History in Structure

Aberdeen, Woolmanhill, Former Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Mount Stephen (Former Medical And Pathology Block)

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Latitude: 57.1495 / 57°8'58"N

Longitude: -2.1058 / 2°6'21"W

OS Eastings: 393694

OS Northings: 806519

OS Grid: NJ936065

Mapcode National: GBR SBC.94

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.MKFG

Plus Code: 9C9V4VXV+RM

Entry Name: Aberdeen, Woolmanhill, Former Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Mount Stephen (Former Medical And Pathology Block)

Listing Name: Mount Stephen (Former Medical and Pathology Block), Former Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woolmanhill, Aberdeen

Listing Date: 19 June 2014

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 402342

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52242

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200402342

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Midstocket/Rosemount

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Tagged with: Hospital building

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W & J Smith and Kelly (H Saxon Snell acting as consultant), dated 1896. 4-storey centre with pedimented gabled ends flanked by 3-storey recessed wings, rectangular-plan, near symmetrical, former medical block, part of a significant nineteenth century hospital complex in Aberdeen city centre. Coursed granite. Central block with advanced pedimented single-bay centre and 2-bay ends linked by balconies carried on steel beams with stamped motif and interwar timber and glazing. Advanced ends with string course between ground and 1st floor and eaves course at 3rd floor with attic creating blocking course above. Bowed 3-bay south gable. Date stone with hoodmoulding at 2nd floor to centre of street elevation. Late 20th century stairtowers flanking central section to courtyard (west) elevation.

Predominantly lozenge pattern over 6-pane glazing in timber frames. Slate roof. Gable and ridge, coped stacks.

The interior was seen in 2013 and consists of wards and rooms accessed from a central corridor, with a staircase at the centre of the building. Predominantly panelled timber doors set within shallow-arched openings. Round-arched windows to stairwell, with pivot windows. Original windows to balconies.

Statement of Interest

Mount Stephen dates to around 1896 and is a key component of the former Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which is a rare example of a hospital that has not been significantly altered externally since the late nineteenth century. The building has a number of high quality architectural details, including the advanced bays, pedimented gables and distinctive glazing pattern, which gives the building significant streetscape presence it in its city centre location.

The former Royal Infirmary complex consists of a 1833-40 neo-classical building by Archibald Simpson with later nineteenth century buildings to the rear, on a confined gusset site in Aberdeen city centre. This hospital replaced the earlier Aberdeen Infirmary by William Christall, which opened in 1742, and was demolished on completion of the Simpson Pavilion.

In 1887 a major extension and reconstruction scheme commenced at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary site. Known as the Jubilee Extension Scheme (as the Queen's Jubilee provided an opportunity to raise funds), the new blocks were erected to the north part of the site and opened in 1897, providing a new surgical block (now known as the Victoria Pavilion), medical and pathology block and laundry block. These buildings were designed by W. & J. Smith & Kelly, an Aberdeen architectural practice; however H. Saxon Snell, a prolific hospital architect in London, was consulted on the design. Richardson states that Snell recommended that the W & J Smith's separate fever block of 1871 should be part of the new surgical block.

The rise of the ground-breaking pavilion plan form from the 1860s, resulted in the separating of patients and diseases to reduce the spread of infection, based on the reforms by Florence Nightingale. Although the late nineteenth century buildings at the former Royal Infirmary are not in the pavilion plan form they do represent this move towards the separating out of medical functions, with Mount Stephen constructed as a pathological ward block.

After the First World War there was urgent need to increase the facilities of the Infirmary. The confined nature of the Woolmanhill site did not lend itself to expansion and in 1923 a site at Forresterhill was acquired with the foundation stone of the new hospital laid in 1928. Although the future of the Woolmanhill site was uncertain from this date, it has remained in operation until 2013. In 1946, J A O Allan, Ross and Allan prepared drawings for the adaptation of a large proportion of the Victoria Pavilion for use as an Emergency Physical Training Centre for the National Committee for the Training of Teachers.

W & J Smith and Kelly was an Aberdeen based architectural practice of William Smith II and his pupil William Kelly who was taken into partnership on the death of John Smith II (William Smith II son) in April 1887. The practice and its forerunners designed buildings in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including domestic, educational and public commissions. Their other hospitals include Alexander Scott's Hospital, Huntly (listed at category A) and additions and alteration at Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum (now demolished).

Henry Saxon Snell (1830-1904) made his name in the later 1860s with innovative designs for workhouses and quickly extended his practice to hospitals and infirmaries in which he became one of the leading specialists in the 1890s and early 1900s, his main clients being the London guardians.

Previously listed as part of "Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Woolmanhill".

External Links

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