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Latitude: 55.8869 / 55°53'12"N
Longitude: -4.2657 / 4°15'56"W
OS Eastings: 258385
OS Northings: 668293
OS Grid: NS583682
Mapcode National: GBR 0J9.CG
Mapcode Global: WH3P2.F9XC
Plus Code: 9C7QVPPM+QP
Entry Name: Water Tower, Ruchill Hospital, 520 Bilsland Drive, Glasgow
Listing Name: 520 Bilsland Drive, Ruchill Hospital, Water Tower
Listing Date: 6 April 1992
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 377663
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB33750
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Canal
Traditional County: Lanarkshire
Tagged with: Water tower
Pedestal: rusticated base, with ashlar coping, broken in the centre by a single (blocked up) window; string course arched over window; deep cornice with plain entabulature, brackets at angles flanking corner strapwork escutcheon.
Body: two stage, brick with stone pilasters clasping stone angles resting on a corniced pedestal, pilasters on segmental, pedimented pedestal with scrolls at the base; string course at the top marking entablature with a pronounced curvilinear cornice. Lower stage with single stone dressed, keystoned window with curved cornice hat and wide cill on brackets. Upper stage has mullioned bipartite with escutcheon below broad bracketed cill, surmounted by segmental pediment with inscribed convex pediment, all set between stone pilaster strips rising to curvilinear cornice.
Head: elaborate three-tier head to tower rising from broad curvilinear cornice forming a balustraded balcony at the centre of each face; tall arched window in centre flanked by lower arched light with pilasters dividing breaking through shaped pediment cover bay by terminating in blocked finials; angles comprise further block finials divied by pilasters with entablature and octagonal turrets above, bell roofed with onion finial and pole surmounting. Second tier recessed with twin (blocked) arched windows bounded by pilaster balustrade above deep cornice with dies and finials. Third stage comprises of octagonal tower with pyramidal roof, drum of columns, cupola with foliage top, pole and gall finial.
In 1892 the Glasgow Corporation purchased the 91-acre Ruchill Estate. 53 acres of the estate was turned into a public park and 38 acres set aside for building a hospital for infectious diseases. The site was selected for its accessibility from numerous districts of the expanding city. Its position on a hill, with the park adjacent, was chosen to ensure fresh air and sunshine for patients in an otherwise industrial area. The hospital opened on 13 June 1900 and cost around £250,000. It set the standard for local authority infectious diseases hospitals built after the 1897 Public Health Act which made the provision of such hospitals compulsory.
The hill-top site necessitated the building of the imposing water tower which is lavishly ornamented. The only comparable hospital water tower is that at Old Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow (LB33289).
Listed building record updated in 2018.
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