern District Hospital in 1904. It was designed by the London architect, Alfred Hessel Tiltman, for Glasgow Parish Council as part of a scheme to provide a comprehensive system of poor relief. The scheme constituted a departure from the former system of the combined poorhouse which catered for all categories of the poor, including lunatics and the physically sick. In 1899 the Council decided to build three poor law hospitals. Stobhill Hospital (see below) was intended for children and the infirm, the Western and Eastern District hospitals for acute cases. This was intended to give better treatment to the sick poor, in purpose‑built accommodation and in line with the facilities for patients with infectious diseases.

The only part of the hospital still standing is the front range, between the pubs on the map above. Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1910. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

All three hospitals, and a new nurses home at Woodilee, were formally opened on 15 September 1904. The Eastern District hospital in Duke Street was built at a cost of 75,000 and provided 240 beds for medical, surgical, dermatological, paediatric and maternity cases. It also contained 22 beds for mental observation cases, which were the first such in Scotland. The façade of the building is of three storeys plus attic in the French Renaissance style, giving a lively roof‑line and dominated by the central decoratively shaped gable. It has something of the air of Thomson and Sandilands slightly earlier buildings for Gartloch Hospital. The main ward blocks were built to the rear in a radial plan turning on a circular stair tower.

The former hospital photographed in 2014, it was converted into offices and flats in 2000. © Copyright Leslie Barrie and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Minor additions were carried out in the ensuing years. The maternity unit was enlarged during the 1940s. In the 1950s, x‑ray facilities were installed and a premature sick babies unit established. During the 1960’s a Physiotherapy unit was built, a new premature sick baby unit completed and a new psychiatric out‑patient department opened in May 1970 at Carsewell house formerly the nurses’ home. [Sources: Building Journal, 28 November 1906: G. A. Mackay, Management & Construction of Poorhouses & Almshouses, Edinburgh, 1908.]

EAST PARK HOME, MARYHILL  The principal building on the site dates from 1888 and is an attractive domestic style building. Extensions of 1932 and 1939 were carried out by John Fairweather and by Fairweather & Son in 1947. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow, 1990, p.330. See also which gives a full history and photographs of the Home, which is still operating but the buildings have undergone many changes.]

Extract from the 2nd edition OS Map revised in 1893-4. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Extract from the 2nd edition OS Map revised in 1909. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

ELDER COTTAGE HOSPITAL, DRUMOYNE ROAD, GOVAN   Designed by Sir J. J. Burnet in 1901‑2 it was erected in memory of John Elder, the third son of David Elder, by his wife Mrs Isabella Elder.

The Elder Cottage Hospital, photographed in 2012 by acumfaegovan on flickr,  reproduced under Creative Commons Licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

John Elder died in 1869 at the age of 45. Mrs Elder originally intended to establish a cottage maternity hospital staffed by women and had plans drawn up accordingly by Burnet in consultation with Dr D. J. Mackintosh. The building was practically completed when it was decided that it should be used as a general hospital instead. The medical ward named after Sophia Jex Blake opened on 4 August 1903 and the surgical ward named after Florence Nightingale in the following year.

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

The hospital is of two stories and attic with a symmetrical facade, in the domestic style of the English late Stuart Renaissance. The wide entrance with its heavy canopy and sweep of the retaining railings is a distinctive feature. Already in 1938 the Scottish hospitals survey criticised the hospital as over crowded, old and deficient, and recommended that it be closed. In 1957 it was converted to a purely surgical unit although again in 1965 closure was recommended due to the inadequate theatre and ancillary accommodation. Eventually in 1989, despite strong local opposition, the hospital closed.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1933. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Attached to the hospital was a nurses’ home of one storey, harled with half timbered gables, also built by J. J. Burnet.

GARTLOCH HOSPITAL    Designed by Thomson and Sandilands in 1889, as the City of Glasgow District Asylum for pauper lunatics. Its notable Beaux‑Arts feature of formal planning was ideally suited to such a complex institution.

The former Gartloch Mental Hospital, photographed by Chris Upson in 2006  © Copyright Chris Upson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The inaugural meeting of the District Lunacy Board was held in August 1888 and the site of Gartloch purchased in January the following year, a competition was held for the plans. The foundation stone was laid on 8 November 1892. It was planned to accommodate 570. As Woodilee marked the new developments of the 1870s so Gartloch marks the next stage in asylum design. The site falls into two halves with the largest section to the north‑east dominated by the imposing administration block with its splendid towers, a landmark visible from miles around. This forms the nucleus of the asylum section, a group of six tall, three‑storey buildings, including the four villas with link corridors, and gabled single storey ranges for workshops, kitchen, laundry and boiler house, all surviving in excellent condition. Indeed, with the demise of the core of Woodilee, Gartloch was, in 1990, the best preserved of the great Glasgow asylums.

By 2010 the main building had gravely deteriorated, as can be seen in this photograph taken by Stephen Sweeney in May that year.  © Copyright Stephen Sweeney and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The most important feature of the plan was the provision, in the southern half of the site, of a self‑contained hospital section. This innovative feature allowed for the treatment of patients from the asylum section whilst suffering from additional sickness and provided small isolation wards for infectious diseases. The Hospital section has a two‑storey, U‑plan block containing its administrative centre, across the green from the asylum section. Behind this is the single‑storey, H‑plan ward block with central kitchen and dining facilities. South‑facing verandas were provided to allow open‑air treatment. The first patients were admitted in December 1896 although the official opening took place six months later. The buildings form an impressive range, built in red sandstone the administration block is dominated by massive twin pinnacled towers as at Woodilee, but the style is altogether different, in the French Renaissance manner with rich carved details. The decorated, spikey dormer‑heads add particular verve to the appearance of the buildings.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1897. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

A three‑storey nurses’ home was added to the south‑west which opened on 1 June 1900 providing sixty beds. It closely resembles the asylum villas in style with slightly less decorative detail. Further extensions were carried out including a 50 bed sanatorium which opened in December 1902 (now demolished) and in 1904 a farm workers block was completed (also now demolished), with a fine farm-steading now lying in derelict condition. In 1937‑9 a new Nurses’ Home was built on the western edge of the site, designed by Thomas Somers, the City Engineer. It is a strongly horizontal, streamlined building with boldly‑bowed day rooms on the ground floor. During the Second World War the patients were evacuated and the buildings converted into a casualty hospital under the Emergency Medical Scheme (EMS). EMS huts were built from which a 160‑bed medical unit was retained after the war and a nurses training school established in conjunction with it by 1955. The unit was given over to geriatric patients in 1968. [Sources: Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives, Annual Reports; The Builder, 16 Nov. 1889, p.356; 17 Sept. 1898, p.255; Building News, 15 Nov. 1889, p.682.]

GARTNAVEL GENERAL HOSPITAL, GREAT WESTERN ROAD   In May 1963 the Western Regional Hospitals Board recommended to the Secretary of State for Scotland that two new hospitals should be built in Glasgow, at the Western Infirmary and Gartnavel sites.

Gartnavel General Hospital photographed in 2014 © Copyright Thomas Nugent and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The plans for Gartnavel were drawn up by Keppie, Henderson & Partners in association with the regional Architect T. D. W. Astorga, and provided for a hospital of 576 beds in an eight storey ward block on a three‑storey podium. Staff and student accommodation were provided in adjacent blocks. Work began in April 1968. When the Glasgow Eye Infirmary was destroyed by fire in January 1971 the allocation of beds at Gartnavel was revised. The first part of the new hospital was occupied by the commissioning team in June 1972 and the first patient transferred from the orthopaedic wards at Killearn Hospital in December that year. The Hospital was fully operational in mid‑1973 and the official opening performed by Princess Alexandra on 6 October 1973.

GARTNAVEL ROYAL HOSPITAL, GREAT WESTERN ROAD   Built to replace William Stark’s asylum which had been steadily expanding since its construction in 1810. The new site was acquired in 1839 and the managers commissioned Charles Wilson to design a new asylum. The foundation stone was laid on 1 June 1842. The asylum was designed in two distinct parts connected by an imposing chapel and offices. The chapel was not built until the turn of the century, when Sir J. J. Burnet was employed to provide new plans. The East House was designed for lower class patients and the West House for high class patients. Separate airing grounds were provided for the lower and upper classes to the rear of each wing.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map surveyed in 1893-4. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The plan, which combined single rooms with wide corridors serving as day rooms with small wards, became the standard plan for subsequent asylums and was adopted by the Board of Lunacy for the early District Asylums. Wilson designed a large castellated Tudor style building mostly of two storeys, on an imposing sloping site.

Gartnavel Royal Hospital, photographed in 2007. The original hospital on the expansive Gartnavel complex. Viewed over the rooftop of the ambulance depot. © Copyright Thomas Nugent and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The hospital was designed to accommodate four hundred and twenty patients but the total capacity was raised to six hundred by 1847. On 22nd November 1877 a series of major additions were opened including a new dining and recreation hall, a separate dining room for private patients and a large general bathroom.The central chapel was finally built in 1904 to designs by J. J. Burnet.

In 1937, on 21 June, the new nurses’ home by Norman Dick was opened to accommodate one hundred nurses. Its striking design shows the influence of Dudok’s brick buildings. In 1959 a new two‑storey extension, Henderson House was opened on 11 December, which provided 80 beds and relieved some of the overcrowding at the hospital. Built at a cost of £100,000, it was hailed at the time as the first of its kind to be completed in Scotland. It was intended for women patients, whose accommodation was mostly in six-bed dormitories, complemented by 30 single rooms. There were also treatment rooms, visitors’ waiting rooms and rooms for staff and doctors. The architects were Burnett and Boston of Glasgow in conjunction with the architectural department of the Western Regional Hospital Board.  In 1970 a new industrial and occupational therapy unit was completed. Two years later a new 25‑place day hospital was opened and work began on a new 60‑bed psycho‑geriatric unit.

The hospital underwent several changes of name from the Glasgow Royal Asylum for Lunatics, which it adopted on being granted a Royal Charter in 1824, to the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital, in 1931, until it adopted its present {1990} name in 1963. [Sources: RCAHMS, National Monuments Record of Scotland, drawings collection; The Hospital, Jan. 1960 p.66.]

GLASGOW DENTAL HOSPITAL & SCHOOL, RENFREW STREET    Wylie, Wright & Wylie designed the building fronting Renfrew Street 1926‑7 and it is one of Glasgow’s most distinguished buildings of this period. The hospital and school was founded in 1879, opening on 10 November in George Street at Anderson’s College Medical School. It became independent in 1885 and moved to George Square. After George Square, where it remained about four years, it moved to Chatham Place and from there it moved to St Vincent Place in 1896. In 1903 it moved to the upper floors of a house on the corner of Dalhousie Street and Renfrew Street and later acquired the rest of the building.

Glasgow Dental Hospital, photographed in June 2019 © H. Blakeman

The new site was acquired in October 1926 and the buildings completed and occupied by November 1931. The new hospital was a steel framed building of four storeys with tall, giant order windows in cast‑iron frames with Art Deco panels between floors. The bold galleried top floor derives from J. J. Burnet. In October 1947 the Dental School became affiliated to the University and the Hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948. Shortly after this the new Board of Management proposed that the vacant site in Sauchiehall Street be purchased to allow for an extension. This was achieved in 1955 and F. R. Wylie commissioned to design the new building.

Glasgow Dental Hospital, photographed in June 2019 © H. Blakeman

A number of Dental Schools in Scandinavia were visited, regarded to be the most advanced in Europe. Work began in 1966 and the new hospital was opened by the Duchess of Kent on 3 December 1970. [Sources: The Builder, 7 Sept. 1928, p.372, p.382‑6 (ill.); Quarterly of the RIAS, 39, p.15.]

GLASGOW EAR, NOSE & THROAT HOSPITAL This began as a dispensary for treating diseases of the ear which opened in 1872 (see below). Around 1880 in-patients were admitted. In 1905 it became the Glasgow Ear Nose and Throat Hospital. From premises in Elmbank Crescent, it moved to St Vincent Street in 1926. It closed in 1982. [Sources NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde archives]

GLASGOW EYE INFIRMARY, SANDYFORD PLACE   The buildings occupied by the Eye Infirmary were built by Brown & Carrick, from 1842‑56, as a domestic terrace. The Eye Infirmary purchased the first of these houses in 1928, when it acquired No.4 as a new out‑patients’ department and nurses’ home. The Infirmary was founded in 1824, opening on 7 June at No.19, Inkle Factory Lane. In 1871 a new site was acquired on which to erect a purpose‑built hospital (now demolished), in Claremont Street opposite the Independent Church. J. J. Burnet designed a French Gothic building which was opened on 4 May 1874 for out‑ patients and on 18 May for in‑patients with an official ceremony on 27 April.

In 1931 the Infirmary acquired No.5 Sandyford Place, and from 1934‑5 added Nos.4, 6 and 3, which were then adapted by Burnet, Tait & Lorne. The Eye Infirmary finally purchased No.2 Sandyford Place in 1954. [Sources:A. M. Wright Thomson, The Glasgow Eye Infirmary, 1824‑1962, Glasgow, 1963: Building News, 7 June 1872, p.455: Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow, 1990, p.290.]

GLASGOW HOMEOPATHIC HOSPITAL, 1000, GREAT WESTERN ROAD   From 1929 to 1999 the Homeopathic Hospital occupied this substantial villa built c.1887 with some fine domestic interiors. Dr R. Gibson Miller was primarily responsible for establishing a homeopathic dispensary which opened in March 1909 at No.8 Berkeley Street with financial assistance from the Houldsworth family. The first hospital opened at No.5 Lynedock Crescent in May 1914. It became known as the Houldsworth Homeopathic Hospital and was intended to promote the training of homeopathic practitioners. In 1921 a separate Children’s hospital was established at Mount Vernon, in a house gifted by Mr and Mrs William Fyfe. In 1929 the house of Glen Tower was purchased by the managers and was converted by Norman Dick, who remodelled the interior to give the impression of a comfortable nursing home. In the 1930s attempts were made to raise funds to build a new purpose‑built hospital and a new site purchased in Julian Avenue but the money collected was insufficient. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow, 1990, p.315: Glasgow Herald, 25 May 1914, p.5.]

GLASGOW HOSPITAL AND DISPENSARY FOR DISEASES OF THE EAR, 27‑8, ELMBANK CRESCENT   This specialist hospital was founded in 1872 and provided fourteen beds.[Sources: Medical Directory, 1904.]

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1897, showing Elmbank Crescent, where three specialist hospitals were then located. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

GLASGOW HOSPITAL FOR SKIN DISEASES, 30, ELMBANK CRESCENT   This specialist hospital for skin diseases was established in 1861. [Sources: Medical Directory, 1904.]

GLASGOW HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN, 29, ELMBANK CRESCENT   The Glasgow Hospital for Women was established in 1877 and provided ten beds. [Sources:Medical Directory, 1904]

GLASGOW LOCK HOSPITAL, 41 Rottenrow   This specialist hospital for treating cases of venereal disease was established in 1805. By the mid-nineteenth century there were other institutions near by. Just to the west was an Industrial and Reformatory school, and further west still an Asylum for Indigent Old Men.

Extract from the OS large-scale Town Plans, 1857. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Extract from the OS large-scale Town Plans, 1857. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1892-3. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was still in operation at the turn of the century by which time it provided forty‑two beds. [Sources: Medical Directory, 1904.]

Glasgow Ophthalmic Institute

GLASGOW ROYAL ASYLUM (demolished)   Glasgow’s Royal Asylum, designed by William Stark in 1810, was probably the most important hospital to be built in Scotland. Its pioneering design was widely influential both in Scotland, the rest of Britain and on the Continent. It was the first time that the radial plan was introduced into hospital design, derived from Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon. This type of plan was peculiarly adapted to the purposes of a lunatic asylum at this date, when supervision and security were at least as important as the comfort and possible cure of the patients.

Extract from the OS large-scale Town Plans, 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Detail of the above, showing the use at that time of the rooms in the central hub, and the complex system of corridors and stairs. OS large-scale Town Plans, 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

In his ‘Remarks on the Construction of Public Hospitals for the Cure of Mental Derangement’, Stark outlined the principles of his plan:

The ground which will surround the building is of such a size as to admit of its being formed into a number of distinct enclosures, which, by means of separate passages, or stair cases, will connect with the wards of the several classes of patients. By these means the patients of each will have… the most direct and immediate access to that enclosure which is assigned to them for air and recreation; while it may be put completely out of their power to go beyond their own boundary, or to meet with, or even see, any individuals belonging to the other classes. In this way, each class may be formed into a society inaccessible to all others, while, by a peculiar distribution of the day rooms, galleries, and grounds, the patients, during the whole day, will be constantly in view of their keepers, and the superintendent, on his part, will have his eye on the patients, and keepers.

In this way Stark sought to obtain an asylum ‘ensuring the safety, and promoting the recovery, of the insane of every rank’. Supervision was obviously a key feature of the plan. This was a feature which persisted through at least the first half of the nineteenth century until gradually the quality of the staff available to work in the asylums as keepers and the conditions in which they worked improved.

The plan itself had an octagonal tower at its hub within which were the apartments of the superintendent and other ancillary offices. From this radiated four wings which contained the patients’ accommodation. This comprised single rooms to one side of the wing accessed from a broad corridor which was to double as a day room. A stair gave access out into the airing court which was for exercise in fair weather.

As Stark had observed, the design also had potential for expansion, and it was not long before additions were being made at the outer ends of the wings. Eventually, however, it was realised that a new building on a new site was necessary and the asylum was replaced by Charles Wilson’s new asylum at Gartnavel in 1843. The old asylum found a new life as the new premises for Glasgow’s Town’s Hospital (see separate entry, under Glasgow).

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1892-3. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It remained in use as the city poorhouse until it was finally demolished at the turn of the twentieth century. By that time, as can be seen from the map above, the surrounding area was heavily built up, and was probably uncomfortably close to Buchanan Street Goods station.

GLASGOW ROYAL INFIRMARY, CASTLE STREET   In commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 the managers of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary decided to rebuild Robert Adam’s Royal Infirmary of 1792 (see below).

Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Glasgow Cathedral, photographed in 2009  © Copyright G Laird and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

In 1900 competition plans were judged in consultation with Rowand Anderson, and James Miller was eventually chosen as architect. Work proceeded slowly and amidst lengthy disputes over the merits of the plans and in particular the height of the buildings which was felt would dwarf the cathedral, and indeed it did. Miller’s first plans for a severe Baronial building were revised in favour of a design which echoed elements of Adam’s Infirmary, notably in the Cathedral Square facade, although the result is less than satisfactory, as Adam’s classical scale and proportions were lost in Miller’s stretched elevation. The massiveness of the Baronial High Street elevation is partially relieved by the domed drum towers with baroque cupolas and the open loggias linking the central block to its lower flanking ranges.

Valentine’s ‘Art Colour’ postcard of the cathedral and Royal Infirmary against Cameron tartan background

In 1909 the first phase of Miller’s scheme was opened with the completion of the surgical block to the north. In 1911 the pathological Institute was opened and in 1914 the medical block to the south was opened by King George V. The 1860s surgical hospital in which Joseph Lister had initiated his research into antiseptic surgery was originally to be retained but was demolished in the 1920s and replaced by the gatehouse block.

Main front of the Royal Infirmary, photographed in September 2018. © H. Richardson

Phase one of the National Health Service rebuilding of the Infirmary at the northern edge of the site was designed by Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson, 1971‑82. [Sources: Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow, 1990, p.146‑7: The Builder, 29 Dec. 1900, p.592; 18 May 1907, p.604‑6.]

GLASGOW ROYAL INFIRMARY (Former, demolished)   It was not until the end of the eighteenth century that Glasgow established a rival infirmary to Edinburgh. There has been some debate as to whether the Town’s Hospital in Glasgow was not the first purpose‑built hospital in Scotland, but a careful reading of the minutes for that institution reveal that it was, from the first, considered to be a workhouse, albeit with some medical attendance.

Extract from the OS large-scale Town Plans, 1857. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

In comparison with the other town infirmaries which were in existence by the end of the eighteenth century, such as Aberdeen and Dumfries Royal Infirmaries, Robert Adam’s Glasgow Royal Infirmary was a far more ambitious design and its impressive principal elevation was a dignified expression of civic pride. It is hard not to see it as a deliberate gesture towards Edinburgh of one‑up‑manship, particularly in the choice of architect. However, Robert Adam was not the Infirmary managers first choice and was only brought in, almost by chance, following the death of the first appointed architect and the refusal of his assistant to take over the commission.

Raphael Tuck & Sons postcard, showing the Royal Infirmary to the left of the cathedral.

Robert Adam was requested to produce plans for the infirmary in November 1791. It was, of course, in early March of the following year that he died, leaving his younger brother James Adam to continue as architect to the Infirmary. Death continued to shadow the new building as James Adam died in 1794, the year that it was completed. An ironic echoe of Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, where William Adam had died in 1748, the year that his infirmary building was completed.

Detail of the OS large-scale Town Plans, 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Robert Adam’s first designs for the infirmary were rejected as being too expensive at a cost of £8,725. The cost was reduced in subsequent plans but the end result did not lack the flair that one would expect from the architect. The main facade was symmetrical with a broad, central entrance bay which was slightly advanced with canted returns. Above the entrance a typical Adam style fanlighted tripartite window was set within a pediment carried on coupled columns. The centre bay was flanked by three bays and the front was terminated by projecting broad bays which repeated the window on the piano‑nobile. The ground floor was rusticated and the outer bays had diocletian windows. A dome was placed at the centre, with its drum ornamented with carved swags. The only other infirmary to come near to this in richness was Gillespie Graham’s Grays Hospital in Elgin of 1815.

A great many alterations and additions were made to the infirmary before it was eventually demolished to make way for James Miller’s bulky replacement.

GLASGOW ROYAL MATERNITY HOSPITAL, ROTTENROW   The hospital has its origins in the Glasgow Lying‑in Hospital and Dispensary founded in 1834 in the Old Grammar School in Greyfriars Wynd. This moved in 1841 to St Andrews Square until it relocated to the Rottenrow.

The remains of the Rottenrow building, photographed in 2005 © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The new Glasgow Maternity Hospital opened in 1881 on 11 January, designed by Robert Baldie, this building was converted into staff accommodation in 1928 and is to the east of the site. In April 1908 a large extension was opened, designed by R. A. Bryden in 1903 it was completed after his death in 1906 by his son’s partner Andrew Robertson. It incorporated a gynaecology department, operating theatre with accommodation for 60 students, a 90 seat lecture theatre and 108 obstetric beds. In 1914 a Royal charter was granted and the hospital became known as the Glasgow Royal Maternity and Women’s hospital.

Extract from the 2nd-edition OS Map, revised in 1910. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In January 1926 a new laboratory was completed. The out‑patients’ department of six storeys opened in 1955. The hospital expanded substantially on its tight site, losing in the process any overall cohesion. In 2001 it moved to new premises at the Royal Infirmary and the Rottenrow site sold to Strathclyde University. Most of the buildings were demolished, and a public open space laid out on the site. [Sources: D. Dow, The Rottenrow, Carnforth, 1984.]

Homeopathic Children’s Hospital, Mount Vernon

KENNEDY STREET FEVER HOSPITAL (demolished) A temporary fever hospital built and opened in 1865 comprising timber hutted ward blocks. Originally known as the Parliamentary Road Fever Hospital. It was built by the Glasgow Town Council, and largely superseded by Belvedere Hospital although it was pressed into service during times of epidemics. It was only finally demolished following the erection of Ruchill Hospital in 1900. Baird Street Auxiliary Hospital (see above) was erected on a part of the site.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1892-3. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Plans were drawn up by John Carrick, the City architect. The hospital was put up and opened in haste, wards were built in pairs, originally with four pavilions providing eight 16-bed wards – these were subdivided to partition off five beds for convalescents. Water-closets were placed in short spurs or annexes separated from the wards by an entrance lobby. Heating was by open fireplace at each end of the ward, supplemented by hot-water pipes round the walls. Ventilation was through skylights, opened by rope and pulley, as well as the windows.

Block plan of the hospital from the first Annual Report.

The first ward pavilions were built at the southern end of the site. By the early 1880s further pavilions had been built on the northern half of the site.

Section and plan of typical ward pavilion, from the first Annual Report.

Only one of the original pavilions was built of brick, the rest were of timber on brick foundations, as was the medical superintendent’s house. To two of the pavilions, further wards were appended, with just four beds each, in order to be able to admit more than just fever cases. In all 136 beds were provided. To the south of the original ward pavilions was a range containing nurses’ dormitories, kitchen and store, and further south a dispensary and the dead house. There were also baths, wash-house and laundry; disinfecting house, heating apparatus, straw-house, stables and lodge. [Sources Glasgow Fever Hospital, Annual Report 1866]

KNIGHTSWOOD HOSPITAL   Built as the Joint Infectious Diseases Hospital for the Burghs of Maryhill, Hillhead and Partick to designs by Clarke & Bell, the hospital was built in 1875‑7. It originally comprised two ward pavilions, a third being added in 1887 for smallpox cases.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1896. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland. It is unusual to see the hospital designated as for contagious diseases rather than infectious. The row of cottages to the north is also curious, as they see very isolated. They look like workers’ housing, but there is no sign of a nearby works or colliery, though they may be connected with railway construction as just to the east was the terminus of the Cowdenhill branch line.

In 1912 it was taken over by Glasgow Corporation and between the wars it was greatly extended. By the time of the 1938 Hospitals Survey there were nine pavilions and 200 beds. By the 1960s the hospital was providing support services for the Western Infirmary with beds for cardiology, neurology and chest medicine. A new laundry was built in 1966. In 1971 a geriatric day unit was opened. The site was somewhat cluttered by 1990 with an architecturally unrelated series of buildings from the various phases of the hospital’s development. By that time the only in-patients were geriatrics. The last patients were decanted by March 2000 and the hospital was then closed. Since then the site has been cleared and redeveloped with housing – the old workers cottages have also been replaced.

LEVERNDALE HOSPITAL, CROOKSTON ROAD   Originally Govan District Asylum and later known as Hawkhead Asylum this large hospital finally changed its name to Leverndale.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
Apartments, Leverndale Hospital. Some of the old hospital have been sympathetically converted and some new buildings added, making up a residential estate. The water tower can be seen behind this fine building. Photographed in 2011 by W. F. Millar  © Copyright wfmillar and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Leverndale Hospital photographed in the late 1980s. © H. Richardson

It was begun in 1893 to designs by Malcolm Stark. Until 1888 the Govan area had come under the Lunacy Districts of Glasgow and Renfrewshire, but Govan Parochial Board requested that there be a separate Lunacy District for Govan. This was created by the General Board of Lunacy in 1888. The site of Hawkhead was purchased in c.1889 and eight local architects requested to submit plans for a 400‑bed asylum, with an administrative section suitable for an extended asylum of 600 hundred beds. Malcolm Stark won the competition in February 1890 although the location on the site for the buildings was not decided on until six months later. The foundation stone was laid on 3 October 1893 and the first patients admitted in September 1895, with the formal opening taking place on 23 January 1896.

Villa at Leverndale Hospital photographed in the late 1980s. © H. Richardson

The hospital follows the same basic plan as Gartloch which shortly predates Leverndale, with its division into separate hospital and asylum sections. The asylum section, situated on the highest part of the estate, is dominated by the Italianate water‑ tower and the buttressed recreation hall. It is flanked by the patients’ pavilions and to the rear is the administration building, its two bold turrets overpowering the elevation. In 1908 two single‑storey pavilions for 60 patients each were built flanking the administration block and two three‑storey villas for staff accommodation, each with 20 bedrooms and a recreation room. The Hospital section is situated to the south‑east and was extended to the south c.1930, though sadly derelict in the late 1980s.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1934. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Leverndale Hospital in the 1980s. This was an addition to the hospital section.© H. Richardson

In the 1920s a further development on the site below the main buildings, near the entrance gates, was built. In around 1972 new units for psycho‑geriatric patients were begun on ground immediately below the main range. During the 1980s the former farm steading and the Medical Superintendent’s House were demolished. [Sources: The Builder, 28 Sept. 1895, p.224: Building News, 7 Feb. 1890, p.294: Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives, plans.]

LIGHTBURN HOSPITAL   Built on the site of the old Lightburn Infectious Diseases Hospital (see below), which closed on 14 March 1964. The site was then transferred to the Board of Management for Glasgow Royal Infirmary and plans prepared by R. T. Cunningham for a two‑ward unit for 120 geriatric patients. The design was based on a unit built by the South Eastern Regional Hospitals Board. A new patients’ recreation hall was added in 1972 and a day hospital in 1977.

LIGHTBURN INFECTIOUS DISEASES HOSPITAL   The lodge is all that now remains of the hospital designed by James Thomson, and built 1893‑6.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1897. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland. 

It closed in 1964 and was demolished to make way for a new Geriatric Hospital (see above). [Sources:The Builder, 9 May 1896, p.407.]

MEARNSKIRK HOSPITAL, NEWTON MEARNS   (see under Renfrewshire) 

MONTROSE MATERNITY HOME, 42-44 Merryland Street, GOVAN  A private maternity hospital, established in the early 1930s in a converted house or houses.

Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 09.29.41
Extract from the 25-inch OS map revised in 1933. (Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.)

By 1943 it consisted of four villas linked together and had 29 beds. When it was inspected during the Second World War as part of the Scottish Hospitals Survey, it was found to be providing a useful service – there being a general shortage of maternity beds in Glasgow – and it was anticipated that it would be needed for some years to come. However, the coming National Health Service had a serious and detrimental effect on the hospital’s income, with such a decline in subscriptions that it was forced to close, quite suddenly, in 1946.

Screenshot 2021-05-20 at 09.20.27
Extract from the OS 1:1250 map revised in 1949 (Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.)

The hospital had reopened by 1949 as the St Francis Maternity Home. The Franciscan Sisters Minoress founded in London in the 1880s had established a convent in Merryland Street in 1946, and presumably took over the maternity home when it was forced to close. The maternity hospital is now the St Francis Care Home. A new building was constructed behind the original villas, probably in the 1980s, and the original villas have been restored to domestic use, perhaps rather heavy-handedly, but retaining some fine stonework and decorative timber barge boards on the façades. [Sources, Department of Health For Scotland, Scottish Hospitals Survey, Report on the Western Region, 1946: The Scotsman, 3 April 1948. With grateful thanks to K. Doran who set me off to find out more about the hospital and provided me with the address. ]


Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1897. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

OAKBANK HOSPITAL   Formerly the Western District Hospital, it was established by Glasgow Parish Council as a poor law hospital along with the Eastern District Hospital (later Duke Street Hospital) and Stobhill Hospital. All three hospitals were officially opened on the same day, 15 September 1904.

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

It closed in 1965 as an acute general hospital, but was used to house the Royal Hospital for Sick Children during the construction of the Yorkhill building from 1966 to 1971. [Sources NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives]

Parliamentary Road Hospital, see Kennedy Street hospital above

QUEEN MOTHER’S HOSPITAL, YORKHILL   The proposal to build a maternity hospital by the children’s hospital at Yorkhill was first made shortly after the Second World War. Outline plans were drawn up by J. L. Gleave & Partners for an 80‑bed unit in 1955, this was later increased to a one hundred‑bed unit. Site preparation began in 1960, and construction work in February 1961. The hospital was partially opened in January 1964, the opening ceremony taking place on 23 September by the Queen Mother. The hospital closed in 2010, replaced by the redeveloped Southern General Hospital.

REDLANDS HOSPITAL, LANCASTER CRESCENT   Redlands house was built in 1870 for James Mirrlees, a Glasgow businessman, to designs by James Boucher. It was a substantial, square three‑storey villa with a symmetrical three‑bay facade.

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

In 1902 the Glasgow Women’s Private Hospital was established to provide hospital treatment for women by women doctors. It was originally situated in West Cumberland Street (now Ashley Street) in a converted house. In 1915 it moved to No.11, Lynedoch Place. By 1921 the hospital managers had decided that expansion was necessary and launched an appeal for funds. This eventually resulted in the purchase of Redlands House. James Salmon was appointed to draw up plans for the conversion and extension of the house in 1922. Work proceeded somewhat slowly, there was a strike in the building trade and James Salmon died in April 1924, just four months before the first patients were admitted to the new hospital.

It was staffed entirely by women until 1955. Redlands Hospital closed in 1978. [Sources: D. Dow, Redlands House, Glasgow, 1985: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives.]

ROBROYSTON HOSPITAL (demolished)  Built as an isolation hospital for smallpox and tuberculosis cases, Robroyston Hospital opened in 1918. Initially it was used as a military hospital, but on its return to the local authority became the main TB sanatorium for Glasgow.

Western side of the hospital. Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1932. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Eastern side of the hospital. Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1932. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

A maternity unti was added in 1945. The hospital closed in 1977. [Sources NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives]

ROYAL BEATSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, HILL STREET   This specialist hospital was founded as the Glasgow Cancer Hospital, as a result of the efforts of Dr Hugh Murray. In 1886 he founded the Glasgow Cancer and Skin Institution at 409, St Vincent Street and in December 1889 a committee was formed to liaise with Dr Murray and establish a hospital. Premises were acquired at 163, Hill Street in the former Cowcaddens Free Church Manse and the hospital opened on 13 October 1890, with ten beds. It was the first Cancer Hospital in Scotland. It moved to its present site at 132 & 138 Hill Street in 1896 and an appeal was launched for funds to reconstruct the buildings in 1906. The work was carried out by James Munro & Sons and the hospital was re‑opened on 30 May 1912 by Princess Louise and a Royal Charter granted. It retained the scale of the Hill Street terraces and the domestic character except for the bold porte‑cochere. In 1930 a new nurses’ home was completed to a simple functional design typical of its date. [Sources: The Builder, 31 Oct. 1896, p.360: Buildings of Scotland, Glasgow, 1990, p.270: H. C. Burdett (ed.), Hospitals and Charities Year Book, 1925.]

ROYAL HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN, YORKHILL   The first children’s hospital in Glasgow opened in 1883 in a converted town house in Scott Street with 58 beds. In 1908 nineteen acres of land were purchased at Yorkhill including the mansion house which was demolished to make way for the new hospital. It was built at a cost of 140,000 to designs by Sir J. J. Burnet and opened by King George V and Queen Mary. During the First World War part of the building was used as a military hospital. In 1960 work began on a new wing for operating theatres and an x‑ ray department, it was completed in 1965 and in the same year, during work on one of the surgical wards, it was found that the entire Burnet building was structurally unsound and would need to be demolished. Patients were evacuated to Oakbank Hospital in January 1966. At this time, work was going forward on a three‑ storey block for an admission hall, casualty, medical records, nurses’ training school and University Department of Child Health. This was completed and opened in March 1967, with Yorkhill Court staff flats completed the following year.

The new hospital, designed by Baxter, Clark & Paul, was begun in 1968. It is eight storeys high of dark grey bricks with pink tinted glazing. The first patients were transferred from Oakbank in October 1971. A Laboratory block by Burnet, Bell & Partners was completed in March 1970. It closed in June 2015, but reopened as an Adult outpatient site (West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital) in December 2015. The site is due to completely close mid-2019. [Sources: Edna Robertson, The Yorkhill Story, Glasgow, 1972.] 

ROYAL SAMARITAN HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN, 69, COPLAW STREET   By the 1880s gynaecology as a surgical speciality was more widely recognised and in 1885 the Glasgow Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society was established. In the same year the first meeting of the Glasgow Samaritan Hospital for Women was held and the hospital opened in the following year in a converted house in South Cumberland Street. The official opening took place on 4 January 1886 and the hospital provided just three beds. It moved in 1890 to Kingston House in Tradeston, where there was room for ten beds. Two years later Miss Agnes Barr of Carphin presented the hospital with two houses in Paterson Street, for use as a dispensary and out‑patients’ department.

Main Building photographed in 2008. In 1991 the Royal Samaritan Hospital for Women was closed. In 1992 it was briefly re–opened as an orthopaedic and general surgery unit managed by the Victoria Infirmary. It was redeveloped in to Flats (30 units for sale and 13 for rent) by Govanhill Housing Association in February 2001/2.  © Copyright Alan Murray Walsh and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The new purpose‑built hospital was designed by the Glasgow architects MacWhannel and Rogerson in 1895. It was constructed from red sandstone in a mixed style with Scottish Baronial and Art Nouveau elements. Its conscious domestic character was very unusual and an early example of such deliberate use of psychology in hospital design. It is both architecturally and historically an important building. The Alice Mary Corbett Memorial Nurses’ Home was added to the hospital and opened on 12 April 1906. In April 1907 a new ward block was opened which increased the capacity of the hospital from 30 to 83 beds. Shortly afterwards a Royal Charter was granted. Before 1914 a new laundry and laboratory accommodation were built. In 1922 a new out‑patients’ dispensary was established and in 1927 a further large wing was added. In 1934 a Radiological Department was built and in 1936 a 30‑bed paying patients’ annexe was opened. [Sources: The Builder, 25 May 1895, p.398: D. Dow, The Royal Samaritan Hospital for Women, Glasgow, 1986 (centenary booklet): Glasgow Herald, 8 Sept. 1896.] 

RUCHILL HOSPITAL   Ruchill Hospital for infectious diseases was designed by A. B. McDonald, the City Architect. In 1892 Glasgow Corporation obtained power to purchase the lands of Ruchill for the joint purpose of laying out a public park and building the hospital. The site was selected for its accessibility from numerous districts occupied by an expanding working class. Its position on a hill, with the park adjacent to preserve the amenity, was chosen to ensure plenty of fresh air and sunshine to the patients, in an otherwise industrial area.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1896. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland. Showing the site before the hospital was erected, but with the bones of the park laid out and a Wash House and Disinfecting Station on the eastern edge of the site.

The hospital opened on 13 June 1900 and had cost in the region of £250,000. It is an important and relatively unaltered purpose‑built hospital, being an early attempt by a local authority to provide an infectious diseases hospital before the 1897 Public Health Act, incorporating all the modern developments in ventilation and sanitary facilities. The hill‑top site produced problems in providing an adequate water supply which necessitated the construction of the impressive water‑tower, which forms a distinctive landmark in the area.

The quantity of buildings on the site gave the whole the resemblance of a village. There were sixteen single‑storey ward blocks in two rows. Four of the blocks provided 20 beds the rest 30 beds. All the ward blocks and ancillary buildings were built of brick, except the administration building which also contained the nurses’ home, which was of stone. The water‑tower, in the manner of a Flemish bell tower, dominates the whole hospital and surroundings. Its gigantic battered stone plinth, rising to the height of the surrounding ward pavilions, supports the tall brick tower with its angles clasped by elongated pilasters. Above, an explosion of baroque detail crowns the tower with angle turrets and a nest of finialed cupolas. In comparison, the ward pavilions are plain, but they too have elegantly shaped gables and a few of the original timber sun balconies survive. The pavilions straddle the hill‑top. Below them, to the north, a group of three buildings were provided for an enquiry block, flanked by the mortuary with its octagonal laboratory and the clearing house. The enquiry block is placed at the head of steep steps up from the entrance. Two picturesque lodges flank the entrance, which formerly also had an ornate archway. Along the road adjacent to the lodges are two staff houses and eight semi‑detached staff cottages with bold cast‑iron railings enclosing the site. The accommodation of the hospital was greatly extended when the TB hospital was built to the rear. Most of these white‑painted, rough cast blocks have now been redeveloped. [Sources: Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives, commemorative brochure for opening; plans.]

RUTHERGLEN MATERNITY HOSPITAL   First projected in the 1960s, it was originally planned to build a maternity unit at the Royal Samaritan Hospital for Women but this was abandoned after the site was surveyed and problems of subsidence discovered. The Rutherglen site was acquired in 1967 and plans revised for a hospital with 79 specialist beds and 25 GP beds. The plans were drawn up by Frank Campbell. The first patient was admitted into the new hospital in the autumn of 1978 and the hospital was officially opened by Princess Alexandra on 18 May 1979. The open balconies are a particular feature of this building. Despite much protest, the hospital closed in 1998.

SAINT FRANCIS MATERNITY HOME (see under Montrose Maternity Home)

SCHAW AUXILIARY HOSPITAL, DRYMEN ROAD, BEARSDEN   This dramatic building situated on rising ground was built in c.1895 to designs by James Thomson.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1896. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

It was built as an auxiliary hospital for Glasgow Royal Infirmary. It has been converted to private housing.

SHIELDHALL HOSPITAL, GOVAN A local authority infectious diseases hospital, situated just to the south of the Govan Combination poorhouse. A geriatric unit was added in the 1960s, based on the Cameron Hospital, Fife, unit.

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

SOUTHERN GENERAL HOSPITAL, GOVAN   The Southern General Hospital was originally built as the new Govan Poorhouse to replace the old premises in disused cavalry barracks in Eglinton Street. The barracks had been converted into poorhouse accommodation in 1852 by Black & Salmon, and comprised a series of day‑rooms on the ground floor with a double row of wards above. Ill‑ventilated with just one window the wards mostly held twelve beds. The new Govan Poorhouse was designed in 1867 by James Thomson and follows a similar lay‑out to Edinburgh’s Craiglockhart Poorhouse, with a central poorhouse block flanked by an asylum section and a hospital section.

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

The three‑storey poorhouse section is dominated by a distinctive clock tower, rather French Renaissance in style, and has a varied roofline with French style roofs capped with decorative iron‑work. To the south, the asylum section is of two storeys with twin square towers capped by pavilion roofs. To the north, the two‑storey hospital block has a single short square tower at the centre with pavilion roof, a treatment repeated on the sanitary towers at the corners.

As at Craiglockhart, the hospital section was built on the pavilion plan. This is a good illustration of the way in which the pavilion plan was taken up more readily in poor law hospitals than in the voluntary hospitals. At this date the plans were generally closely modelled on those for the Herbert Hospital in London. These buildings form the core of the present {1990} hospital amongst a great many later additions.

It was re‑named the Southern General Hospital in 1923 by which time most of the beds were occupied by chronic or infirm cases. The last of the poorhouse beds disappeared in June 1936 and the hospital was handed over to the Public Health Department. During the Second World War the wards were gradually upgraded and X‑ray and laboratory facilities provided. After the hospital was transferred to the National Health Service many changes were made and new units opened through the 1950s and 60s. A five‑storey maternity unit was begun in 1964 designed by Keppie, Henderson & Partners, which was opened officially on 16 October 1970. The Institute of Neurological Sciences was formally opened in October 1972, comprising a 139‑bed Regional Neurosurgical unit which had been completed in 1970, and a further 50 beds in Phase II completed in 1971. [Sources: Building News, 12 July 1867, p.471; 30 December 1870, p.490: Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives, plans from Common Services Agency: Scottish Record Office, plans, RHP 30861/1‑3]

STOBHILL HOSPITAL   Stobhill Hospital was built as a poor‑law hospital by Glasgow Parish Council at the same time as the Eastern District Hospital in Duke Street and the Western District Hospital, Oakbank. Stobhill was the largest of the three and was intended to provide 1,200 beds.

Clock Tower, Stobhill Hospital, photographed in 2005  © Copyright Chris Upson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A competition was held for the design which specified that the hospital should comprise four sections: a hospital of 800 beds with accommodation for mentally ill and epileptic cases, a children’s section for 100 healthy children under five in ‘separate or ordinary wards or detached cottages’, a section for the ordinary infirm of 240 beds, and a section for 30 aged married couples.

Postcard of Stobhill hospital, viewed romantically from across the lake.WR & S Reliable series, perhaps produced not long after the hospital was built. © H. Richardson

The competition was finally awarded to Thomson and Sandilands and the foundation stone was laid in September 1901. As at Ruchill, the site is dominated by a giant water‑tower, built mainly in brick. Brick pilaster strips clasp the angles and each face is finished with brick panels and a prominent clock. The tower is crowned with stone angle turrets and a bold domed cupola. The rest of the site is covered with red brick buildings which formed the ward pavilions of the original scheme. They are mostly lacking in significant architectural merit, as would be expected in a poor law hospital. In contrast the two‑storey administration block has rich stone carving above the entrance. The gabled end bays of this block, with mullioned and transomed bay windows, also have carved panels above the windows and stone gable‑heads formed as aedicules. The Medical Superintendent’s house to the west of the administration block has quite a different character, it was designed as a charming Arts & Crafts style domestic villa, with half‑timbered gables and over‑hanging eaves capping the asymmetrical house.

Postcard of the main building. © H. Richardson

After the 1929 Local Government (Scotland) Act, Stobhill was transferred to local authority control and gradually the children and the elderly were transferred to Barnhill. A new maternity block with 75 beds was opened in 1931 and in 1936 Belmont House was bequeathed to the hospital as the Marion Reid Home for Children. In 1948 the hospital was transferred to the National Health Service and in 1953 a new geriatric assessment unit was opened. Other additions included a bacteriology department in 1957, a premature baby and sick infants’ unit in 1958‑9, the Edward unit for Mothers and Babies in 1963, Phase I of the clinical teaching centre in 1967, the pathology unit in 1968, and a new theatre suite in 1970.[Sources: The Builder, 16 June 1900, p.591; 21 July 1900, p.55, 8 Sept. 1900, p.214‑5: O. M. Watt, Stobhill Hospital, first 70 years, 1971.]

Photographed in 2010, the new Stobhill Hospital is adjacent to the New Theatre Suite (the operating theatre complex, opened in 1970). © Copyright Lairich Rig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

STONEYETTS HOSPITAL, CHRYSTON   Glasgow Parish Council purchased part of the Woodilee estate  c.1910 on which to establish an epileptic colony. It was designed by Robert Tannock, and the foundation stone was laid on 23 May 1912. It was the first poor‑law epileptic colony in Scotland and indeed the only hospital in Scotland ever built specifically for people suffering from epilepsy. The patients were housed in six simple, single‑storey brick villas which accommodated 50 people each. Unlike the villas at asylums such as Bangour, where the villas were designed to have a definite domestic appearance, the villas at stoneyetts are more like ward pavilions, with simple swept gables. The two‑storey administration block is given a handsome Georgian appearance through its proportions, glazing pattern, and the delicate segmentally pedimented porch. The recreation hall has very bold shaped heads over the wide end gables and a cupola‑like ventilator. The baroque detailed door hood looks strangely out of place on the utilitarian porch. Stoneyetts opened on 6 June 1913, in the same year the Mental Deficiency Act was passed, empowering parish councils to provide separate accommodation for mental defectives previously housed in asylums or the poorhouse. Stoneyetts therefore became a certified institution for mental defectives until Lennox Castle Institution was opened. It then became a hospital for certified mental patients and re‑opened as such on 7 August 1937.

TOWN’S HOSPITAL (demolished)   The Town’s Hospital in Glasgow was founded as a workhouse at the instigation of the Town Council, the Merchants’ House, the Trades‑house and the Kirk Session. In January 1732 a committee was appointed to look for a site for the workhouse and to arrange for plans to be drawn up for a suitable building. In May, John Craig and Allan Dreghorn were appointed as architects as their plans were deemed to be ‘the fittest and the cheepest’. The building was plain and simple, of three storeys and attic with projecting wings at each end. It contained a large hall in which the inmates assembled for worship, a committee room and offices, as well as the inmates accommodation. By the beginning of the nineteenth century it also housed sick and ‘fatuous’ persons. There was limited medical care available to the inmates as the Glasgow College of Surgeons and Physicians alternated in attending the hospital. In 1840 it acquired Stark’s Glasgow Royal Asylum building as new premises where it remained until the early years of this century. [Sources: Strathclyde Regional Archives, minutes: Swan, Views of Glasgow, 1829]

VICTORIA INFIRMARY   A Southern Infirmary was first proposed in 1878 but ten years elapsed before work began on the new hospital. Plans were invited in a competition for an infirmary of 250 beds and 46 sets of plans were received which were judged by John Carrick, the City Architect, and Dr J. B. Russell, the Medical Officer of Health of Glasgow. Campbell Douglas and Sellars won the competition with their design for an infirmary consisting of a series of pavilions which could be built separately as time and funds allowed.

Part of the Victoria Infirmary, photographed in 2009 © Copyright Stephen Sweeney and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The site was an awkward one being a triangular wedge beside Queens Park and on a hill. Sellars tackled this by placing an Italianate administration block and lodge facing the park and running the ward pavilions down the hill to the south. In the first instance, the administration section, lodge and one pavilion were built. James Sellars died before they were completed. The ward pavilion was designed to accommodate 54 patients, an additional 30 beds were to be provided in the administration block as a temporary measure.

Victoria Infirmary, old postcard c.1900 showing the administration block with a ward pavilion behind it on the left. © H. Richardson

Dr D. J. Mackintosh was the first Medical Superintendent though he left after two years to go to the Western Infirmary. The system of heating and ventilation in the infirmary was designed by one of the early governors, William Key. His design of a wet‑ screen which acted as an air filter attracted wide attention including from Sir Douglas Galston in the long running question of the ventilation of the House of Commons.

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

In 1891 work began on the nurses’ home and an additional pavilion. In 1899 a small additional pavilion was in the course of erection for the isolation of special cases, together with operating rooms and X‑ray equipment. The new pavilion opened on 1 January 1902 and in the same year the managers resolved to erect a further pavilion of four wards for around 80 patients and an addition to the nurses’ home. H. E. Clifford was asked to prepare plans. Work commenced in 1904 the new pavilion was opened on 13 January 1906.

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

In 1911 six day-rooms and balconies were erected on the older wards and plans were in hand to build a clinical research laboratory. In 1914 plans were made for another 80 bed pavilion but the declaration of War postponed any further action. After the War a new pathology department and mortuary were proceeded with and further extensions to the nurses’ home.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1935. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1923 the pre‑war extension plans were returned to and updated. At the same time work was commenced on additional accommodation for maids. These extensions were commenced in 1924 and intended to provide an additional 120 beds. In this year the site of Philipshill was purchased on which the auxiliary hospital was built. The new wing of the Victoria was opened on 20 February 1927. The Paying Patients wing was opened on 2 April 1931. It was designed by Watson, Salmond and Gray, who also designed the auxiliary hospital at Philipshill. Situated at the south west corner of the site, it is an excellent example of the development of hospital building in the later 1920s. The block is both well detailed and functional. The wide splay of the block and in particular the heavily glazed ends of the wings, emphasise the importance of light and air. The introduction of the eaves gallery detail adds a real sense of completion to a flat roofed block. [Sources: The Builder, 30 Jan. 1892, p.74: D. Dow and S. D. Slater (eds.), The Victoria Infirmary of Glasgow 1890‑1990, Glasgow, 1990: Greater Glasgow Health Board, Annual Reports.]

Photographed in 2008, the new Victoria Hospital, for outpatients, in progress. It has been built on a site opposite the old infirmary. Building work on the new Victoria Hospital officially got underway in November 2006. The £100m state-of-the-art new Victoria will be one of the largest hospitals in Scotland.© Copyright Alan Murray Walsh and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence (original image cropped)

VICTORIA INFIRMARY GERIATRIC UNIT   Recognisably of the 1960s, with its purple panels juxtaposed with orange curtains inside, the Victoria Infirmary Geriatric Unit was part of a scheme to provide a number of such new units in the Region. These plans were unveiled in 1964 and included a unit attached to the Victoria Infirmary. The site, on which the old Langside Cottage formerly stood, had belonged to the infirmary since 1912 and had been used as the house for the medical superintendent. By 1964 it was no longer required for this purpose and the site was given over to the new unit. Work began in 1969 on a 256‑bed combined geriatric unit and day hospital. It was designed by Boissevain and Osmond and consists of two blocks linked with a corridor rising to six storeys. It opened on 18 May 1972.

WESTERN INFIRMARY   In 1846 a second infirmary was proposed for Glasgow to complement the Royal and as part of the plan to relocate the university. Lack of funds prevented any action being taken until 1864 when a teaching hospital was planned to form part of the new university buildings at Gilmorehill. In 1867 John Burnet, Senior, father of Sir J. J.Burnet, produced plans for the hospital on a pavilion‑plan.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1893-4. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The block plan consisted of a central administration section with services behind flanked by two cross‑plan ward blocks. Again a lack of funds hindered the project and only part of it was built in the first building phase from 1871‑4. The John Freeland bequest of £40,000 allowed the completion of the original plans in 1877. Most of the 1870s, baronially detailed, work has been demolished.

Philco Series postcard of the Western Infirmary with tartan border and lucky heather. © H.Richardson
Valentine’s postcard, early 1950s © H. Richardson

In 1892 Dr D. J. Mackintosh was appointed Medical Superintendent. He was to be one of the leading figures in Scottish Medicine and Hospital design at the turn of the century. In 1905 a new out‑patients’ department was completed, designed by Sir J. J. Burnet its Scots Renaissance manner providing a striking street frontage to Church Street. Further extensions to the main block were completed in 1906 and 1911, and in 1916 a new admissions and casualty department was built.

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

In 1936 the Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology was established and in 1938 the Gardiner Institute of Medicine, continuing the Church Street frontage in a sparing, but well‑detailed fashion. The Tennent Institute, designed by Norman Dick has particularly notable sculpture by Archibald Dawson. The new nurses’ home of 1958 designed in a streamlined 1930s manner by Robert Love is well sited overlooking Kelvingrove Park and has balconies and portholes in true ocean‑liner manner.

Distant view of the Western Infirmary, photographed in 2007 by Alistair McMillan from Glasgow, Scotland (The Western from Yorkhill) CC BY-SA 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons

The new main building by Keppie, Henderson & Partners was built from 1965‑74. Rising to eleven storeys it was sited in front of the original hospital. A Maggie’s Centre opened at the south-western edge of the site, on Dumbarton Road, in 2002. It is in the former gate lodge of the University.

In 2015 the Western Infirmary closed, most services being transferred either to Gartnavel General or the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on the site of the Southern General. Only a minor injuries unit has been retained. The site is to be redeveloped by the University of Glasgow. [Sources: Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives, plans.]

71 thoughts on “Glasgow

  1. Pingback: Hospitals for Incurables: the former Longmore Hospital, Edinburgh | Historic Hospitals

  2. Pingback: Marvelous Maps – updating the Scottish Hospitals Survey | Historic Hospitals

  3. Looking for a hospital my mum was in for tuberculosis,was in countryside ,they slept outside on verandah,1960s, thought it was in Killearn

    • Hello, I know Stobhill Hospital had Verandah’s. My mum was in one, She was in the ward at first, then the nurses moved her bed etc., out to the veranda. It was lovely out there for the patients, As they could see Ben Nevis, Campsies from the big windows.
      Stobhill was/is the best hospital when i

    • Was likely Robroyston Hospital. My mum was there in the 1950s being treated for tuberculosis. It took most of Glasgow’s tubercular patients after WW2 till the 1970s.

  4. Great site! Been in many of them over the years! Do you know anything about the Sanitary Reception House in 339 South York (Moffat) Street in the Gorbals? My family were there in 1901 census.

    • It could have been the Bridge of Weir Hospital, Quarriers Village. The main hospital has since closed from before 1980s but it specialised in TB patients. It is a beautiful building with a verandah to the front and the ward had opening doors which enabled patients to access this. Hope this helps.

  5. My grandmother was born in Maryhill in 1906. I’d love to know the name of the hospital and the address if someone could help please.

  6. Hi my Grampa was born in Nurse home, Merryland st
    Govan in December 1917. We were wondering why as
    they lived in Dumbarton. Seems a bit of a trek back in
    the day. Thanks for any information

    • Sometimes women went back to be near their mother or close family for their confinement, could that be the case? It would be particularly likely if her husband was away fighting in the First World War.

      • Thanks for your reply. Hopefully will manage to find out in the course of doing our family tree. We don’t seem to have any connection to Glasgow so far

    • The Nursing home in Merrylaand trees was St Francis . I was born there in 1960 . It was run by Roman Catholic nuns and was used by people all over the city and beyond .

      • Thanks for your reply and information. Did you need to be catholic to use St Francis, though l would imagine you would have to be. My Grandparents weren’t so that adds to the mystery.It must have been there that he was born. It will probably always remain a mystery as to why he was born there. His brother who was born a year later was born in Dumbarton. Sadly my Great Grampa had died of TB just after he was born . We are lucky nowadays.

    • Hi Karen
      I was born in Merryland Street 44 , 1945.
      Apparently it was because the other hospitals were
      full. We were protestants so sure they didn’t only
      take Catholic patients.
      There is a picture of number 44 on Street View
      Google Maps.

      • Thanks for your reply Eleanor. We will never know why he was born in Glasgow. Another family member said that my great Grans brother had a lovely boat and was a marine engineer. I have since found photos of the boat and it would have been very easy to sail up the Clyde to Govan. He never married and always looked after her, he bought her a house after she lost her husband to TB a couple of years after my Grampa was born. Could have been he wanted the best for her as there was a good doctor there at that time. Wish l’d asked before he died

  7. I was born at 8 Matilda Road Glasgow in 1946 but cannot find anything about this address other than current information that it is in Pollokshields, any information would be grateful?

    • I had a look in a Glasgow directory for 1941 and there was a Dr Bennett listed at No. 8 Matilda Road. I couldn’t find anything for 1946, although I expect you would be able to look at directories for that year at somewhere like the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, or the National Library in Edinburgh. It is possible that Dr Bennet used the house as a small nursing home, but I couldn’t find anything more about the doctor.
      I hope this is of some help,
      with best wishes
      from Harriet

      • Dear Harriet, Many thanks for your prompt response, it gives me somewhere else to look now and hopefully find out the truth about my birthplace! Brian

  8. Does anyone know if 200 St Georges Road, Glasgow was ever registered as a nursing/maternity home? I have an adopted aunt, born there in 1917, to an unmarried mother.

    • Dear June,
      There are Post Office Directories for 1917-18, and 1918 that can be view online through the internet archive. In both volumes two people are listed at 200 St George’s Road: Mrs John Alexander and S. Robertson. No mention of its being a maternity or nursing home. You might find more from local newspapers or the census. It would be worth asking at you local library, if you are in Scotland, to search the Ancestry or Scotland’s People websites.

      • Thank you for your reply Harriet. I will look at on line newspapers for that time. I am in NZ. The family who took Pearl, the baby, migrated to NZ in 1920. My father was the next youngest to Pearl, then my grandparents had a baby born on the ship. Birth registered in Scotland.

  9. Just a wee note to point out that the picture you have of the Sick Children’s Hospital at Yorkhill is actually of the Queen Mother’s Maternity on the same site!

    The Sick Children’s Hospital at Yorkhill shut in June 2015, but reopened as an Adult outpatient site (West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital) in December 2015. The site is due to completely close mid-2019.

  10. My uncle was born on an estate outside Lochwinoch during WW2 that was being used as a maternity word. Any idea what the name or location might have bee? We are planning a visit from the U.S. to Scotland in May 2019 and would like to visit Lochwinoch. Many thanks.

    • Hi Carol, I’m sorry, but I can’t find any definite location. Are there any details on his birth certificate? Barshaw Hospital or Thorn/Thornhill Hospital at Johnstone are possible. You might try contacting the Lochwinnoch Local History Forum
      best of luck, and I hope you have a wonderful trip

      • I have sent an inquiry to the Lochwinnoch Local History Form. Many thanks for that information.

  11. Hi, my nans sister was put in an asylum we think near Strathclyde, Glasgow. Her name was Janet Wilson and she went to live with my nan in the 1970s we think as the asylum was closing down. Any idea on how I could find out which asylum it could have been?

    • I suggest that you contact Glasgow University Archives which holds records for hospitals in Glasgow and the surrounding area. Riccartsbar Hospital closed in 1975, so that might be a possibility. Patient records that are less than 100 years old are not generally open to the public, but the archive would be able to advise you about access.

      • Methinks it was more likely Gartloch Hospital that closed as a mental health facility in 1970. In 1970s I trained in the Scottish Ambulance Service national Training School that had been set up at Gartloch in 1970. By that time there were just geriatric patients at the hospital. Gartloch was just up behind the Easterhouse, Glasgow housing scheme. The hospital had beautiful buildings and I think the main administrative block and docotro and nurse residence is still standing though abandoned and derelict. Hope this might put you on the right track.

  12. Hi I have the death details of my great grandmother from Scotland People but cannot decipher the place it looks like she died between Shewan? Hill Park and Wickham? or Wicklow? Infirmary but cant trace either place. I know its Glasgow and she died on 26 May 1935. Its so hard to read any assistance gratefully received.

  13. Harriet,

    Family legend has it that my Great Grandfather paid for a complete hospital in Glasgow, Scotland during the earlier days of World War I. I am in failing health and would like to know if that fact is true and anything else you have the time to tell me. Please don’t worry about disappointing me, if that story is not true. His Duluth, Minnesota, (USA) or Peterborough, Ontario or Montreal, (Canadian) obituaries said that he was both a “businessman” and a “philanthropist”. It also added “he always kept a low out of the public spotlight profile” when he contributed to the causes he believed in. I know you are busy, so if after scanning the letter, you can tell me where to start researching it, that would be appreciated.

    The letter I am sending you is 4 pages. I hope it isn’t just boring historic details to you. It goes into about our family history and yes,there are even the parts about my own history you might consider. If it is boring to you, you can always thank me later for having given you some new atrociously bad bed time reading that now successfully puts you to bed at night in record time after you start reading it. I look forward to your reply, if you have the time and inclination to reply. I am unsure if I need to put the country code on the tail end of my gmail address for you to reply to it.

    Sincerely & Gratefully Yours,,
    Adam Thomson
    Subject heading of my private letter to you will read, “Adam Thomson’s inquiry into a Glascow hospital his great grand father helped pay for.”

  14. PS – Mrs Richardson, who knows? If it puts you to sleep that fast, maybe we can patent it, bottle it, put a sticker on it and sell it as a new cure for sleeplessness. Grateful for your consideration. Adam

  15. Pingback: Brooksby House, Largs. From Yachting Residence to Seaside Convalescent Home. | Historic Hospitals

  16. Hello. My grandmother’s nephew was reportedly put in an institution somewhere around 1939 or later, after his mother had passed away. I know he was an invalid and possibly 10 years old at the time. His father put him in an institution after my great aunt passed. The whereabouts was never revealed to the remaining family. His name was Robert Terry and I would love to find some information. My grandmother left Partick for Canada in 1923. I would appreciate any information you could add to my research.

    Bonnie McEachren

  17. Thought you might have mentioned that the Royal Beatson Memorial hospital was the school of radiography for many years after the separate schools at the Western and the Royal merged. Later radiography became a degree course and relocated to Glasgow Caledonian University. Loved revisiting a lot of the hospitals I trained in which are no longer there, thank you.

  18. Hello. I’m trying to check the hospital of my great grandfathers death in 1947. The name is hard to read but it is located in Bearsden. It isn’t Canniesburn. Any help would be great.
    Carolyn Miller

  19. From 1914 to early 1916 my grandfather who graduated 2nd at Trinity College Toronto in 1893 (Silver Medalist) and who was the first of many to learn the skills of “reconstructive surgery” now known as “plastic surgery” was the lead doctor at both the King George 4th Hospital in Dublin and on numerous occasions was called upon to lead in the surgery operations at the military hospital one at Stobhill in Glasgow aka 4th Scottish both specialized in reconstructive surgery for pilots. With the Irish flooding into Glasgow and with the Irish Uprising just around the corner in the spring of 1916 his wife another plastic surgeon with highly developed skills in stitching – both learned through the University of Vienna (before the war) – went over to Glasgow with her two sons in 1915 essentially to visit her husband via one of the Donaldson Line ships – very fast and for good reason. Grandfather as a doctor received his “commission” as Snr. Lt. .as an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corp. Later that year after a two month stay in Glasgow my grandparents and their sons returned home to Canada on a Donaldson ship to Montreal and by train home. While Grandmother was there in Glasgow she selected over 325 Home Children (Presbyterian and Anglican) for Ontario in Canada through various “disbursal homes” none of which were used as labourers.
    Would like to hear more about the Stobhill General Hospital. Thank you. #nancygriffonfund

  20. I was born in either Stobhill or Ruchill hospital in 1954. We lived at 1083 maryhill rd at the time and as a baby i was hospitalised with pneumonia and hooping cough. I know i was born in one of these hospitals and was treated in the other as a baby. Would you have any idea of which?

    • My guess would be that you were treated for pneumonia and whooping cough at Ruchill, which specialised in infectious diseases, and were born at Stobhill which was a general hospital.

    • The easiest and best way to find out the details of your birth is to visit the website; There you will find links to obtaining a genuine copy of your birth certificate that will say where and when you was born as well as your parents name. You can then go on and keep searching for your ancestors and even obtain copies of their birth, wedding and death certificates. in addition you can plunder through the census records. The prices for certificates are reasonable and the shipping cost is low and delivered fast.

      On the splash page of the link I gave you there is a search box named Find Your Scottish ancestors. Keep the dropdown on ‘people’, Enter your name, For years enter 1954. You will be lead to a page where you can choose from various types of registration for the name you entered. In this case click the births button You will find you are certificate number 644/10 541 registered in Milton.
      You will find it says certificate not available. This is showing on all searches at this time because the staff are all working from home.
      The landing page for your birth also shows a heading:
      To protect the privacy of individuals, it is not possible to view some images of statutory registers. If you require a copy of restricted records you can order a certificate. For more details please read our statutory registers guide.

      I think you best order your birth certificate and it will provide the information you want.
      ” Owing to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we are currently unable to fulfil certificate orders.

      We will reinstate this facility as soon as we are able.”

      A little patience and you will be rewarded.

      I was born on November 30, 1954 (St Andrew’s Day).in Oakbank Hospital that was in Possilpark and that might turn out to be yours too.

      Good luck in your search.

    • If it was Stobhill, the certificate will read 133 Balornock Road Glasgow. (At onr time Stobhill was a Poor Law Hospital When it became a Maternity around 1903 , people protested that the name Stobhill stigmatised them.

      • Ruchill was an infectious disease Hospital, you were likely there with whooping cough and pneumonia. I think Stobhill would have been where you were born. King Edward mother and baby unit.

  21. I am looking for information surrounding the death of my great aunt in 1917 who was only 21 years old. Her death certificate states date and time of death at Eastern District Hospital Glasgow and has the following written underneath:
    “U.R. Dunclatha, Kirn”
    Any idea what this means?
    Thank you

  22. With regard to the map showing Knightswood Hospital, and the comment about the rows of cottages to the North, these were the “Knightswood Rows”. In the 19th century, the area was heavily mined for coal and ironstone, and for a time there were nine different pit shafts between there and nearby Cloberhill. All the pits had closed by 1896. The cottages had no running water or toilets, and by the 1930’s they were declared unfit for human habitation and demolished. There is a photograph of them in the book, “Old Anniesland to Knightswood” by Sandra Malcolm.

  23. Bon Secours did not become the Mansionhouse Unit; the Masionhouse Unit already existed, and was on the other side of the road. I think it was demolished and replaced by flats.

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  25. Enjoyed reading and looking at this archive of Glasgow’s hospitals so much.
    I trained as a physiotherapist in Glasgow between ’79-’82 at Queen’s College (the then newly formed Glasgow Physio School, formed from the amalgamation of the physio schools from The Southern General, and The Royal and Western Infirmaries). My clinical site was the Southern General, so I rotated through most of the wards, units, and outlying hospitals in and a round the Southern, during my 3 years training, and got to know the Southern General VERY well.
    After qualifying I worked at The Medical Rehab Unit on Bellshill Road, Uddingston. This small outpatient unit was formally a miners rehab centre run by the coal board, but when I was there was run by Lanarkshire Health Board for NHS physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services.
    I then went on to work at the Western Infirmary physiotherapy department. I rotated through many of the departments, units, and wards at the Western for a few very happy years before eventually leaving Scotland to work in Manchester.
    I recognise, and have indeed been in, MANY of the hospitals listed here while they were still occupied and working. It was a trip down memory lane for sure. If I’d known then, in the early 80’s, that many of these wonderful places were going to be demolished and / or redeveloped, I’d have taken MANY more photos of the places where I worked and the people I worked with.
    Thank you for preserving the memory of these great places of endless care and healing. What a fabulous legacy of care and passion for any city.

  26. I was born in Lennox Castle hospital in December 1952. My home at the time was in Maryhill so quite a distance for my dad to visit my mum. While I know it’s still standing it is in very poor condition. Looks as if it was a lovely building in its time. Weather at time of my birth was bitterly cold so I suppose my dad who had no means of getting there easily, would have had to make a great effort to get there.

  27. Hi, my birth certificate says I was born in the Borough of Blythswood can someone tell me where this is and what hospitals existed there in 1959.

  28. My grt grt granny Barbra Murphy (maternal side) who married Samuel Cosgrove marriage cert from 1876 states she was a Sick Nurse at the Fever Hospital in Govan would this be what become known as the Southern General later. I myself born in Robroyston Hospital in 1958 my brother in Oakbank hospital in 1959 my 1st sister in The Rottenrow thank you for keeping the memories of theses hospitals alive.

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