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Melrose Including Boundary Walls, Chiefswood Road, Former Dingleton Hospital Boiler House

A Category B Listed Building in Melrose, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.5912 / 55°35'28"N

Longitude: -2.7288 / 2°43'43"W

OS Eastings: 354164

OS Northings: 633303

OS Grid: NT541333

Mapcode National: GBR 93DS.0J

Mapcode Global: WH7WQ.1QVL

Plus Code: 9C7VH7RC+FF

Entry Name: Melrose Including Boundary Walls, Chiefswood Road, Former Dingleton Hospital Boiler House

Listing Name: Chiefswood Road, Former Dingleton Hospital Boiler House Including Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 17 March 2008

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399860

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51064

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Melrose

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Leaderdale and Melrose

Parish: Melrose

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

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Peter Womersley, 1977. Tall, 4-bay, rectangular-plan, monolithic Modernist boiler house and incinerator block in fine quality timber shuttered concrete with 3 graduating low pitched sections extending to south elevation and circular metal flue in concrete footing to central section. Modular north elevation with 3 recessed pyramidal sections backed by louvres and divided by slender concrete verticals. Cantilevered sloping overhang to shute to east. Low level glazing to central pitched section housing mess room with wc and shower. Prominently sited beside road on steep hillside.

Statement of Interest

The Dingleton boiler house is a fine unaltered example of a monolithic concrete building by the internationally renowned Borders based architect Peter Womersley (1923-1993) which stands as a landmark piece of sculpture high over the village of Melrose. It received a Commendation from the Financial Times Architecture Awards in 1978 and was noted for the quality of its pre-cast concrete construction. Womersley used concrete increasingly in his later works as it gave him freedom to create more sculptural forms, of which the boiler house is a fine example.

The Boiler house is adjacent to the former Dingleton Hospital (Melrose District Asylum, Brown and Wardrop, 1870-72) which closed in 2000. The hospital was built as a mental health facility with significant periods of extension circa 1905 and in 1939, and was the first British Psychiatric Hospital to adopt an 'open door' policy in 1949. Dr Maxwell Jones a medical superintendent with a progressive view to the treatment of mental health oversaw a development phase 1962 to 1969 to adopt a more patient centred community. It was at this point that Womersley was commissioned to make improvements to the interior of the main hospital bock. (Former hospital under separate ownership and converted to form 94 flats circa 2004 with the loss of Womersley interiors).

The boiler house was added slightly after this phase of development to the NE of the main hospital site; it is now redundant but it remains a strong sculptural piece making a significant contribution to the area.

Permission to remove boilers was granted in 1993. List description updated at resurvey (2010).

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