Renfrewshire (see also Inverclyde)

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

BARSHAW HOSPITAL, PAISLEY   Barshaw House, a somewhat eccentric looking house, was built in the late eighteenth century to designs by  Robert Smith. It was extended to the west around 1860, and again around 1880 to designs by John Hutchison.

Barshaw House as it was c.1899. From A. H. Millar’s Castle’s and Mansions of Renfrewshire and Buteshire, published in 1899. © Courtesy of HES (Castles and Mansions of Renfrewshire and Buteshire)
Barshaw House, photographed in 2011, cc-by-sa/2.0 – ©

The house was acquired by Paisley Town Council in 1911 with the grounds being opened as a public park the following year. The house became an infirmary, taking wounded soldiers towards the end of the First World War. It was subsequently converted into a Maternity and Child Welfare Home. It opened as such on 15 December 1921.

Barshaw House, from the 25-inch OS Map, revised in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

A new maternity ward was built to the rear of the house, probably in the 1930s, under the influence of T. Tait’s Hawkhead Hospital in Paisley. It closed as a maternity hospital in 1959 and was then converted into a geriatric hospital, re-opening in 1961.

Extract from the OS 1:1,250, surveyed in 1950. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It had closed again by the late 1990s, the house was converted into flats in 1998. [Sources: Pevsner Architectural Guide, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, 2016: and see the Mansion Houses of Paisley]

BRIDGE OF WEIR HOSPITAL   William Quarrier founded the Orphan Homes of Scotland in 1876. It developed into a self-contained village, in which the orphans were housed in detached villas under the care of house parents. The village had its own school, church and a children’s hospital.  To the south a separate sanatorium was established. There was also a small epileptic colony to the north-west of the village.

Extract from the 6-inch OS map, revised in 1912. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The site to the south of the village was purchased in 1893 for a consumption sanatorium – in the days before the discovery of the tubercle bacillus and the identification of consumption or phthisis as tuberculosis. The first part of the sanatorium opened on 3 September 1896. Along with the two later blocks to the west, it was designed by the Glasgow-based hospital architect Robert Bryden.

View towards Juniper Avenue, Quarriers Village, with part of the former sanatorium. Photographed in 2014  © Copyright Leslie Barrie and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

William Quarrier had toured similar institutions in England with Bryden, who was also the architect of the Quarrier Homes. They visited the hospital for consumptives at Ventnor, on the Isle of Wight, and incorporated many of its features at Bridge of Weir. In particular Quarrier was impressed by the provision of private bedrooms and small sitting rooms. A Board of Medical Advisers, assembled by Quarrier to assist in preparing plans, comprised some of the leading authorities of the day, including Professor W. T. Gairdner, Dr D Yellowlees and Dr J. B. Russell.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1912. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The hospital was built in three stages, as funds permitted, the foundation stone of the first building was laid by Sir William Arrol on 5 September 1894 and the first block was opened by Lady Glen Coats two years later. This was followed by the second sanatorium building. ‘The door of Hope’, (at the centre of the present hospital complex), built in 1898-1900, and the third block opened in 1907 to the west.

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

By 1899 the Nordrach open-air treatment was adopted, although the buildings were not initially designed on the open air principal. With the decline in the need for tuberculosis accommodation the hospital was converted for geriatric patients and the chronic sick.

The hospital had closed by 2004 when work began to redevelop the site for housing, the original buildings were converted into flats, and post-war additions removed. [Sources: Alexander Gammrie, A Romance of Faith, 1945: Lancet, 6 Oct. 1906, p.961.]

CALDWELL HOUSE, UPLAWMOOR (ruined)   Caldwell House, designed by Robert Adam, built 1771-3, was a mansion house in Adam’s restrained castle style. It was converted into a mental deficiency institution by Govan Board of Control, opening in 1929. A laundry and boiler house were built to designs by James Taylor as part of the conversion to hospital use.

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

The patients were transferred to Merchiston Hospital when the new complex was opened and Caldwell House was sold. Neglect and vandalism were compounded by a serious fire in 1995 to reduce the house to a roofless ruin. [Sources: Pevsner Architectural Guide, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, 2016]

DARNLEY HOSPITAL, EASTWOOD (demolished)  Darnley Hospital was designed by James Lymburn Cowan as the Joint Infectious Diseases Hospital provided by the Upper District of Renfrew and the burghs of Pollokshaws and Barrhead.

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

The decision to build the hospital was taken in 1894 and the plans were approved soon afterwards. The architect was a local man who also designed the masonic halls in West Regent Street, Glasgow and submitted designs for the Govan District Asylum in the following year. The central two‑storey, Flemish baroque administration building had a central shaped gable and dormers giving a lively, almost castellated skyline. Carved strapwork details on window bays, gables and the entrance‑arch focus attention away from the simple, single‑storey ward blocks to either side.

DYKEBAR HOSPITAL, PAISLEY   Dykebar Hospital was built as the Renfrew District Asylum by T. G. Abercrombie. It opened in 1909 and was the last of the group of colony or village district asylums. It served the county of Renfrew with the exception of Paisley and Johnstone burghs which already had provision for pauper lunatics.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1910-11. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

Originally the asylum consisted of an administrative centre with admission hospital wings to each side, two male villas, two female villas and a reception house, the very suavely detailed medical superintendent’s house (now derelict, and just a roofless shell) and the service buildings. The individual blocks have many features typical of Abercrombie’s meticulous work seen in the details of the chimney stacks, and in his treatment of the dormers and gables. There is also a fine lodge and gate‑way to the east of the site.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1939-40. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1914 two further villas and a nurses’ home were added. Towards the end of the First World War the hospital was taken over by the military, but during the Second World War Dykebar received patients from the requisitioned Stirling District Asylum at Bellsdyke and the Smithston Institution at Greenock.

In 1975 a major new extension was opened which provided accommodation for psycho‑geriatric patients, a new recreation hall and patient and staff dining-rooms.

ELDERSLIE COTTAGE HOSPITAL, CHERRYWOOD ROAD, ELDERSLIE   (demolished) Formerly known as the Johnstone and District Cottage Hospital it opened c.1893. It was a compactly designed hospital very much like a pair of picturesque cottages. [Sources: Medical Directory, 1904]

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

ERSKINE HOSPITAL see Princess Louise Hospital

FORDBANK MATERNITY HOME, MILLIKEN PARK (demolished) Functioning in the 1940s, established in Fordbank House, south-west of Milliken Park Station.

GOCKSTON SMALLPOX HOSPITAL, PAISLEY (demolished) Built in the 1890s as a smallpox hospital, and extended prior to the outbreak of the First World War. It was later used for TB cases. It had been demolished by the 1950s.

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

GLENCOATS AUXILIARY HOSPITAL, PAISLEY (Largely demolished) The house of Ferguslie Park, designed by Hippolyte J. Blanc, was presented to the Royal Alexandra Infirmary in 1934. It was designated as an auxiliary hospital in memory of Sir Thomas and Lady Glen Coats and Major A. Harold Glen Coats.

HAWKHEAD HOSPITAL, PAISLEY (partly demolished)  Opened on 7 July, 1936 to designs by Burnet, Tait and Lorne  in the distinctive International Modern, streamlined style, with its flat roofs and rounded angles. The cubicle isolation ward block has particular flair and is the best example of such a block in Scotland. The site comprises a gate house, administration building, nurses’ home, staff cottages, boiler house and laundry with six single‑storey ward pavilions set to the rear on a north‑south axis, and the cubicle isolation ward block adjacent on a west‑east axis. The blocks were constructed in hollow brick‑work and finished in Brizolit, a fine textured rough‑cast which was painted white giving the hospital a gleaming clinical appearance. Pale yellow and blue tiles form the chief decorative feature of the buildings, on tiled piers flanking doorways and some windows. The blocks are now dry‑dashed in buff‑brown, this and the removal of many of the other original features greatly lessens the impact of the hospital complex.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1939. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The hospital was built as a large new infectious diseases hospital to replace the outdated small hospitals built at the turn of the century. In this respect it compares with Cameron Hospital in Fife and the Ayrshire Central Hospital at Irvine but Hawkhead has the edge on these in daring and exciting architecture, as might be expected with Tait as the architect, who was a native of Paisley. [Sources: Architect & Building News, 18 March 1932, p.382; Journal of the R.I.B.A., 23 January 1937, p.271; The Builder, 14 January 1938, p.79; Argyll and Clyde Health Board, Hawkhead Hospital, souvenir brochure for opening of hospital.]

JOHNSTONE HOSPITAL   Begun c.1887 this hospital was originally built as the Johnstone Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Johnstone Infectious Diseases Hospital, from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1895. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
The 1911 revised OS map suggests that the hospital was almost entirely rebuilt between 1895 and 1911. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.
This map from 1939 shows further additions to the isolation hospital and the smallpox hospital to the north. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Most of the older blocks have now been demolished to make way for the new blocks built in the 1980s. A small‑pox hospital had been built to the north by 1911. It was constructed of corrugated‑iron and wood, probably by Speirs & Co. and was sometimes used as an overflow fever hospital. [Sources: The Builder, 20 Nov. 1886, p.749; 1 Feb. 1896, p.99.]

LOCHWINNOCH SANATORIUM, WEST MITCHELTON   The Lochwinnoch Sanatorium was designed by Abercrombie & Maitland in 1931.[Sources: Architect & Building News, 13 March 1931, p.389.]

MEARNSKIRK HOSPITAL, NEWTON MEARNS  (largely demolished)  Mearnskirk Hospital was provided by Glasgow Corporation’s Public Health Department as part of its scheme for the prevention and treatment of TB. The 321‑acre site was purchased in 1913 and building began in 1921. It was originally intended as a sanatorium for 500 children, with plans prepared by J. A. T. Houston. In the late 1980s, the complex at Mearnskirk survived as a remarkably complete and relatively unaltered range of buildings. Built of red brick, the whole emphasis of the ward blocks was on ventilation and fresh air, with south‑facing verandas to the half‑butterfly‑plan blocks and the long glazed ventilators straddling the roof ridges. The wards are set in pleasant garden grounds with mature trees. The administration, kitchen and stores and nurses’ home continue the simple but even proportions of the wards. Of particular note was the engine house and the tall chimney with an unusually elaborate blind arcaded upper stage, one of the finest surviving hospital chimneys.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the children were evacuated to Millport and, under the Emergency Medical Service hutted ward blocks were built on the site to convert it into a Naval Auxiliary Hospital. It maintained some beds for civilian patients including those evacuated from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and casualties from the blitz of Clydebank and Greenock. After the War it catered for adults and children with TB and a thoracic surgical unit was opened.

After its transfer to the National Health Service, ear, nose and throat, heart surgery and other specialities were introduced until, in 1960, it was re‑categorised as a general hospital. A new operating theatre suite for cardio‑thoracic surgery opened in 1970 and a new 30‑bed geriatric unit in 1980.

The hospital closed in the 1990s and some of the buildings retained as part of a new housing development on the site. Survivals include the gate piers, lodge, medical superintendent’s house (now Southfield House), admin block (now Hazeldene nursery), and the nurses’ home (now Southwood Place). As well as housing the new development included a care home, Mearnskirk House, built in 1996-8 to designs by the Walker Partnership. A bronze statue of Peter Pan by Alexander Proudfoot of 1948-9 has been erected in the forecourt, cast by G. Mancini in memory of Dr John Wilson, the first medical superintendent of the hospital. [Sources: Greater Glasgow Health Board: Pevsner Architectural Guide, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, 2016.]

MERCHISTON HOSPITAL, JOHNSTONE   The present hospital was built c.1979‑84 for the mentally handicapped. Previously Merchiston House had been used as a mental deficiency institution. The house was built in 1880 and was demolished on the completion of the new hospital buildings in 1985. [Sources: Frank Walker, South Clyde Estuary]

Paisley Burgh Poorhouse (see Royal Alexandra Infirmary Craw Road Annexe, below)

PAISLEY MATERNITY HOSPITAL   Built on the site of the former Riccartsbar Hospital (see below). The new maternity hospital at Paisley opened in September 1969 with 112 beds and two authorised places for private patients. It is just to the west of the new Royal Alexandra Hospital. [Sources: PP, 4th Report of the Expenditure Committee… 1972, p.411]

PEESWEEP SANATORIUM, PAISLEY   Originally a rest and convalescent home, the curiously named Peesweep Sanatorium was constructed in 1910 on the open‑air principle with 18 single rooms.  It was subsequently either re-built or substantially extended, probably around the 1920s. It survives today as Lapwing Lodge, owned by the West Region Scout Council.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1911. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

PRINCESS LOUISE HOSPITAL, ERSKINE   Erskine House was opened 10 October 1916 as a hospital for soldiers wounded in the First World War. The house had been built in 1828-45 to designs by Sir Robert Smirke for Major General Robert W Stuart, the 11th Lord Blantyre. Following the outbreak of the First World War the house was gifted by its then owner, Thomson Aikman, for use as a hospital with the possibility of purchasing the estate if required. An impressive £100,000 was swiftly raised by the public towards the new hospital.

Postcard sent 15 April 1922 from ‘J.L.H.’ to the misses Greig at 61 Main Street Kilwinning. 

Garnering royal patronage, it became the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers. The official opening by Princess Louise took place on June 6, 1917. Pressure on space and the need for workshops to assemble artificial limbs lead to the erection of huts in the grounds before the end of the war. [Sources. The History of Erskine, on the Remembering Scotland at War website]

Postcard showing the later additions to the site. 

RICCARTSBAR HOSPITAL, PAISLEY (Demolished)   Originally built as the asylum for Paisley and Johnstone burghs, Riccartsbar Hospital opened in June 1876. It was built to designs by John Honeyman.

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

It closed in 1975 and patients were transferred to Dykebar. The buildings were demolished to make way for the new Royal Alexandra Hospital.

ROSS HOSPITAL, HAWKHEAD ROAD, PAISLEY Founded in 1956, taking over from Barshaw Hospital. Closed in 1973 after the new Royal Alexandra Hospital opened on Corsebar Road. [Sources: information kindly supplied by Roddy Boyd.]

ROYAL ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL, PAISLEY   This large new general hospital by Baxter, Clark & Paul opened in 1987 and replaced the old Royal Alexandra Infirmary.

ROYAL ALEXANDRA INFIRMARY, PAISLEY (Closed 1987)   The Royal Alexandra Infirmary was built to designs by T. G. Abercrombie from 1897 to 1900. This monumental building was superceded by the new Royal Alexandra Hospital, but it was not the first incarnation for the Paisley hospital. In 1788 a public dispensary was founded in Paisley from which a House of Recovery was established in 1795. A variety of hospital buildings grew on the site at the west end of Abbey Bridge. Fever wards were provided and for a time cholera as treated on the site.

Extract from the OS Town Plan of Paisley, 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1896. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1878 grounds adjacent to the house were acquired by the parish council which built an epidemic hospital on the site for 60 patients although it was managed by the Infirmary. In 1886 a new convalescent home was opened in West Kilbride. In 1894 the managers decided that it was necessary to build a new hospital, the existing collection of buildings were largely outdated and the site overcrowded. The foundation stone of the new Royal Alexandra Infirmary was laid on 15 May 1897. The project was richly endowed by W. B. Barbour who gifted £15,000 to the building fund and by a local mill owner, Peter Coats, who gifted the nurses’ home.

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

The plan of the infirmary is of particular interest from its incorporation of circular wards in a three storey block to the north and its ward pavilions to the south which terminate in semi‑circular open verandas.

Postcard of the Royal Alexandra Infirmary, showing east façade with the circular ward to the right. Why the image is labelled as the Royal Alexandria, rather than Alexandra, I do not know. Answers on a postcard?

The Infirmary closed in 1987, after which part of the main range was used as a care home the rest was converted into flats in about 1995. The former nurses’ home was converted into flats in 2005-6 by Aitken Turnbull Architecture. After the care home closed in about 2008, this part of the former infirmary began to deteriorate and was placed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland in 2010. Inadequately secured by its owners it has attracted the attention of urbexers, so many photographs of the derelict building can be found online, but also from vandals who are contributing to the rapid decline of a building that should be saved, should be sympathetically restored and converted to housing, and should be treasured for its fine architecture and the skill of the masons and builders who erected it. [Sources: D. Dow, Paisley Hospitals, Glasgow, 1988: records at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives: Paisley Library, plans: Pevsner Guide, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, 2016.]

ROYAL ALEXANDRA INFIRMARY ANNEXE, CRAW ROAD, PAISLEY (Closed 1987, demolished)   The main building on the site was built as the Abbey Poorhouse and opened in 1849. The first poorhouse in Paisley was built in 1618 and provided accommodation for six men. It had fallen into disrepair when it was replaced in 1723 by a new building on the same site with a public hall and steeple. In 1752 a new poorhouse was opened known as the Town’s Hospital.

Extract from the OS Town Plan of Paisley, 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Detail of the OS Town Plan above.

After the 1845 Poor Law (Scotland) Act another new poorhouse was built on the Craw Road to which an asylum block was added in 1857.

Extract from the OS Town Plan of Paisley, 1858. (The map has been tilted to fit as much in as possible at the biggest scale, see below for correct orientation.) Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Extract from the 1st-edition OS Map, surveyed in 1858. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

A hospital block was added in 1890 and a sanatorium in 1909. Westmount House was purchased in 1911 and a new infirmary block for men opened. St Margaret’s House, a Victorian villa by John Hutchison of 1879, was opened as an old peoples home in 1928.

Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, surveyed in 1911. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1948 with the inauguration of the National Health Service the poorhouse complex was incorporated as an annexe to the Royal Alexandra Infirmary. Most of the purpose‑built poorhouse blocks were due for demolition in 1991. All have now been demolished apart from St Margaret’s House.

ROYAL VICTORIA EYE INFIRMARY, MANSIONHOUSE ROAD, PAISLEY (Closed 1987)   This purpose‑built specialist hospital was opened on 11 December 1899. It was designed by Charles Davidson.

Royal Victoria Eye Infirmary, photographed c.1989 © H. Richardson

The infirmary was founded in 1888, initially opening on 18 June of that year in rented rooms at No.1, Gauze Street. In 1896 it moved to Forbes Place and in the following year Archibald Mackenzie of Milliken provided funds for the new building. The new infirmary was designed in a domestic style with bow windows and spectacle glazing in the upper lights. Latterly it was converted into a care home called Nightingale House. [Sources: The Builder, 2 April 1898, p.334.]

THORN HOSPITAL, JOHNSTONE (Demolished)   Like Barshaw Hospital in Paisley, the Thorn (sometimes Thornhill) Maternity Hospital was a converted house with a maternity ward added to it (Renfrew County Engineers Department, Samuel McColl principal architect) . With the opening of the new Paisley Maternity Hospital it changed its function, taking gynaecology and TB patients, but finally closed in 1987.

48 thoughts on “Renfrewshire (see also Inverclyde)

  1. I was born in the Milliken Park Maternity Hospital on March 17, 1948. I have been unable to find any information on it. I will be visiting Glasgow in a few weeks and would like to visit my birthplace if the building still exists. Any help would be most welcome.
    Chris Maziarski

    • Dear Chris,
      I haven’t had much luck, I’m afraid. I think that Milliken Park Maternity Hospital is probably the same as Fordbank Maternity Home, Milliken Park. Fordbank was a large house to the south-west of Milliken Park Railway station, but it would seem to have been demolished. At the moment I can’t find out anything about it. I would suggest that you contact the Renfrewshire Heritage Centre at Paisley Library – they are most likely to be able to help or to have records relating to the hospital. If I turn anything up myself I will let you know.
      best wishes,
      from Harriet

  2. I used to live next to the Fordbank Maternity Home and indeed visited a few times when delivering milk to the home during the 1970’s, when it was an old folks home.

  3. Pingback: former Royal Alexandra Infirmary, Paisley | Historic Hospitals

  4. Was born in Johnstone Maternity Hospital in 1940. Visited the site 4 years ago but the hospital was demolished many years ago. Any idea where I could find a photo? Would assist with my family history project.

  5. I was born in Paisley maternity in 1972, what hospital would this have been? Would it be the Royal Alexandria site before the Alexandria was built or was it the old infirmary off nielston road. I would love to know and see some old pictures

    • Dear John, I have been pondering this all morning. It’s odd how it is sometimes harder to find out about recent history than things that happened a century or more ago. I think that your best bet would be to contact Alistair Tough at the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde archives – they have patient records for the Royal Alexandria – which is the most likely I think – up to 1973.
      If I come across anything further I will let you know,
      best wishes,
      from Harriet

    • I’ve just had another hunt around, and I think that Paisley Maternity Hospital was built in the late 1960s next to the old Riccartsbar Hospital – the present Royal Alexandra Hospital site. The building is still there – you can see it on Google street view.

      • That would be right!
        I know this is an old post. I trained as a nurse in the old RAI, from 1977-1980, and I did my obstetrics placement at paisley Maternity in 1979/80, before the newer RAH was built. Incidentally, the School of Nursing was housed in a large house on Craw Road, near where the Annex was. When we were having lectures in the top floor, we could watch the foundations being laid fort he new hospital.
        I now work in the Beatson hospital at the Gartnavel Campus, and it fascinates me each time I walk up for coffee from my office and see the corridor walls lined with old photos of the first Beatson Centres. It started me thinking about all the places I have worked since 1977, and ended up here 🙂 Great site!

      • I too trained at the Royal Alexandra Infirmary from 1977 to 1980 (Mags – were you in the 12/9/77 intake??).
        We did our obstetric placement at Paisley Mateenity, work had started on the Royal Alexandra Hospital but I completed my training and moved on so I’ve never actually worked there. I’ve loved reading about all the old hospitals , and memories of lots of them have come flooding back. Thank you so much for such a fascinating and interesting site.

    • It was Paisley Maternity. My son was born there August 1972. In those days you were in hospital for 6 days after the birth

  6. Hi Harriet, your missing link in the chain of Paisley Maternity Hopsitals is Ross Hospital, Hawkhead Road, Paisley (the grounds of the then Hawkhead Infectious Diseases Hospital). It was founded in 1956 taking over from Barshaw Hospital (Barshaw House, Barshaw Park) and it closed in 1973 with the opening of the new (Royal Alexandra) Hospital on Corsebar Road.
    Hope this is of some help.

    Best Regards
    Paisley Oor Wee Toon

  7. I was born at the Ross hospital in 1964 I would like to get a copy of my birth certificate.
    Any thoughts on How I could go about this please.

  8. Does anyone have any info on the Johnstone ID hospital? There doesn’t seem to be much on line. I heard a rumour that St Benedicts High school is built on what was the burial ground for the hospital. Can anyone confirm this??

    • Hi Carole, usually burial grounds are marked on the OS maps – and there is nothing marked on any that I have seen. I have added some to the short entry on the hospital. You might find more information in the Medical Officer of Health reports, or try contacting the Mitchell Library and/or Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives.

  9. I’m trying to find out what hospitals or asylums were in use around 1805-1810 – I’m researching a book about someone whose wife seems to have been placed in a hospital somewhere near Erskine or Bishopton in Renfrewshire (not, obviously the Erskine/Princess Louise).

    • Dear Dr Kennaway,
      1805-10 is an early date for a hospital outwith Glasgow or Edinburgh. There were few medical hospitals at that time, but it was a period when there were quite a few private mental asylums – ‘madhouses’. On the whole I have ignored these institutions, because they tended to be in converted houses, and my main interest is in hospital design. I expect you have already looked at the New Statistical Account, if it was a hospital that survived into the 1830s/40s it would be mentioned there.
      Have you tried searching in early newspapers?
      Sorry I can’t be of more help,
      best wishes, and do let me know if you find the answer
      with best wishes
      from Harriet

  10. Hi Carol, the land St Benedicts was built on was only ever Farmland, that of Nether Mains Farm. The hospital didn’t have a burial ground, any deceased would have been buried in the Cemeteries at Paisley, Elderslie, Johnstone or where their families chose

    (Paisley Oor Wee Toon)

  11. I was born on 5th May 1948 at Thornhill Maternity Hospital Johnstone . Does anyone have a photograph of it please , to assist with a Family Tree project .

      • Anne
        I too was born in the Thornhill Hospital – 17 March 1948. A few years ago, I visited Scotland and searched the locations that were part of my history. During my taxi trip from the airport to my hotel, the driver was very informative. He resided in Milliken Park and his wife was born in Thornhill
        Hospital. I was disappointed when he informed me that the hospital was closed in 1987 and the building razed. He also informed me that the neighborhood where we had lived has been redeveloped (Dundonald St.).
        However, i was happy to visit St. Margaret’s Church in Johnstone. Father Burke, the pastor, gave a warm welcome, showed, me around and dusted off the parish registry to show me the record of my baptism. In addition, I enjoyed a nice chat with the rector who was born in Thornhil on May 1948 and baptised in St. Margaret’s.
        I would be most appreciative if you would provide me with a photo(s), as i have been unsuccessful in locating any.

        Please let me know of any costs.
        Take care,

  12. Hi there,
    I was brought up at Merchiston Hospital as my parents worked there and we were given staff houses, the original ones off Barochan Road.

    I was wondering if there are any photographs of the original Hospital and it’s grounds as ours were destroyed many years ago with both my parents dying along time ago.

    I got a couple of pictures from the Paisley Museum of the Mansion House at Merchiston and I could not believe it that in front of the building it was a person in a white coat walking just outside the door……it was my Dad which is now the only photo of him from those days.

    I really hope there are more of the Hospital out there somewhere.

    Kind regards,


    Stuart Kennedy.
    Tel: 07974 248 984.

  13. hello cris, I was born at fordbank maternity hospital milliken park 28.08.1941 my father polish mother scottish was war baby and brought up with my grand parents lived at 28 wright street renfrew went to moorpark school renfrew 1946 would loved to hear from you stanislaw.

  14. Hi there, my dad was born in Paisley 1950 at Westlands hospital ( unsure if it was called Westlands Maternity or Westland Nursing?). I believe my grandma kept / took {? Lol ) some linen when he was born – I’ve just found some in a trunk and embroidered onto it reads … Hospital (MR66) property. I’m assuming it was taken at the time of my Dad’s birth. Can’t find much in the internet about this place.

    • I think it must have been Westlands Nursing Home, at 2 Park Road, Paisley. It has been demolished and housing built on the site, so you’re probably fine to hang on to the linen! I’ll add the Home on to the Renfrewshire page when I have found out a little more about it.

  15. Hi Harriet
    Loved the podcast on Pollok House Auxiliary Hospital during WW1. You are missing a large Auxilliary hospital in Renfrewshire during WW1 -Neilston’s Cowdonhall or Cowdenhall Auxilliary Hospital (Please email me at for info)

  16. I hope it is alright to post this here.
    I did my nurse training in the RAI in Paisley 1977 – 1980. I’m trying to contact others who were in the same class so that we could perhaps meet up later on this year (2023) for a reunion.
    So far I’ve found only a handful of us who were in the 12/9/77 intake. If anyone knows of anyone who was in our class please pass this message on and ask them to get in touch
    Thank you,

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