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Bangour Village Hospital, Former Hospital Block with Wards 3, 4 and 5

A Category B Listed Building in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9243 / 55°55'27"N

Longitude: -3.5504 / 3°33'1"W

OS Eastings: 303217

OS Northings: 671219

OS Grid: NT032712

Mapcode National: GBR 1V.ZLBY

Mapcode Global: WH5RH.FCL6

Entry Name: Bangour Village Hospital, Former Hospital Block with Wards 3, 4 and 5

Listing Date: 22 January 1993

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400859

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51905

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Ecclesmachan

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh

Parish: Ecclesmachan

Traditional County: West Lothian

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Hippolyte J Blanc, begun 1898, built 1907. Large, predominantly 2-storey, 23-bay, symmetrical, restrained Scots Renaissance former hospital block. U-plan with extending 5-bay wings to E and W. Roughly coursed, snecked red sandstone with contrasting cream ashlar margins. Base course, band courses to central section, cornice. Mixture of round and pedimented dormerheads breaking wallhead. Wings to E and W with round-arched, shouldered dormerheads to E and W. Some former covered verandah wards. Some later extensions and ramps.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Central, piended-roofed, 3-storey section with corner bartizans with finials. Slightly advanced, canted porch to ground with moulded, segmental-arched doorway and flanking window openings and with recessed entrance door; blocking course. Central shouldered-gabled pediment with round-arched apex. Canted 4-light bay windows to right and left. Advanced 5-bay wards with double-storey covered verandahs to S with square cast iron columns.

Some windows boarded. Others, predominately 6-pane glazing pattern to upper sashes in timber sash and case windows. Piended roofs with green slates and decorative red ridge tiles. Ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: not seen (2011).

Statement of Interest

A Group with Bangour Village Hospital Former Administration Block and Wards 1 & 2, Former Nurses' Home, Former Memorial Church, Former Recreation Hall, Honey suckle Cottage, Villas 7, 8, 9, & 10 and Villas 18, 19, 20 & 21 and Former Power Station Complex.

Bangour Village Hospital is the best surviving example in Scotland of a psychiatric hospital created in the village system of patient care, a revolutionary concept in the late 19th century. The former hospital block is a well-detailed building situated in a prominent high position within the complex. It is and integral and important part of the complex and the decorative corner bartizans, variable dormerheads designs and the contrasting stone colours ensure it adds significantly to the integrity of the site as a whole. It was envisaged from the beginning to be a place where the bedridden would be able to be cared for and the verandahs to each ward were an integral part of the design.

The buildings of the hospital sit within their original rural setting and remain largely externally unaltered. The hospital block was built to accommodate the sick and infirm and had wards on the ground and first floor. Covered and protected verandahs were constructed at the ends of each ward to enable some patients to benefit from access to the open air. The block also contained a kitchen, scullery, maids' rooms, matron's rooms and a large lecture room. Further verandah wards were added prior to the Fist World War, which could accommodate 30 beds each.

Designed in a restrained Scots Renaissance style, Bangour Village Hospital is an outstanding remaining example of a psychiatric hospital built as a village and espousing a complete philosophy of care. The village system of patient care, exemplified by the Alt-Scherbitz hospital, near Leipzig in Germany in the 1870s encouraged psychiatric patients to be cared for within their own community setting, where there were few physical restrictions and where village self-sufficiency was encouraged. This was in contrast to the large contemporary asylum buildings. This philosophy had been gradually developing in a number of Scottish institutions, but Bangour saw its apotheosis, specifically in relation to psychiatric patients. Two other hospitals were built in Scotland for psychiatric patients, Kingseat, to the north of Aberdeen (built in 1904) and Dykebar Hospital in Paisley, 1909 (see separate listing). These have not survived as completely as Bangour.

The hospital was built by the well-known Edinburgh architect Hippolyte J Blanc as a result of a competition begun in 1898. The Edinburgh Lunacy Board had concluded that a new psychiatric hospital was required to cater for the increasing numbers of patients from Edinburgh and the hospital was opened in 1906, with some of the buildings still to be completed. It was designed with no external walls or gates. The utility buildings were positioned at the centre of the site, the medical buildings for patients requiring medical supervision and treatment were to the E and there were villas to the W of the site which could accommodate patients who required less supervision and were able to work at some sort of industry. The complex also included a farm to the NW (not part of current site) and had its own water and electricity systems and also had its own railway. The hospital was commissioned by the War Office in WWI for wounded soldiers and extra temporary structures were erected. Most of which were dismantled after the War although some timber ones were retained by the hospital. The railway too was dismantled in 1921. The patients returned in 1922. The hospital was commissioned again for WWII. At this time many temporary shelters were erected to the NW of the site and this became the basis of the Bangour General Hospital (now demolished). Bangour Village Hospital continued as a psychiatric hospital until 2004.

Hippolyte J Blanc (1844-1917) was an eminent and prolific Edinburgh-based architect who was perhaps best known for his Gothic revival churches. He was also a keen antiquarian and many of his buildings evoke an earlier Scottish style.

List description revised, 2012.

The former Hospital Block and Wards 3, 4 & 5. was formerly listed at category A as part of a single listing covering Bangour Village Hospital. Category changed to B following listing review, 2012.

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