History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Boiler House, Gartloch Hospital, Glasgow

A Category A Listed Building in North East, Glasgow

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 55.8792 / 55°52'44"N

Longitude: -4.1045 / 4°6'16"W

OS Eastings: 268441

OS Northings: 667113

OS Grid: NS684671

Mapcode National: GBR 3Y.2Q2D

Mapcode Global: WH4Q8.XHMB

Plus Code: 9C7QVVHW+M5

Entry Name: Boiler House, Gartloch Hospital, Glasgow

Listing Name: Gartloch Road, Gartloch Hospital, Asylum Section, Hospital Section and Original Nurses' Home

Listing Date: 14 June 1991

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 377946

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB33868

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glasgow

County: Glasgow

Town: Glasgow

Electoral Ward: North East

Traditional County: Lanarkshire

Find accommodation in



Thomson and Sandilands, designed 1889. Near symmetrical group of asylum buildings in French Renaissance style with Scottish Baronial details in red sandstone comprised of tall and narrow administration block with dining hall and kitchen to rear flanked by boiler house and laundry to S and workshops to N.

ADMINISTRATION BLOCK: 3-storey 13-bay symmetrical block with 2 imposing stair/water towers, single pile with corridor. Base course, ground floor band course, 1st floor cill course, 2nd floor cill band and eaves cornice. 2nd floor windows breaking eaves in mannered dormerheads with varied finials (eaves cornice serving as transom). Ashlar mullions and transoms.

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: slightly advanced, wide entrance bay channelled at ground. Doorpiece comprised of paired, banded columns, pedimented central section and depressed arch doorway; 3 closely grouped windows at 1st and 2nd floors balustraded ashlar parapet: tall French roof with dormer, leaded apex with brattished neck, tall, slender, banded stacks flanking. Either side of entrance bay are 4-light canted, balustraded windows at ground with bipartites to each floor above, flanked by single windowed bays. Adjoining tower bays (see below) with 2 single windows outer bays.

TOWERS: identical, slightly advanced with rounded angles. Stair towers extend to eaves comprising round-arched keystoned panel containing corbelled, balustraded canted ashlar oriel at 1st floor level with tripartite French windows above; oculi flanking corbels at ground: pedimented French Renaissance niches above. Water towers rise by as much again, largely blank, terminating in bracketed ashlar, balustraded balconies on each face with round-arched blind doors (tripartite to sides) with traceried ventilators (2 on front 4 on sides) above; diminutive bartizans with candlesnuffer roofs and finials, gargoyles at eaves. Pavilion roofs to towers now removed.

SIDE ELEVATION: 2-bay, handed. Rear bay with entrance tower corbelled to circular section above ground with polygonal 2nd floor and pyramidal roof; doorway in roll-moulded ashlar panel with carved panel above; strapwork above 1st floor window, window to each face at 2nd floor. Window to each floor in bay to front, repeating treatment of end bays on front. Rear elevation and service buildings: some alterations. 11-bay with centre bay comprising balustraded, 9-light, canted bay window at ground floor surmounted by 3 closely grouped single windows at 1st and 2nd floors. Arched window at ground floor to outer bay. Covered corridors extend to rear between end bays creating narrow courtyard before group of single storey, hip-roofed and gabled service buildings.

INTERIOR: some alterations, tiled entrance covered with carpet tiles, some woodwork now painted.

BOARD-ROOM on ground floor with wood panelling to dado, pediemtned over-door on brackets and ornate Jacobean style fireplace, with inset cast bronze plaque listing members of City of Glasgow District Lunacy Board 1891 and 1896. Picture rail with embossed frieze above, plaster cornice with egg-and-dart, dentils and acanthus brackets; low relief compartmental ceiling. Contemporary furniture includes sideboard, table and leather upholstered chairs.

STAIRS: turned Jacobean style balustrade. 3-light bay at 1st landing with pastel coloured, art-nouveau style leaded glass, set in polished wood with panelled base and sides. Arched window at second landing painted wood with coloured, leaded glass in upper portion. S stair has replacement glass in one panel at 1st landing.

BOILERHOUSE AND LAUNDRY: 8-bay, single storey near symmetrical laundry block with open court to rear and boilerhouse recessed to the left of main elevation. Base course, chamfered reveals and original glazing patterns to windows, eaves cornice partially broken on corw-stepped gabled end bays, slate roofs with terracotta ridges.

LAUNDRY MAIN ELEVATION: plain 6-bay centre with single windows (right hand window now a doorway) flanked by broad, advanced, gabled outer bays with transomed and mullioned bipartite window in centre surmounted by simple frieze with cornice above. Oculus in gablehead. Cloverleaf finial at apex, large scrolls at base of crowsteps resting on eaves cornice. Slated and louvred ridge ventilator. Windows in outer bays have 9-pane upper lights and single pane lower lights, body of building has unusual 12-pane resting on 2 long panes in upper sashes and 2-pane lower sashes.

N ELEVATION: doorway with timber canopy on return. Single bay link to boiler house with mullion and transome bipartite.

S ELEVATION: 8-bay asymmetrically arranged single storey return adjoining 2-storey, hip-roofed, end bay.

REAR ELEVATION: asymmetrically arranged group with 5-bay, 2-storey block to left adjoining single storey range linking, with cast iron sectional tank with sides boarded over; rear of boiler house gabled with later garage type entrance.

BOILERHOUSE MAIN ELEVATION: crowstepped gabled entrance bay with chimney stack to right. Round headed entrance with later metal sliding doors, flanked by rectangular niches with blind roundels above. Circular ventilator opening in centre above entrance. Gablehead with rectangular bellcote, with bell, and cloverleaf finial. Large scrolls at crowstep base slightly recessed. Tall, battered chimney base with similar stylised niche details capped by finialed blocks at angles. Circular red brick chimney with metal bands and broader top, adapted with modern cap. SIDE ELEVATION: 4 slim rectangular moulded panels surmounted by blind oculi to left flanked by 2 blocked up windows.

INTERIOR: workshop and coal store with similar, kingpost roofs with curved brackets supporting collars; horizontal boarding between trusses, intermittent sky-lights. Workshop roof varnished.

WORKSHOPS: L-plan workshop building with courtyard to rear. Block to S set back enclosing court with curtain wall surmounted by railings and gate piers with ball finials.


MAIN ELEVATION: same as laundry.

N ELEVATION: simple 12-bay, twin roof ridge ventilation with plain chimney stack in centre. Glazing identical to Laundry block.

S ELEVATION: 4-bay, single windows with glazing as on N.


MAIN ELEVATION: single gabled bay identical to gabled bays of principal block.

SIDE ELEVATION: 5-bay with some alterations. Ridge ventilator.

COURTYARD ELEVATIONS: N and S block similar. On E side of courtyard, single storey timber store with piended roof.

PAIR OF "VILLAS" TO SE AND NE: identical, 3-storey, 11-bay symmetrical "villa" with single storey, 1-bay, piend-roofed sanitary annexes on returns. Base course, broken stringcourse at 1st floor cill level, unbroken stringcourse at 2nd floor cill level and eaves cornice. 3rd floor windows breaking eaves in mannered pedimented dormerheads with finials (eaves cornice serving as transom).


Pavilion-roofed 3-bay, slightly advanced, wide entrance bay channelled at ground. Centray round-headed doorway with distyle portico with banded columns flanked by single windows. Pilasters flank windows rising to finials at balustraded parapet. Either side of entrance bay are 4-light canted bays at ground with single windows above flanked by single windowed bays (inner ground floor windows now doors). Outer bays advanced with 4-light canted bays at ground (originally pedimented - see former nurses' home below), bipartites at 1st and 2nd floor and a segmental-arched window above. Thin pilasters rise from below 1st floor cill to ball-finialed concave pediment at head of crow-stepped gable. Crow-stepped gable decends to recessed scrolls resting on cornice. Spandrel between pediment and segmental-arched window filled with vertical banding.

SIDE ELEVATION: handed, 3-bay with single storey, 2-bay, piended, M-roof sanitary annexe (ridge ventilators removed). Annexe has tripartite transomed and mullioned window to front and 4 narrow windows with oculi above to rear. At 1st and 2nd floor level pair of single windows, 2nd floor with similar treatment to front.


Identical, 3-storey, 13-bay, symmetrical "villas". Base course, stringcourse at 1st and 2nd floor cill level. 3rd floor windows breaking eaves with mannered pedimented dormerheads with finials (eaves cornice forming transom).

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: 3-bay, slightly advanced entrance bay, channelled at ground. Doorway set in distyle portico with banded columns. Bay terminated by twin pilasters capped by finials above blind balustraded parapet; superimposed pediment with central oculus, wide stringcourse above lintels, moulded at 1st and 2nd floors, single transomed windows. Flanked by 5 bays with 4 light canted bay at centre groudn with ashlar mullions and transoms. Glazing at 1st and 2nd floor windows identical to that on laundry (see above).

SIDE ELEVATIONS: handed, 2-bay, symmetrical return with slightly recessed canted stair tower at rear. Return has 4-light canted bay at centre ground with ashlar mullions and transoms, single windows to 1st and 2nd floors, double crowstepped gable with central oculi with cloverleaf finials and slightly recessed terminating scroll motif as in laundry, boiler house and workshops. Gambrel roof. Stair tower has central ground floor door, single window at 1st floor, small round-headed window at 2nd floor.

REAR ELEVATION: stair towers at each end, advanced. Various single-storey annexes to 9-bay central block. Treatment of 1st and 2nd floors similar to that of frontage.


BLOCK: 2-storey 5-bay symmetrical block with corbelled angle turrets. Base course, cornice at ground floor lintel, stringcourse at 1st floor cill, entablature with parapet. Slate roof with centre conical roofed ventilator and prominent brattishing along ridge, angle turrets with finialed, conical roofs. Single storey kitchen range to rear.

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: central later door set in 4-light window, flanked by canted 4-light bays with balustraded parapets above, ashlar mullions and double transoms in upper lights with small pane glazing; bipartites in outer bays with single transoms; base of angle towers elaborately corbelled onto rounded corner. 1st floor, 5 bipartites with double transom feature and richly carved panel in entablature above; angle towers have slender roll-moulded window surmounted by round-headed window and swan-neck pediment with ball finial.

S ELEVATION: 5-bay, ground floor asymmetrically arranged. 1st floor has 3 closely grouped bipartite windows, outer windows pedimented, to left of angle tower. Blind parapet surmounted in centre by twin stacks behind, and flanking, slightly advanced gablet with crow-steps, clover-leaf finial and blind oculus.

N ELEVATION: similar details to S elevation but altered.

REAR ELEVATION: largely masked by service wing. Piend-roofed with gambrel roof for ridge ventilator. Eaves broken at centre by broad crow-stepped gabled bay with blind oculus and clover-leaf finial.

LINK CORRIDORS: L-plan, with branches to SE and Ne villas, between Administration block, Dining-hall and Villas. Corridors have stugged ashlar base with glazed upper section and slate roofs. 2 single-storey bathroom blocks off corridors between N and NE Villa and S and SE Villa; peind roofed with ridged ventilator, recessed entrance bay (doorway blocked up).


Thomson and Sandilands, built 1892-6, hospital section of larger asylum complex with Baronial and Renaissance details, comprised of 2-storey, U-plan administration section with single storey H-plan block to rear, containing kitchen and dining hall at centre.

FRONT BLOCK: 2-storey near-symmetrical, U-plan block with 9-bay centre flanked by 5-bay wings crow-stepped gabled double bay on return and single storey sanitary annexe to outside (additional flat-roofed storey recently added). Base course. Stringcourse at 1st floor cill level. 1st floor windows breaking eaves in mannered finialled dormerheads, as in asylum section. Crowstepped gables with cloverleaf finail and terminating, slightly recessed scroll details as on asylum section building.

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: centre entrance doorway set in distyle portico with banded columns flanked by 4-light canted bays, 3 outer bays with single windows except for centre left which comprises small, low square window surmounted by 3-light mullioned window rising slightly above level of other windows. Wings similarly treated, Gabled returns have paired single windows transomed on 1st floor.

SIDE ELEVATIONS: handed, asymmetrical, L-plan; from frontage: sanitary annexe with 3 narrow windows surmounted by oculi (as on asylum section villas), with recent flat roofed addition above; gabled bay with canted 4-light bay (one light now a fire-door) at ground floor surmounted by balustraded parapet and bipartite to 1st floor. Gable as on frontage. Ashlar mullions and transome, small pane glazing in upper lights. Fire escape in re-entrant angle, and turreted corner feature with pyramidal roof. End 5 bays symmetrical, slightly advanced stair bay at centre with round arched window at 1st floor level and blind oculus in pediment. Side bays dormered in typical style. Roof ridge ventilator as on asylum section dining hall, and louvred dormer ventilator.

REAR BLOCK: H-plan range to S linked to front block at centre.

S ELEVATION: altered. Symmetrical single storey range with verandahs flanking central 5-bay advanced block with gabled end bays; verandahs supported on cast iron columns, with piended roof over back bay; glazed strip below eaves remains from original more extensive glazing. Wings have central 3-light bay window surmounted by parpaet, flanked by short canted towers with pyramidal roofs. Canted returns with 3 bipartites surmounted in centre by segmental dormer-head. Pyramidal roof with dormer ventilators.

SIDE ELEVATIONS: altered. Small-square piend-roofed pavilions at centre (formerly for infectious diseases) with ventilator at roof apex.

N ELEVATION: split by central link block. Handed, advanced rectangular block (formerly for admissions), with central 4-light canted bay and glazed verandah at outer corner (originally open). Large gabled ventilator in centre front of piended roof. Range behind also with central 4-light canted bay masked by flat roofed linked corridor to front. Stacks removed.


Thomson and Sandilands, designed, 1898, 3-storey, 13-bay, U-plan block with symmetrical front and slightly advanced outer elaborately gabled bays, identical to those on SE and NE villas. Later extension to rear at W. Base course, stringcourse at 1st and 2nd floor cill, string course above ground floor windows on front only, eaves cornice. Windows transomed, 2nd floor windows breaking eaves with mannered finialed dormerheads as normal. Tall corniced chimney stacks.

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: 3-bay centre-piece with banded entrance bay at ground with keystoned, depressed arched doorway flanked by pilasters rising to blocks and finials before blind parapet; entrance flanked by single windows; 3 single windows at 1st and 2nd floors. Centrepiece flanked by plain stack bays with round-headed blind features between 1st and 2nd floors, left hand bay marked AD right hand dated 1895, in panels below cornices. Single windows flank stack-bays, central section terminated by 2 bipartite windows at ground with 3 single windows to 1st and 2nd floors. Gabled end bays as those in SE and NE villas, but canted bays have original parapets with central segmental-headed panel containing cartouches.

E ELEVATION: 5-bay, asymmetrical return with blank bay to side of front gable with low-relief corbelling below central stack. 1st and 2nd floors repeat window pattern on main front with 4 single windows terminated by a bipartite window on ground and 1st floors. Single windows to 3rd floor with chimney stacks between middle pairs of dormerheads.

W ELEVATION: as E elevation with later extension to rear.

REAR ELEVATION: functional 15-bay range with centre 3-bays advanced. Wing to right 3-bay terminating in canted angle tower with pyramidal roof. Wing to right with large, plain 5-bay later extension.

Statement of Interest

The complex was built as the City of Glasgow District Asylum for pauper lunatics. Thomson and Sandilands won the competition for the design in 1889 and it was constructed between 1892-6. The important feature which was introduced at Gartloch for the first time in a new asylum in Scotland was the provision of an independent "hospital" section, distinct from the asylum section. This was for the treatment of medical cases, including infectious diseases. It included its own kitchen and dining hall. Another important feature of the hospital in the asylum section is the patient accommodation blocks which are in the form of "villas" linked to the service block and administration offices by enclosed link corridors. The link corridors were omitted in later asylums to create a true colony plan. The plan of Gartloch was highly influential in Britain and is still in an excellent state of preservation. An innovative feature of the hospital section was the U-plan front block with central administration offices flanked by observation and admission wards. This feature was adapted from the infectious diseases hospitals and was reproduced in later district asylums and the early mental deficiency hospitals. The other innovative feature in the hospital section is its kitchen and dining hall which made it entirely independent from the main asylum. The nurses home designed in 1898 (though dated 1895), was added to S of asylum complex and opened in 1900 to provide 60 beds for nursing staff, it closely resembles the villas in the asylum section.

A group with former Medical Superintendent's House, West Lodge, Gartloch Cottages and New Nurses Home.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.