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Bangour Village Hospital, Dormitory Block, (Villa 9)

A Category C Listed Building in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.923 / 55°55'22"N

Longitude: -3.5476 / 3°32'51"W

OS Eastings: 303384

OS Northings: 671075

OS Grid: NT033710

Mapcode National: GBR 1V.ZT30

Mapcode Global: WH5RH.GDW5

Entry Name: Bangour Village Hospital, Dormitory Block, (Villa 9)

Listing Date: 17 May 2012

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400867

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51913

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Ecclesmachan

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh

Parish: Ecclesmachan

Traditional County: West Lothian

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Description

Hippolyte J. Blanc, begun 1898, completed, 1907 with later, single-storey, 3-bay extension to S. 2-storey with breaking-eaves dormers, 5- by 4-bay, gabled, restrained Scots Renaissance style hospital villa. Rendered snecked sandstone rubble with contrasting ashlar margins and alternate quoins. Base course, cornice; raised margins, shouldered gables. Pedimented and round-arched dormer heads. Some bi-partite windows.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: largely symmetrical 5-bay section with advanced gabled ends. Later, central, advanced, 3-bay flat-roofed single-storey extension with central canted window and further flat-roofed extension to E. 4-light canted window to ground at left.

All window openings bricked up. Red roof tiles with decorative ridge tiling. Raised skews with plain skewputts. Wallhead stacks.

INTERIOR: not seen (2011).

Statement of Interest

A Group with Bangour Village Hospital Former Administration Block and Wards 1 & 2, Former Memorial Church, Former Nurses' Home, Former Hospital Block with Wards 4, 5 & 6, Former Recreation Hall, Honeysuckle Cottage, Villas 7, 8, & 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. This is one of a group of 4 four villas which are situated around the former administration building (see separate listing) of the complex. The villa has some plain Renaissance detailing in the round-arched dormerheads, ridge tiling and contrasting colour in the building materials (although later painted and rendered) and it is a significant component in the overall integrity of the site. Built in a restrained Scots Renaissance style, it was used initially as accommodation for patients who required close supervision.

The buildings of the hospital sit within their original rural setting and remain largely externally unaltered. There were originally 8 of these closed villas proposed, but only 4 were built. 2 styles were used for them and this one is in a similar style to Villa No 7 (see separate listing). There were single rooms in some of these villas and there was 2 padded rooms if required. These are mentioned by the architect as being the only padded rooms in the whole complex. The villa originally had a verandah to the S. The later extension to the S is depicted on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1952. The ward was used to accommodate brain injury patients in the 1940s.

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 and was the first of the new thinking in psychiatric provision to be conceived in Scotland. 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 these 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 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 historic Scottish style.

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