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Denbeath, Wellesley Road, Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital with Mortuary, Stack, Ancillary Buildings, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.1771 / 56°10'37"N

Longitude: -3.0272 / 3°1'37"W

OS Eastings: 336325

OS Northings: 698750

OS Grid: NT363987

Mapcode National: GBR 2G.GXHN

Mapcode Global: WH7SN.GZPX

Entry Name: Denbeath, Wellesley Road, Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital with Mortuary, Stack, Ancillary Buildings, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 29 June 1992

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 358329

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB22716

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Buckhaven and Methil

County: Fife

Town: Buckhaven And Methil

Electoral Ward: Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages

Traditional County: Fife

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Leven-Fife

Description

Alexander Tod, 1908; extension to W John Holt, 1965. Single storey and attic, 7-bay hospital in Scots Renaissance style. White harl with red sandstone ashlar dressings, most openings unmargined. Base course and mutuled cornice with blocking course treated as parapet. Round-headed door and windows. Corbels. Stone mullions.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Deeply recessed centre bays forming courtyard with advanced outer gables. Centre bay with red sandstone, Doric-columned portico bearing Wemyss coat-of-arms on mutuled pediment, round-headed doorway with 2-leaf panelled timber door and decoratively-astragalled fanlight and flanking narrow lights; circular tower over with 3 round-headed windows, mutuled cornice and blocking course giving way to conical roof with 4 gableted clock-faces and swan weathervane. 3 windows (grouped 2-1) in bay to right of centre and window slapping with door beyond, small stone dormer window with large floreate sandstone finial (initialled 'I' to left and 'W' to right) over each bay and ridge stack dividing bays. Advanced gable (with 2 windows on return to left) to outer right with bracketed 4-light window giving way to 3 sculptured panels, that to centre with swan flanked by '19' and '08', and rising to thistle finial between 2 small windows, grouped gablehead stack appearing as belfry. Full-height, conically-roofed round tower with arrowslits to right angle, and bartizan corbelled out over ground floor to left angle. Bays to left of centre mirror the above with carved stones to advanced gable 'RG' 'lion rampant' 'EW', and dormer finials initialled 'E' and 'S'.

NE ELEVATION: 2 bays to left of centre each with narrow window and bipartite dormer window, round tower to outer left; small advanced pavilion to right with bipartite window and diminutive timber fleche, further bipartite and single window on return to left.

SW ELEVATION: 2 narrow windows and round tower to outer right, flat-roofed link to extension projecting to outer left.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: asymmetrical elevation with variety of elements including small piended bay with 3 windows to centre flanked by modern flat-roofed extensions and extending to linked ancillary buildings beyond to right.

4-, 8- and 10-pane glazing patterns (most lights 2 panes wide) in timber sash and case windows. Graded grey slates with terracotta ridge tiles. Coped ashlar stacks; stepped ashlar-coped skews and cast-iron downpipes with decorative rainwater hoppers.

INTERIOR: circular entrance hall with round-headed door and decoratively-astragalled fanlight to each direction, similarly-detailed windows between and decorative cornice and ceiling detail; floor covering with swan over Wemyss motto 'Je Pense'; painted frieze.

MORTUARY: rectangular-plan, harled, cross-finialled and crowstepped mortuary with all round-headed openings. SE elevation with boarded timber door to right of centre and small bipartite window to outer right, raised centre tripartite to left. SW elevation with door to centre and traceried roundel above.

STACK AND ANCILLARY BUILDINGS: battered brick stack; harled square-section plinth corbelled to round 2nd stage with mutuled cornice. Harled and slated ancillaries retaining timber sash and case glazing, stacks and decorative rainwater goods.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: saddleback-coped harled boundary walls with cavetto-coped square-section gatepiers.

Statement of Interest

Commissioned by Lady Eva Wemyss as a memorial to her husband, the Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital was opened on 28 August, 1909. The Wemyss family developed extensive coal workings in the area, and supposedly there was a tunnel beneath the road linking the Wellesley Colliery to the hospital. Funding for the hospital is said to have been partly raised by a small levy on wages, but also by fines imposed on miners for breaches of discipline, when the culprit would be sent up through the tunnel. The hospital dealt mainly with surgical and accident cases, and was run by local general practitioners, one of whom acted as medical superintendent and performed operations, while consultants from Edinburgh would visit regularly. The turret clock was a gift from Charles Carlow of the Fife Coal Company.

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