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Latitude: 55.0478 / 55°2'52"N
Longitude: -3.5885 / 3°35'18"W
OS Eastings: 298603
OS Northings: 573741
OS Grid: NX986737
Mapcode National: GBR 3BC2.W9
Mapcode Global: WH5WQ.VDC4
Plus Code: 9C7R2CX6+4H
Entry Name: Rutherford House, Crichton Royal Hospital, Bankend Road, Dumfries
Listing Name: The Crichton, Rutherford House and Mccowan House
Listing Date: 26 June 1986
Last Amended: 10 October 2007
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 338383
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB6696
Building Class: Cultural
County: Dumfries and Galloway
Electoral Ward: Nith
Traditional County: Dumfriesshire
1900-1903 Free style hospital wing and 1929-31 nurses' accommodation block with Art Deco details, joined late 1990s by glazed link building by Page & Park architects.
RUTHERFORD HOUSE: Sydney Mitchell and Wilson, 1899-08. Detached villa-type composed around tower hospital block 2/3 storeys; near symmetrical south elevation, other elevations asymmetrical; full-height rear (north) wing; square tower with cap house rising one further storey; low courtyard range has north-facing pend. Snecked, bull-faced red ashlar with polished dressings. South elevation: open (timber) verandah links advanced outer bays, latter with steep-pitched gables, shaped skewputts, apex stacks and 2-storey canted windows with shaped parapets and ball finials; verandah has 5 segmental-arched bays and timber balustrade, door behind, mullioned windows above, and dormers with Venetian windows. Tower has shaped parapet, 3-bay elevations with elliptical oculi in recessed panels, with corbelled balconies; angle stair turret with cap house, open top stage with bell-cast roof. Full-height rear wing is T-plan, with outer bays advanced and gabled; east-facing porch in re-entrant angle; Renaissance-inspired doorpiece, depressed-arched 2-leaf doorway in cavetto reveals. Corniced stacks. Roofs mostly slated.
INTERIOR: inner hall with depressed-arched screens; some dado panelling; simple ceiling plasterwork.
MCCOWAN HOUSE: James Flett (with Dr C C Easterbrook advising), 1929-31. 2-storey and attic, 8-bay, flat-roofed symmetrical accommodation block with Art Deco detailing and proportions. 2-storey, 4-bay central block with bipartite windows and flat-roofed dormers between 3-storey, 2-bay, end pavilions with giant pilasters terminated by parapet ornamented with stylised water spout motifs. Squared, coursed red sandstone with polished ashlar dressings and end pavilions. Base course, projecting cills, cill course to 1st floor, eaves cornice, parapet to end pavilions. Window aprons to pavilion windows. Single storey, 3-bay wing extending from SW elevation with balustraded parapet and bipartite windows.
Built as part of the former Crichton Royal Hospital. Rutherford House, designed by the prominent Edinburgh firm of architects Sydney Mitchell and Wilson, was built as a hospital building for female patients of the 'second division', that is, patients with modest private means (Division I was for wealthy private patients and Division III was for pauper patients). The building is a fine example of the architects' work. The unusual Free-style tower is particularly striking and the glazed verandah across the south elevation of the building is reflective of the prevailing policy at the time to encourage patients to get as much fresh air as possible. Rutherford House cost £17,741 to build.
From its inception the Crichton set standards in asylum design and was at the forefront of the most advanced thinking on the treatment of patients with mental illness. The buildings added at the turn of the 20th century by Sydney Mitchell were particularly influential, marking important changes in mental health care away from institutionalism towards more home-like, detached accommodation.
McCowan House, although less architecturally distinguished than Rutherford, is nevertheless a good example of the work of James Flett, the clerk of works for the Royal Crichton Estate. The design is very similar to Hestan House, built for male staff in 1922 (listed separately). McCowan was designed as a hostel for female staff working in the second division. The large expansion in staff accommodation represented by this building is indicative of the increasing number of patients being cared for by the hospital at that time and the improvements in staff working conditions that resulted in a significant drop in working hours. Although nurses homes were built in large numbers across the country at about this date, this is a particularly good example as the majority of these buildings tended to be very plain and tucked away on the edges of hospital sites.
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