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Latitude: 57.1575 / 57°9'26"N
Longitude: -2.122 / 2°7'19"W
OS Eastings: 392718
OS Northings: 807405
OS Grid: NJ927074
Mapcode National: GBR S82.3R
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.CCRC
Entry Name: Cornhill Road, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Elmhill House
Listing Date: 19 March 1984
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 354425
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19984
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Midstocket/Rosemount
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
William Ramage, 1862. 3-storey and basement, 13-bay grouped 1-4-3-4-1, E-plan Italianate former mental hospital. Tooled coursed granite finely finished to margins. Base course; recessed cills to ground floor, projecting cills to remainder; long and short ashlar quoins; eaves course; overhanging eaves.
SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 3-bay gabled entrance block, stepped forward; quadripartite square-plan columned, flat-roofed porch advanced to ground floor, stone steps to central panelled timber door with letterbox fanlight, flanked to left and right by single windows; regular fenestration to 1st and 2nd floors. Regular fenestration to basement, ground, 1st and 2nd floors of flanking bays to left and right. 4-storey, square-plan Italianate towers recessed behind penultimate bays to left and right, round-arched windows to each elevation with impost and keystone details, weathervane to apex. Bays to outer left and right stepped forward, 3 windowed bow through ground and 1st floors, 2 windows to attic floor of bay to left, upper floor removed of bay to right, blind windows to inside returns.
NE ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 8-bay; regular fenestration to 3 bays to left, timber door with letterbox fanlight flanked to left and right by canted windows at ground floor to left; regular fenestration to 1st floor; 2nd floor cills only surviving, remainder flat roofed; coped wall adjoining to outer left with lean-to timber ancillary structure, doorway to rear of building.
NW ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 13-bay; regular fenestration; 4-bay block advanced to centre; flanked to left and right by 3-bay blocks; flat-roofed blocks advanced to flanking bays, with tower behind, windows to inside returns; single bay block to outer right with metal fire escape; block to outer left blank, 2nd floor removed.
SW ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 10-bay, doorway near-centre of ground floor, flanked to left and right by canted windows spanning 2 bays, regular fenestration to remainder; semi-circular coped wall advanced to outer left, with lean-to shelter to right return.
Predominantly 12-pane and 9-pane timber sash and case windows, badly damaged. Grey slate roof with lead ridge. Coped granite ridge and wallhead stacks with octagonal cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: simple, which much of original cornicing, panelling, doors and skirting boards surviving.
B-Group with John Forbes of Newe Obelisk and 32 Westburn Road (Asylum Lodge). The lunatic asylum in Aberdeen was established at Cornhill in 1800, so that the mentally ill patients could be treated separately from other patients. Archibald Simpson designed the main asylum building in the early 19th century, which has since been replaced and engulfed by later additions. The number of patients steadily increased. Clerkseat House (now demolished) was built in 1852 as the residence of the Physician Superintendent, Dr Jamieson, but it soon had to be used to accommodate patients. Eventually in 1861 Elmhill was purchased, and in 1862 Elmhill House was built for ?10,866, to accommodate patients paying higher rates. Dr Jamieson, was one of the first doctors to lecture on mental diseases, and rather than punishment, advocated fresh air, exercise, baths and work as treatment. The E of Elmhill House was damaged by a bomb during the war and has not been replaced. Currently not in use (1999).
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