AIRTHREY CASTLE MATERNITY HOSPITAL, BRIDGE OF ALLAN The hospital opened c.1941 in the mansion house, a daring design by Robert Adam in his castle style. However, it had closed by 1969 when the new maternity unit opened at Stirling Royal Infirmary. The estates of Airthrey Castle were built on to form Stirling University.
BANNOCKBURN HOSPITAL, FALKIRK ROAD (partly demolished) Bannockburn Hospital was built as a local authority infectious diseases hospital by Stirling County Council for the Central District. It was designed by McLuckie & Walker, Stirling architects, and was begun in 1892.
It followed the standard plan for a small isolation hospital, with a central administration block and two flanking ward blocks. The ward blocks were linked to the administration section by a corridor to the rear. Originally it only provided ten beds. It was built of brick and enamelled bricks were used to face the insides of the wards, bathrooms and corridors. The floors were wooden, wax polished, and the areas underneath covered with Portland cement concrete. The ventilation system was a combination of Boyles exhaust system and Tobin’s tubes. It is not surprising that by 1902 the County Council had discovered that ten beds were not enough. In its 12th Annual Report the Health Committee stated that:
It has now been decided to add very considerably to the accommodation of the Hospital… The Hospital was one of the earliest erected under the County Council Government and being the first in Stirlingshire, there was hesitation to make it of any great size, feeling existed that there might be difficulty in getting patients with infectious diseases to accept hospital treatment. This, however, proved not to be the case.
The additions made in 1903 included another ward block, administration building and ancillary buildings. Further additions were made after the 1st World War, probably including ward blocks for TB cases. [Sources: County Council of Stirling Health Committee, Annual Report, 1900-1903]
CHILDREN’S HOME HOSPITAL, ABERFOYLE The hospital was in existence between 1903 and 1913, when it moved to Strathblane. Groome’s Gazetteer mentions an orphanage at Aberfoyle, but this seems to have been during the 1870s and not connected with the home hospital.
The home hospital was originally located in No. 5 Craigauchty Villas, where it was established by Marion Rutherford and Penelope Ker. It had space for seven children and a nurse. Later Nos 4 and 6 were also acquired allowing the hospital to expand. The houses were then relatively new, having been built in 1895. The hospital opened on 5th August 1903 supported by public subscription. The annual income required to adequately fund a house was £450.
To help with fundraising and management of the home a temporary committee was set up. It consisted of Mrs. Kennedy (13 Victoria Crescent, Glasgow) and Penelope Kerr, It is possible that Mrs Kennedy was a relative of William Kennedy from whom the property was rented. Mrs Blackett and her daughter Frances from Inverard near Aberfoyle also helped to set up the home and were committee members. Frances Blackett was Honorary Secretary. [Sources: information kindly supplied by J. Kennedy, Scottish Local History Forum. See Strathard Digital History Archive for a full account of the hospital]
CHILDREN’S HOME HOSPITAL, STRATHBLANE (demolished) This small home‑hospital for mentally handicapped children was originally a small sanatorium. It was established here in about 1913, having moved from Aberfoyle (see above). A modest domestic villa and its grounds were adapted with ward blocks added to the site. The wards had fine southerly views. The verandas were later enclosed.
KILDEAN HOSPITAL, DRIP ROAD, STIRLING Built as a joint infectious diseases hospital it was begun in 1901 to designs by Ebeneezer Simpson of Stirling.
It was provided for the joint burghs of Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, Doune and Callander and opened in 1904. It followed the plan of Camelon and Milton of Campsie Hospitals with a two‑storey domestic style centre block containing the administrative offices, but provided the new innovation of sun rooms for the wards.
It was converted into a geriatric unit when the need for such small infectious diseases units declined. It has not been greatly altered in recent years and is one of the best surviving examples of its type.
The buildings were still in use in 2009, but by 2014 the single-storey ward blocks on either side of the central administration block were boarded up. One block has been demolished, the smaller one built at an angle towards the centre of the site. More recently the admin block and former ward blocks on either side have been converted to office use. [Sources: County Council of Stirling, Medical Officer of Health, Annual Reports, 1900‑1910.]
KILLEARN HOSPITAL (largely demolished) One of the seven new hospitals built during the Second World War under the Emergency Medical Scheme. Killearn Hospital comprised a series of single‑storey hutted ward blocks.
It opened in 1940 and received casualties from the ‘Clydebank Blitz’ of March 1941. Transferred to the NHS in 1948, Killearn Hospital developed specialisms in neurosurgery and orthopaedics. Its isolated location, ideal during the Second World War, had become problematic by the 1960s leading to the hospital’s closure in 1972. The buildings survived for another thirty to forty years, slowly decaying, and one or two blocks were still extant c.2015. (see also Stirling Council Archives)
ORCHARD HOUSE, STIRLING (demolished) Built as Stirling Combination Poorhouse, it opened in 1857. A separate hospital block was added to the rear and a small ward block for pauper lunatics. It followed the standard H‑shaped plan.
The 1858 Town Plan (below) gives the rooms uses within the different parts of the complex. Fronting Union Street the entrance lodge contained a board room at the centre with porter’s room to one side, stores on the other. The building to the right was a probation ward block. The poorhouse proper followed the usual gender division with males on one side and females on the other. The rooms at the front on either side of the entrance were the apartments for the governor and matron. Flanking these were day rooms, then behind were dormitories and schoolrooms. In the central wing was the dining-hall cum chapel and in the range at the back were the services: kitchen, stores, workshops and laundry. To the rear of the site were the detached lunatic asylum and hospital blocks, and over on the eastern edge of the site was a fumigating house.
In the late-19th to early 20th century additional accommodation had been erection, with a detached block to the west of the entrance lodge and in about 1900 the asylum and hospital buildings were replaced by a new hospital wing. By 1990 it was partly demolished. (See also workhouses.org)
STIRLING ROYAL INFIRMARY (FORMER) 33 SPITTAL STREET A public dispensary was established in Stirling after a public meeting was held in June 1830 to propose its foundation. It survived until 1851 when a government grant was made available to the Parochial Board for the medical relief of the poor. It was not until 1870 that steps were taken to found an Infirmary.
Towards the end of 1871 the former Commercial Bank building in Spittal Street was purchased for £1,500 and Peddie and Kinnear provided plans for its conversion into a dispensary and infirmary. (The bank had been built in 1825-7 to designs by James Gillespie Graham.)
After the inevitable delays it opened in June 1874, providing two wards, one for each sex, containing eight beds each and a spare room with two beds for convalescent female patients. In addition there were the usual apartments for the medical officers, the matron and household. The Infirmary building is little altered from the outside and presents a neat classical facade in blonde sandstone.
A few years after it opened a detached ward for infectious diseases was formed from the waiting and consulting rooms and various further additions were made. In 1906 the infirmary’s convalescent home was opened outside the town. In 1913 further additions, including a children’s ward and staff accommodation, were opened but it soon became evident that a new building on a new site was required.
The hospital was finally replaced by the present building in 1928. The Spittal Street building became the County Education Offices and then the offices of Forth Valley Health Board, but more recently has been converted into a hotel (Hotel Colessio)
STIRLING ROYAL INFIRMARY (now Stirling Community Hospital) By 1924 the majority of the managers of the old hospital were agreed as to the necessity of building a new infirmary on a new site. James Miller, who had a house in Stirling, was chosen as architect and the new infirmary began in June 1926. Work was delayed by the General Strike but was completed in two years. The opening ceremony took place on 10 August 1928, performed by the Duke and Duchess of York.
The building was on an east‑west axis with a 600 foot long corridor running the length of its spine. To the south were the main wards and to the north the service buildings. It was only two storeys high, in strong contrast to Miller’s earlier Glasgow Royal Infirmary and in line with the trend in hospital design on the Continent.
During the Second World War six Emergency Medical Scheme huts were built on the site and in 1955 a chest unit and pharmacy were added. Further additions were made in the 1960s including a new maternity hospital which opened in 1969. This replaced the maternity unit at Airthrey Castle which was acquired as the site for the new Stirling University.
Acute services at the infirmary were transferred to the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital at Larbert in 2011. It has since operated as a community hospital. Major works were underway on the south part of the site in 2018, this has been christened the Stirling Health & Care Village. [Sources:Glasgow Herald, 10 Aug. 1928, p.9; 11 Aug. 1928, p.9:Lancet, 2 March 1929, p.478.]
TAYLORTON SMALLPOX HOSPITAL, STIRLING This small hospital in Stirling was provided as a joint smallpox hospital for the burghs of Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, Doune and Callander. It was built in 1905 and was designed by Stirling Burgh Surveyor, A. H. Goudie.
It was situated to the East of Stirling at Upper Taylorton, to the south of the Forth. It comprised a pavilion with two wards of four beds each and a separate building with a kitchen, sitting room and three bedrooms for staff. Another block contained the laundry, wash house, disinfecting room and stores. It was built of brick with hollow walls, plastered on the inner surface and ventilation by Tobin’s Tubes and large windows of which the upper and middle thirds opened inwards on horizontal hinges. It was built at a cost of £1,200. (Remarkably, the buildings still survive, or at least, can still be seen on satellite photographs on Google Earth in 2016.) [Sources: County Council of Stirling, Annual Reports]
TOUCH HOUSE AUXILIARY HOSPITAL, STIRLING Touch House had been taken over by the forces as a temporary hospital during the Second World War. After the War it was retained by the Stirling Hospitals Board of Management as a convalescent home in place of Chartershall (see below).
Touch House itself comprises a fine mid‑eighteenth century facade by William Adam of three storeys with central pediment, richly ornamented, with sixteenth‑ to seventeenth‑century blocks to right and behind.
VICTORIA CONVALESCENT HOME, CHARTERSHALL, STIRLING This convalescent home for Stirling Royal Infirmary was opened by the Duchess of Montrose on 28 July 1906 and had been built at a cost of £4,391, 14s 5d.
It was designed by William Simpson in 1904 to accommodate sixteen patients together with the matron and staff. In later years it proved inaccessible and too small to be economical and it was therefore closed. It is now a private house. (Sources: Stirling Archives, plans and elevations)
BELLSDYKE HOSPITAL, LARBERT a unit for adults with mental health problems, comprising three centres: Russell Park, Trystview and Trystpark, and Hope House built on vacant ground to the south-east of the former hospital complex. Trystview was designed by Sir Norman Foster and Partners in about 1995, for 45 long-term patients in the form of a near-circular terrace of seven houses. Ove Arup were the engineers, and landscaping by HED. The aim was to produce a reassuring space, and a sense of community. Russell Park, is to the west, an H-plan, single storey rehabilitation unit, and Trystpark is to the east, a Y-plan rehabilitation unit for male patients. (Perhaps the units designed by Macmon Chartered Architects granted planning permission in 2003?) The landscaping played an important role in this, referencing domestic gardens and the village green, with an approach through a tree-lined meadow. Hope House is the most recent addition to the site, opening in 2017. [Sources: AJ, 27 July 1995, p.27]
BELLSDYKE HOSPITAL, LARBERT (former, demolished) The former Stirling District Asylum, Bellsdyke Hospital originally opened in 1869 on a site adjacent to the Royal Scottish National Hospital which had itself recently opened. It served the counties of Stirling, Dumbarton, Linlithgow and Clackmannan. The original design was by William Stirling III, but he died before work was completed, so the plans were seen through by James Brown.
Groome’s Gazetteer described the asylum as of ‘mixed Scottish Baronial style and Italian’ … with two long verandas and two towers 90′ high at the back of these wings…all the cooking is done by gas and hot pipes were laid for the warming of the air during cold weather.’
In 1893 a separate hospital block was added to designs by A. & W. Black, who also rebuilt the original building and went on to design a large nurses’ home, built in 1907, and a reception hospital in 1914.
A large EMS hutted hospital was added c.1939 to the south-west of the site. The hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 and continued to function as a large mental hospital, latterly administered by Lanarkshire Health Board. [Sources: Francis H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer – Scotland, Edinburgh, 1892]
BO’NESS HOSPITAL, DEAN ROAD Bo’ness Hospital was built as a local authority infectious diseases hospital in about 1910. It was a typical example, with a central administration block flanked by ward pavilions.
It was converted for use as a geriatric unit once the need for such small fever hospitals had declined. Although the original hospital survived into the 1980s, it has since been replaced by a new community hospital which has in-patient facilities for the elderly as well as GP and outpatient clinics.
The health centre was built to the north of the former hospital ward blocks in the 1970s-80s, in vibrant orange/red brick, while the new hospital is a sprawling, low, single-storey building with a domineering roof, deep eaves and projecting gabled bays to create a domestic appearance. Planning was granted for the new hospital in 1999, to Central Scotland Healthcare, the architect was John Nicol Jarvie.
BONNYBRIDGE HOSPITAL This hospital was built c.1980 for Forth Valley Health Board. Low-rise, pitch-roofed domestic style buildings, probably brick. It had closed by 2012 and subsequently demolished. A housing development was built on the site in about 2018.
CAMELON HOSPITAL, FALKIRK (now offices) The former Infectious Diseases Hospital for Falkirk District was begun in 1894 to designs by the local architect William Black. Mr Forbes of Callander feued the land to the local authority. It opened in 1896 and consisted of the usual central administration building flanked by two ward blocks. It provided two scarlet fever wards with four and eight beds each (together with a small semi‑private ward), two enteric fever wards of four beds each and observation wards. It was heated by steam pipes and had a disinfector by Reck of Copenhagen.
Following a major fire the hospital was extended and remodelled in 1925. The hospital closed in 1958 and was converted into a rehabilitation centre. In the 1980s-90s it became Rossvail School, an adult training centre for people with learning difficulties. In 2015 it was in use by the local social work department. [Sources: Stirling County Council Health Committee, Annual Report, 1893‑7; Falkirk Herald, 25 May 2015, accessed online 22 March 2016.]
DENNY & DUNIPACE COTTAGE HOSPITAL, DENNY This small cottage hospital opened c.1900 (I originally gave a date of c.1891, but the building does not appear on the OS map surveyed in 1896 suggesting that this was incorrect.). It was designed by McLuckie & Walker. [Sources: H. C. Burdett, Hospitals and Charities Year Book, 1925.]
FALKIRK COTTAGE HOSPITAL, Thornhill Road (demolished) Built in 1889, this small hospital was also known as the Salton Cottage Hospital, named after Salton Cottage which was purchased, altered and extended to become the hospital. It was situated by Victoria Park to the east of Falkirk. Harriette Hicks Gibson was the driving force behind the foundation, she was the wife of the managing director of the Camelon Ironworks in Falkirk.
The original building had just two wards, added to Salton Cottage which was turned into a residence for the matron, with a parlour and kitchen, as well as an operating room and dispensary. A connecting link between the new two-storey ward block and the cottage housed a scullery, larder, provision store and lavatory. Each of the wards measured 34ft by 20ft and had eight beds, with bathroom and W.C.. A ‘lightsome’ staircase connected the two floors, with a linen store on the landing. Heating was by open fires. A separate out building contained the wash-house, laundry, coal-house and the mortuary. All were of red brick with white dressings (‘although they cannot boast of any architectural beauty’). The architect employed was probably William Black, as he was present at the opening ceremony.
By the late 1890s, the success of the cottage hospital had resulted in the need for extension. This was opened in June 1900, comprising a further wing on the north side of the existing hospital. Also of two storeys, this provided a ward on the ground floor, with reception room, a new dispensary and operating room, and another ward on the upper floor. William Black was the architect, the contractors being John Maxwell, mason; Kellock and Kilgour, joiners; D. McNair, plasterer, Wallace and Connell, plumbers; Thomas Liddle, painter, all of Falkirk; and Drummond and Crow, Slaters, of Laurieston. Lady Dawson Brodie performed the opening ceremony, her husband, Thomas Dawson Brodie having opening the original cottage hospital.
During the First World War the cottage hospital was used for military patients but returned to civilian work in January 1919. A temporary wooden hut which had been put up in the ground to house 40 patients was then removed, although a cricket pavilion which had been put up as a recreation room was preserved. In 1920 thoughts turned to extended the hospital and advice sought from Dr D. J. Mackintosh, the medical superintendent of the Western Infirmary in Glasgow. He examined the existing infirmary and the ground available for extension, and bearing in mind the population and the industrial character of the area served, he strongly recommended that a new infirmary built on up-to-date lines on a much larger site should be provided. This new infirmary opened in 1930 (see below). Sources: Falkirk Herald, 31 July 1889, p.4; 20 March 1897, p.5; 9 June 1900, p.5; 31 July 1920, p.6
FALKIRK & DISTRICT ROYAL INFIRMARY, MAJOR’S LOAN Falkirk Infirmary originated with a cottage hospital which was built in 1882. The core of the present hospital was begun in 1926 when the first sod was cut by the Duchess of Montrose. The Infirmary was opened by Prince George, later Duke of Kent, in January 1932. It had cost around £120,000 and had been designed in a sparse sub‑Georgian style by a local architect, W. J. Gibson, with advice from Dr Mackintosh from Glasgow’s Western Infirmary.
The hospital continued to expand in the following years. During the Second World War nine Emergency Medical Scheme huts were built on the site.
Major extensions were carried out in the 1960s including the development of the Falkirk Ward which established the pattern for ward design for most subsequent new hospitals. The architects who worked in conjunction with the Scottish Home and Health Department and Western Regional Hospital Board were Keppie Henderson and Partners. The plans for the Falkirk ward were finalised in October 1962 and work began in the following year. It was completed in 1966. The Falkirk ward was developed in order to provide greater ‘privacy, amenity and better facilities for caring for patients and so set standards for National Health Service hospitals which might be generally acceptable for many years to come’. It was an experiment in design incorporating several features which were being contemplated or proposed for new hospitals but had not yet been tried out in Britain. It was a complete departure from the standard Nightingale ward, and involved a move towards much smaller ward units. It was not considered viable to provide only single and double rooms which were by then current in American hospitals. This would have created too many operational and staffing difficulties and greatly increased the running costs. For these reasons a combination of four‑bed wards and single rooms was selected, with a ward floor of 60 beds, including twelve for intensive care.
More recently a new extension, the Windsor Unit, was opened in the late 1980s which was designed with an effective use of contrasting colours and materials. [Sources: Glasgow Herald, 19 January 1932, p.11; Scottish Home and Health Department, The Falkirk Ward, Edinburgh, 1966.]
FALKIRK POORHOUSE, COW WYND (demolished) The first poorhouse in Falkirk was built in 1850, and a separate lunatic asylum was added to the rear in 1853.
It was replaced by a new poorhouse in 1904-5, later Windsor Hospital. The original building later became a hostel and then a school before being demolished in the 1980s. (see also workhouses.org)
FORTH VALLEY ROYAL HOSPITAL, LARBERT This large new general hospital was built on the site of the Royal Scottish National Hospital and began operation in 2010, with its official opening ceremony in July 2011. It was designed by Equion and Keppie Designs to replace both Stirling Royal Infirmary and Falkirk Royal Infirmary which then became community hospitals.
LOCHGREEN HOSPITAL, SLAMMANAN ROAD, FALKIRK Lochgreen Hospital was originally built as the Falkirk Infectious Diseases Hospital and Sanatorium by Falkirk Burgh Council. Plans were drawn up by A. & W. Black in September 1881.
The site chosen was typical for such a hospital being away from the town centre and set high on a hill to catch every passing blast of fresh air. As can be seen from the sequence of OS maps, the hospital expanded considerably from its modest beginnings. All that now remains of the hospital is part of the original complex (now Nos 1 and 2 Princess Gate, the remainder has been demolished to make way for a housing estate, McNab gardens. [Sources: Greater Glasgow Health Board, plans from Common Services Agency.]
ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL HOSPITAL, LARBERT (demolished) The hospital was founded by the Society for the Education of Imbecile Youth in Scotland. It was designed to be both a school and a home, especially adapted for the ‘education and industrial training and general amelioration of mental and bodily states of young persons afflicted with impaired mental powers’. It was designed by Frederick Pilkington and has many familiar details of his style. The site was acquired in 1861 and the building was in course of erection by January 1862.
Pilkington was an English architect, from Yorkshire, who had moved to Edinburgh and was principally connected with church designs. In 1863 he was in mid‑ career and this seems to be the only hospital he designed. The building has a monumental quality in its heavy forms, the surface texture full of contrasts from the rough faced masonry to the intricately carved capitals. In the 5th Annual Report of the Institution published in 1866 the Director noted the principals of design applied to the buildings.
‘When the plan of the present buildings was first agreed on it was thought desirable as much as possible to preserve a feeling of family life throughout the whole arrangements. It was therefore resolved that … it should be composed of 5 distinct buildings, each having a separate organization so far as custody and training of the inmates was concerned, but the whole being treated as one, in culinary and other economic arrangements.’
It was gradually extended; a lodge was built in 1877 and a hospital wing to the rear. In 1900 a new recreation hall opened but the main transformation of the site took place in the 1960s when a series of villas and other new buildings were built to the rear. The original building was vacant in 1989.
In the 1920s the scope of the hospital increased when the Larbert House site was developed. The new villas planned as a colony were opened in 1922, built to the designs of James Miller.
Larbert House itself was adapted as patient accommodation. The mansion house had at its core a late Georgian house to which was added a new front in the later‑nineteenth century and extravagant porte‑cochere and balustraded tower. There was also an elegant conservatory to the rear. There were still, in 1990, some fine interiors with a walnut panelled room, fine over‑mantels and plasterwork. Closure in 2002, followed by a fire in 2006, left the building a roofless ruin. It has since been rebuilt and the grounds being redeveloped by local developer Grant Keenan. [Sources: Glasgow Herald, 13 Sept. 1935, p.6: T. M. Jeffery, ‘Life and Works of F. T. Pilkington’, unpublished thesis, Newcastle School of Architecture.]
WINDSOR HOSPITAL, FALKIRK (Demolished) The former Windsor Hospital at Falkirk was originally built as a poorhouse, replacing an earlier building in Cow Wynd (see above).
It opened in 1904 and was designed by the local architect A. Black. In about the 1920s-30s it changed its name to Blinkbonny Home, Public Assistance Institution. (I’m not entirely certain, but I have a vague recollection that to call someone blink bonny meant that they were deaf, or perhaps short-sighted. As this may have come from my father, the truth of it is questionable.) It closed as a hospital during the 1980s and was demolished in 1991. [Sources: Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives, plans from Common Services Agency.]
CLACKMANNAN COUNTY HOSPITAL, ASHLEY TERRACE, ALLOA (demolished) The hospital opened in 1899 for accident cases. It was designed by the Glasgow architect Robert Bryden.
There was an earlier hospital to the east founded by the Earl of Mar & Kellie in 1868. He donated the site and £300 towards the building costs. It comprised two fever wards and two general wards. The hospital was still standing in 2009, including a decent post-war addition to the east, but had been demolished and replaced by a housing development by 2015.
SAUCHIE HOSPITAL, ALLOA (largely demolished) Sauchie Hospital opened in 1895 as the Clackmannan County Infectious Diseases Hospital, it was built to designs by John Melvin & Son. The same architects added a laundry block in 1901, and in 1938 a north block was added by William Kerr and John Gray, architects. It was just up the road from the County Hospital, north of Sunnyside Cemetery.
It was considerably extended before the Second World War, and at least one further new block was added in around the 1970s-80s. The site has since been cleared to make way for the present Clackmannanshire Community Health Care Centre. (The gate piers and gate lodge have been retained at the entrance to the new facility.) The new centre was officially opened in 2009, it was designed by HLM Architects, and constructed by the Robertson group. [Sources: Daily Record, 4 Dec 2009 – accessed online 27/3/2019.]