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Latitude: 55.9419 / 55°56'30"N
Longitude: -3.2719 / 3°16'18"W
OS Eastings: 320655
OS Northings: 672825
OS Grid: NT206728
Mapcode National: GBR 84K.RH
Mapcode Global: WH6SK.QX57
Entry Name: Former Corstorphine Hospital, including South Lodge, boundary wall and gatepiers, and excluding flat roofed wings to rear and glass curtain walling to front elevation of hospital building, flat roofed
Listing Date: 11 January 2016
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 405815
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52367
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Corstorphine/Murrayfield
Traditional County: Midlothian
The ashlar hospital building has channelled quoins, raised margins, cill courses, a dentilled cornice and key-arched architraves to the round-arched 1st floor windows. It is symmetrical with a central, advanced, 3-storey, 3-bay, piend-roofed entrance section, flanking 2-storey, 5-bay wings with square-plan, bulls-eyed towers at the east and west topped with louvred ventilators, and with advanced, gabled, 2-storey pavilions with bay windows to the ground at the outer ends.
There is an advanced, flat-roofed porch to the central block, with a consoled, key-stoned and architraved doorpiece. Round-arched, bi-partite windows, separated by colonettes at first floor level are set in key-stoned architraves with decorative roundels. The outer bays have Venetian type windows at the 1st floor, with bi-partite windows in the centre, separated by colonettes and with broken pediments above. There is foliate carving around the bulls-eye windows in the towers.
The windows are predominantly 4- over 4-pane timber sash and case. Those at the ground floor are boarded. There are grey slates to the roof.
The interior was seen in 2015. There are large open wards and some smaller rooms, some of which have simple cornicing. There are two staircases with a dividing wall between, with the right hand one rising to the upper storey.
The South Lodge, dating to 1866, is situated at the Corstorphine Road entrance and is a single-storey, piend-roofed, Italianate style lodge with a slightly advanced, off-centre porch with a key-stoned architrave and raised margins.
The interior of the lodge was seen in 2015. The lodge has been partitioned into smaller rooms and there are no apparent features of special architectural interest.
There is a low, coped boundary wall to the south with quadrant walls and square-plan gatepiers forming the entrance. There are taller, rubble boundary walls to the east, west and north.
The former Corstorphine Hospital of 1866 was the first convalescent home associated with an infirmary to be built in Scotland. It was designed in an Italianate style by a notable architectural practice of the time, Peddie and Kinnear, and it has extensive decorative detailing to the stonework. The building sits in its own grounds, facing south and the associated lodge of 1866, which shares its architectural detailing with the main building, remains at the entrance to the site. The building has undergone some alteration, and was extended in 1891 by the same architects' firm, but the 1860s internal layout of large, airy wards and some smaller rooms is still discernible and was at the cutting edge of internal hospital design at the time.
The hospital was built to allow patients from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh a period of rest to recover fully from illness or surgery before returning home. This had been identified as a need by the hospital managers and in 1864, an anonymous donor, identified later as William Seton Brown, offered to build a convalescent home for the infirmary. It catered for patients who were largely able to look after themselves, who were sent there for a standard period of three weeks. The site chosen for the home was a 5-acre site in the village of Corstorphine, around 2 miles from the city centre. The philosophy of convalescent care at the time was based around the importance of the patient being away from the city with access to green space and country air – the Corstorphine site fulfilled these requirements.
The hospital opened in 1867 at a cost of £12,000 and had room for 50 beds. Plans dated 1861 show a T-plan building with long sections with wards and rooms and a service area at the rear. Further accommodation was soon required and the building was expanded in 1891-3 by the same architects. Wings to the east and west were added, together with an arcaded verandah and balcony to the front and the service area to the rear was enlarged. The money for the expansion was given from a bequest from James Nasmyth of £13,000 and the extension provided an extra 40 beds. In 1960-1, the arcaded sections to the front elevations and the open balconies were covered in with glass curtain walling. The building was transferred into NHS care in 1948 and continued as a hospital, caring for the elderly, until 2014.
The 1860s was a time of change for hospital design, as the acceptance of the importance of ventilation and light for patients was taking hold. This was a view that had been expressed earlier in the 19th century, but was particularly adhered to by Florence Nightingale. It advocated a sufficient amount of air for each patient, windows on either side of the ward and toilets and sculleries attached to each ward. The first large scale hospitals to be designed with this philosophy were built around this time, including St Thomas' London (1868). Some of this influence can be seen in the design of Corstorphine Hospital, with large, high, open wards with windows to the north and south and with the toilet facilities placed at the end of each ward.
The partnership of John Dick Peddie and Charles George Hood Kinnear, based in Edinburgh, lasted from 1856-78 and was one of the most prestigious and successful practises in Scotland at the time. Peddie was the architect for the Royal Bank of Scotland and had been responsible for a number of United Presbyterian churches before taking Kinnear into partnership. The practice was very successful from the start and secured commission for many public and church buildings, including Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 1862. Morrison's Academy in Crieff, 1859 and much of Cockburn Street in Edinburgh. The firm was also responsible for designing the Chalmers Hospital, Edinburgh in 1861.
Convalescent homes developed from around the middle of the 19th century to provide the sick poor with the means of recovering from illness in a period of 2-3 weeks. Various private homes were opened, often by religious societies, private individuals or temperance movements, but these were able to determine who they accepted and not all were permanently open. Corstorphine Convalescent Home was the first convalescent hospital in Scotland to be opened which was directly linked to an infirmary. Others quickly followed, including Paisley in 1868, Aberdeen in 1873 and Dundee in 1876.
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