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

ALDERSTON CONVALESCENT HOME, HADDINGTON, EAST LOTHIAN   Alderston House was acquired by the Scottish Rural Workers Friendly Society and converted into a convalescent home which ad opened by 1930. It was a neat neo-Classical house of five bays with a rusticated ground floor and slightly advanced centre bay surmounted by a pediment. A single-storey extension to one side was added later and a small-scale, two-storey pavilion on the other side, separate from the main house.

During the Second World War it was incorporated in the Emergency Medical Scheme, and after the War it was transferred to the National Health Service as a convalescent home. This closed in 1956 and the house became a nurses’ home.

BANGOUR GENERAL HOSPITAL, UPHALL, WEST LOTHIAN   Bangour General was probably the least altered of the surviving Emergency Medical Scheme hospitals by the late 1980s, remaining within the Health Board’s estate. It was one of the seven completely new hospitals built during the Second World War under the Scheme. The long and low, single-storey, hutted ward blocks cover quite a large site which slopes up to the north.

BANGOUR VILLAGE HOSPITAL, UPHALL, WEST LOTHIAN   Built as the Edinburgh District Asylum from 1898 to 1906, to designs by the well-known Edinburgh architect Hippolyte J. Blanc, Bangour was planned on the continental colony system as exemplified by the asylum at Alt Scherbitz near Leipzig, which had been built in the 1870s.

The Edinburgh District Asylum at Bangour was begun slightly before that at Aberdeen (later Kingseat Hospital), which was also built on a colony plan, making Bangour the first new asylum for paupers to be built on this system. (The Aberdeen District Asylum at Kingseat, though begun after Bangour, was completed two years earlier). A move towards a colony system had been made at some existing asylums in Scotland, notably the Crichton Royal at Dumfries, from about 1895. The distinguishing feature of the colony plan asylum was the detached villas to accommodate the patients which aimed to create a more homelike environment.

The competition held in 1898 for the new Edinburgh Asylum specified the continental form of plan. Bangour was designed as a self-contained village with its own water supply and reservoir, drainage system and fire fighting equipment. It could be self-sufficient by the industry of able patients.


Plan and elevation of the hospital block by Hippolyte J. Blanc,1906,  in the National Monuments Record for Scotland collection of the RCAHMS

The site was divided into two sections for the medical and non-medical patients, with power station, workshops, bakery, stores, kitchen and laundry in the middle. The patients’ villas housed from 25 to 40 patients each and varied from two to three storeys. On the ground floor were day-room, dining-rooms and a kitchen with separate dining-rooms for the nurses. The dormitories were located on the upper floors. Another important aspect of the colony system was the replacement of the large common dining halls with smaller dining-rooms within the villas. This was a feature of the Aberdeen Asylum at Kingseat as well as Bangour and the later Dykebar Asylum at Paisley.

The recreation hall, also designed by Blanc, contained a hall measuring 93 feet by 54 feet, with a stage at the north end. By incorporating a lattice steel girder support for the roof, there was no need to use pillars within the hall. There was even an orchestra pit in front of the footlights which was specially constructed to allow it to be covered at floor level when the hall was used for dances.

A church was added to the site in 1924-30 designed by H. O. Tarbolton. Set in a central position on the site and in a severe Romanesque style, it is one of the most impressive hospital churches in Scotland. The dark brown stone of the church contrasts strongly with the cream-painted villas near to it.

In 1931 the nurses’ home, with its two ogee-roofed octagonal central turrets, was extended by E. J. MacRae with a large new wing, blending sympathetically with the original block. [Sources: H. J. Blanc, ‘Bangour Village Asylum’ in Journal of the R.I.B.A., Vol.XV, No.10, 21 March 1908, p.309-26: Lancet, 13 Oct. 1906, p.1031]

BELHAVEN HOSPITAL, BEVERIDGE ROW, DUNBAR, EAST LOTHIAN   Sydney Mitchell & Wilson are cited as the architects of the Belhaven Hospital. If this prestigious firm, notable for hospital planning on a grand scale, was indeed responsible for the design, it is a minor work with no unnecessary decoration to betray the hand of these architects, though they are pleasing in white-painted render and slate roofs.


The entrance to Bellhaven Hospital,  photographed in 2011 © Copyright Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The hospital opened  c.1905 as the local authority infectious diseases hospital. It was built on the standard plan with two single-storey ward blocks, administration building, laundry block and boiler house. A gate lodge was added later in the same style.

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Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1906. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

During the Second World War a small emergency operating theatre was added. In 1948 the hospital was transferred to the National Health Service. [Sources:Buildings of Scotland, Lothian, 1978]

DALKEITH UNION POORHOUSE, MIDLOTHIAN   The poorhouse was one of the first to be built after the Poor Law (Scotland) Amendment Act of 1845, opening in 1849. It was later known as Westfield Hospital and was still in operation in the early 1950s when a new dining hall was added.

DRUMSHORELAND HOSPITAL, WEST LOTHIAN   Drumshoreland Hospital was built as the local authority infectious diseases hospital. A fever hospital had been established at Drumshoreland by 1888. The original hospital blocks were described in the Scottish Hospitals Survey as mainly built of corrugated iron, therefore this may have been built by Speirs & Co. of Glasgow.

DUNBAR BATTERY HOSPITAL, DUNBAR, EAST LOTHIAN Demolished This small isolation hospital was set up in the Napoleonic battery that had never seen use, but had been maintained, more or less, since it was built. It was turned into an isolation hospital in 1874, a belated response to the 1867 Public Health Act, and was administered by the parochial board. It was finally replaced by the new isolation hospital at Bellhaven around 1905-6, but was retained as a casual sick house for emergencies.

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

The War Department took a lease on the building at the outbreak of the First World War, but instead built a new hospital at Castle Park and passed on the lease to the Red Cross. It re-opened as the Dunbar Battery Auxiliary Hospital and was used throughout the war. In 1919 it became the home of the new Dunbar Cottage Hospital (below). It remained in use as the cottage hospital until 1926. The building survived about another decade, and was occupied by a local family but in 1937 the roof blew off.  [Sources: John Gray Centre, website includes history and photographs of the hospital.]


DUNBAR COTTAGE HOSPITAL, EAST LINKS ROAD, EAST LOTHIAN  demolished  The hospital was originally situated in the former Battery Hospital (see above). It opened as the Dunbar and District Cottage Hospital in July 1919. In 1927 Yorke Lodge was acquired by the managers and converted into new premises for the hospital, opening in May of that year.

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Extract from the 2nd-edition OS map, revised in 1893. Yorke Lodge is the detached building top centre. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It finally closed in 1973 and the patients were transferred to the Belhaven Hospital. The building was then used as a holiday home for patients until it was sold in 1983. The Lammemuir Care Home stands on the site of Yorke Lodge.

EAST FORTUNE HOSPITAL, EAST LOTHIAN   The hospital began as a Royal Naval Airship Station established at the outbreak of the First World War by the Admiralty. The hospital opened in December 1922. In the 1980s it comprised a two storey block and a series of simple single storey ward blocks with open verandas. With the airfield it was an unusual and rare survival of considerable historical significance and a very good re‑use of the corrugated iron Airship station buildings.

geograph-2149956-by-Richard-WestThe principal building at East Fortune Hospital, photographed in 2010 © Copyright Richard West and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

When the Airship Station was established on East Fortune Farm three large hangars were built to house the airships. Much of the hospital was formed from the buildings associated with the Station. It was from here in July 1919 that the first east to west Atlantic crossing was made by an airship. It closed in 1920 though in 1921 it was used by the Navy as a headquarters during the coal strike when detachments were sent to the various pits in the Lothians to work pumps and safety apparatus.


Corrugated iron at East Fortune Hospital, photographed in 2010 © Copyright Richard West and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

In July 1921 the buildings were bought by the South Eastern Counties of Scotland Joint Sanatorium Board and in the following year the first part of it re‑opened as a Sanatorium. In 1925 it was fully opened with provision for one hundred and ninety‑nine beds. Further extensions were carried out in 1935 by Auldjo Jamieson & Arnott.

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Extract from the OS 1:25,000 map, revised 1938-52. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

During the Second World War the patients were evacuated and the hospital incorporated in the Emergency Medical Scheme. Three large wooden ward huts were built and a hut for operating theatres and x‑ray apparatus. In 1941 the buildings were taken over by the RAF and an airfield built on the adjoining site. The RAF left in 1946 and the buildings reverted to the Sanatorium Board although they did not take up possession again until 1949. As the need to treat TB declined the hospital changed use to become a centre for the mentally handicapped. It closed in 1997. The airfield to the south now houses the National Museum of Flight.

The hospital blocks were listed grade B in 1991, but since closure have become increasingly ruinous, although they do not appear to be on the Buildings at Risk register. [Sources : W. L. Morgan, ‘History of East Fortune Hospital’ in Fortune, No.10, Dec. 1954: photographs of the hospital can be seen on several urbexers sites, including derelict places, and there are more on Geograph.]

EDENHALL HOSPITAL, INVERESK, EAST LOTHIAN   Edenhall House began as a modest nineteenth‑century house (Pinkieburn), built in the 1820s,  which was extended by George Washington Browne and John More Dick Peddie in the 1890s. Illustrations of the Jacobean style interiors appeared in Academy Architecture in 1894 and 1899.

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Pinkieburn house, shown on the 2nd-edition OS map revised in 1893. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was the home of the Lindsay family. During the early part of the First World War five members of the family lost their lives. Edenhall Hostel for Limbless Soldiers and Sailors had been established in 1915 at Edenhall House (0r Eden Hall) near Kelso, but larger premises were needed. Pinkieburn was purchased and in 1918-20 James Jerdan & Son designed extensions to the house for hospital use, funds being donated for the purpose by the Red Cross. According to the 3rd Statistical Account, Edenhall Hospital was transferred to the National Health Service in 1953.


Aerial photograph of Edenhall Hospital, taken in 2014 © Crown Copyright: HES

Hospital huts were constructed in the grounds which have the appearance of having been erected as part of the Emergency Medical Scheme during the Second World War. The hospital closed in 2013. [Sources: Annual Report 1918]

EDINGTON COTTAGE HOSPITAL, NORTH BERWICK, EAST LOTHIAN   The Edington Cottage Hospital opened in c.1912 as a convalescent home designed by W. Ross Young. It appears more like a domestic house than an obviously institutional hospital. The convalescent home was founded by Francis and Elizabeth Edington. When it was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 it was converted into a cottage hospital. [Sources: The Builder, 7 April 1900, p.351: Lothian Health Board, plans]

HERDMANDFLAT HOSPITAL, HADDINGTON, EAST LOTHIAN   Built as the Haddington District Asylum by Peddie & Kinnear c.1860. The original asylum building is to the north of the site with central administration, kitchen and recreation hall flanked by wings for patient accommodation. [Sources:RCAHMS, National Monuments Record of Scotland, drawings collection.]

LINLITHGOW POORHOUSE, WEST LOTHIAN Built in 1854, Groome’s Gazetter describes the poorhouse as being at the east end of the town ‘a Scottish Baronial building, with good grounds’. It was built as a combination poorhouse for Linlithgow, Abercorn, Bathgate, Bo’ness, Carriden, Kirkliston, Muiravonside, and Whitburn with accommodation for 230 inmates. [Sources:Francis H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer ‑ Scotland, 1892, Vol.IV, p.520]

LOANHEAD HOSPITAL   Loanhead Hospital was built as an infectious diseases hospital around the turn of the century. The buildings have not been greatly altered and retains {in 1990} some good original features. It also retains something of its original isolated position in relation to the town, which is now quite a rarity as so many of these small isolation hospitals have now been absorbed by modern urban development.

MUIRFIELD HOUSE, GULLANE, EAST LOTHIAN   Muirfield House was built to designs by Robert Lorimer c.1906 as a convalescent home for the Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Sick Children. It opened in 1909. It had closed by 1989.

PARKHOUSE PSYCHIATRIC UNIT, MUSSELBURGH, MIDLOTHIAN   This red brick hospital was built as a local authority infectious diseases hospital probably at the turn of century.

PRESTONKIRK POORHOUSE, EAST LINTON, EAST LOTHIAN   Prestonkirk or East Lothian Poorhouse was designed in 1863 by Peddie & Kinnear. It was a plain, T‑plan building of two storeys. [Sources: RCAHMS, National Monuments Record of Scotland, drawings collection: Scottish Record Office, plans, RHP 30863/1‑14]

ROODLANDS GENERAL HOSPITAL, HADDINGTON, EAST LOTHIAN   Roodlands Hospital was built as the Infectious Diseases Hospital for the western districts of East Lothian and had opened by 1923. It has subsequently been extensively added to and extended.

ROSSLYNLEE HOSPITAL, ROSSLYN   Built as the District Asylum for Midlothian and Peebles by William Lambie Moffatt, Rosslynlee Hospital opened in 1874. The original block was designed on an E‑plan of two storeys. Two wings were added in 1898 by R. Rowand Anderson.


Day Hospital photographed in 2002 by RCAHMS

ST MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL, LINLITHGOW, WEST LOTHIAN   Built as the local authority infectious diseases hospital, a competition was held for the design which was awarded to John Melvin and Son of Alloa in 1899. [Sources: The Builder, lxxv11, p.201.]

TIPPETHILL HOSPITAL, ARMADALE, WEST LOTHIAN   (original buildings demolished)  Tippethill Hospital was built as the local authority infectious diseases hospital in 1899-1901. It was to serve the districts of Armadale, Bathgate and Whitburn. See Davie Kerr Heritage and Armadale.org for old postcards showing the hospital buildings, and further details of its history.


2nd-edition 25-inch OS map, revised in 1914. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

This is a brick-making area of Scotland, and the original buildings were of ‘terra-cotta brick’, at a cost of £8,500. A smallpox pavilion was added in 1902, later used for TB patients instead. It is labelled Sanatorium on the map above, but would seem to have been rebuilt, probably in the 1930s, judging from the later map below which shows a pavilion in a different position on the north side of the main hospital. A new range was also added on the south of the original hospital, and the three separate blocks linked together, this may represent the two blocks added in 1937.


6-inch OS map, published c.1949.  The map sheet was printed on ‘war substitute paper’. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

The old hospital was superseded by a new community hospital on the same site (retaining the name Tippethill) in 2001. It is also built of brick, and comprises low single storey functional blocks comprising two wings, one for the elderly, the other for elderly patients with mental illness with 30 beds in each wing. The brick perimeter wall with its polished stone capping may be a survivor from the original hospital. [Sources: Edinburgh Evening News, 2 Oct 1901, p.2: Dundee Evening Post, 2 Dec 1901, p.2:  The Scotsman, 20 Sept 1937, p.7]

VERT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, HADDINGTON, EAST LOTHIAN   Founded in 1929 by John Vert of Pendleton, Oregon, the hospital originally provided thirteen beds. It is a neat two storey red sandstone building with a central round arched doorway. The stone used in the construction came from Amisfield House which was pulled down after the First World War. Some of the stone was also used in the erection of a large secondary school at Prestonpans. A maternity unit was added later. [Sources: W. Forbes Gray, A Short History of Haddington, Edinburgh, 1944.]

WEDDERBURN HOUSE, INVERESK, EAST LOTHIAN  Originally built as Inveresk Poorhouse, Wedderburn House was run jointly by Midlothian and East Lothian County Councils and provided accommodation for 100 inmates.

WHITEHILL FEVER HOSPITAL, DALKIETH   This small fever hospital in Dalkieth was built as a local authority infectious diseases hospital c.1912, the site was gifted by the Duke of Buccleuch to the town of Dalkeith in 1910. Closed as Hospital, 1990 in use as Adult Training Centre.

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