History in Structure

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

North Esk Villa, Former Sunnyside Hospital, Hillside

A Category C Listed Building in Montrose, Angus

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: 56.7472 / 56°44'49"N

Longitude: -2.478 / 2°28'40"W

OS Eastings: 370862

OS Northings: 761831

OS Grid: NO708618

Mapcode National: GBR X4.YWPF

Mapcode Global: WH8RB.XN5W

Plus Code: 9C8VPGWC+VQ

Entry Name: North Esk Villa, Former Sunnyside Hospital, Hillside

Listing Name: Hillside, Former Sunnyside Hospital, North Esk Villa

Listing Date: 12 June 2013

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 401662

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52048

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Montrose

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Montrose and District

Parish: Montrose

Traditional County: Angus

Find accommodation in


Dated 1902. 3-storey, 5-bay, irregular-plan, crow-stepped villa with distinctive ogee arch detailing around windows. Pinned and coursed rubble with ashlar margins. Base course. Entrance porch in re-entrant angle to W with segmental-arched openings.

S ELEVATION: symmetrical. Central 3 bays with pair of large, 3-light segmental-arched window openings to ground with stone transoms and mullions; window openings above set in full-height, recessed, moulded ogee arches; crow-stepped gableheads above. Carved date above central window to 1st storey. Variety of decorative mouldings above window openings. Slightly advanced, flanking end bays with parapetted 5-light canted bay windows to ground; paired windows above within large, ogee-arched recess.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 7 bays. Advanced 2-bay crow-stepped bay with windows set in recessed, moulded, full-height ogee arches to left; further advanced, 2-bay lower section to far left. Parapetted single-storey entrance porch in re-entrant angle with segmental-arches and tiled floor; wide round-arched inner doorway with panelled timber entrance door with fanlight above.

E ELEVATION: 5-bays. Advanced crow-stepped gabled bay to left with parapetted 5-light canted bay window to ground.

Predominantly single-pane or 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slates; red ridge tiles. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Decorative ridge ventilators.

INTERIOR: (seen 2012). Original room layout largely extant. Fine, timber staircase in entrance hall with carved timber balusters and handrail. Doric columns to hall with segmental arches. Timber and mirrored fire surround. Other rooms with timber panelling and segmental-arched recess. Decorative cornice work to ceiling.

Statement of Interest

B-Group includes Sunnyside Main Building, Hospital Building, North Esk Villa, Garage and Former Fire Station, Booth House Former Nurses' Home, Carnegie House, Water Tank and Former Workshops, Summerhouse, Away Team Cricket Pavilion and Home Team Cricket Pavilion.

This distinctive and well-detailed villa was built to house female patients and has good external decoration with interesting ogee-arch detailing. It forms a significant part of the Sunnyside Hospital complex. Sunnyside Asylum developed in the 19th century as a replacement for the first lunatic asylum in Scotland at Montrose. The hospital consists of a related group of buildings, informally set in a semi-parkland setting on a hillside overlooking Montrose. The site is significant in remaining largely intact and retaining the integrity of a self-contained psychiatric hospital.

Internally, the public areas of the villa retain some fine decorative features. The only one of three villas to survive, North Esk villa is an important part of the wider hospital complex and it adds significantly to the understanding of the overall function of the hospital.

In 1897, Dr John Sibbald recommended moving patients away from the large single hospital unit, to smaller, villas type accommodation. This villa was built shortly afterwards.

Sunnyside Asylum opened in 1857 and was constructed to replace the former Montrose Lunatic Asylum, established in Montrose in 1781. This was the first hospital in Scotland to care for the mentally ill and was founded by Susan Carnegie, who hoped that if the patients were given good treatment and medical aid, they may be able to return to society. The marble tablet from the opening of this original building is situated in the current asylum. In 1855, the Scottish Lunacy Commission was appointed and condemned the Montrose building as being unsuitable. It was agreed to build a new asylum and a site to the north of Montrose, at Sunnyside Farm was chosen. The architect William Lambie Moffat, who was working in Doncaster, designed this new building. Originally the building formed a double courtyard plan, but as the numbers of patients increased, the building was extended to the rear in 1877 with the addition of a new recreation hall, dining room and kitchen.

Sunnyside Hospital continued to develop during the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th century, as patients continued to increase in numbers. A hospital building was added in 1888 (see separate listing) to care for patients who had both medical and psychiatric conditions. Carnegie House (see separate listing) was constructed in 1896 to provide accommodation for private patients. This was set slightly apart from the main building to the north and the patients had their own garden for recreational use. Other buildings were gradually added to the site, including three villas, workshops and a chapel. The gradual development of the site is important in demonstrating the change in ideas over the century in the care of the mentally ill. When the lease of Sunnyside farm expired in 1911 another 52 further acres were purchased for the use of the community. Over the course of the 20th century, the patients and staff became involved in a number of activities within the complex including gardening and farming. A separate nurses' home was built in the 1930s (see separate listing).

The site ceased to be used as a hospital in 2012.

Listed following a review of the former Sunnyside Hospital site, (2012-13).

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.