Report - - Stratheden Hospital, Fife - July 2015 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Stratheden Hospital, Fife - July 2015


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Regular User
Stratheden Hospital, née the Fife and Kinross District Asylum.

Another one of the highlights our recent Scottish epic. Visited with dweeb and Cat.


Some history:

Stratheden Hospital, or Fife and Kinross District Asylum as it was first known, opened on July 1st 1866. Purpose built to accommodate up to 200 mental health patients, the initial patient roster was 159.

The first chief physician, Dr Tuke, was regarded highly as a doctor who changed the traditional methods of mental health care and helped pioneer the "open door" policy of the hospital. The reporting commissioner was impressed by this and noted that not one of the patients had abused it, including an inmate from Perth Prison who had been transferred to the hospital. The patients health benefited greatly from this advancement in treatment and it was noted by the reporting commissioner that this led to the patients becoming "more contented and less destructive."

Further examples of pioneering health care can be seen in the employment of the patients. Patients would do simple jobs, such as teasing hair out of chairs and upholstery, which was paid for. Another note of interest is that a bolt of lightning caused a large fire in 1888, which fortunately resulted in no fatalities.

In 1896 the hospital underwent a vast extension programme in order to ease overcrowding. It was described by the reporting commissioner as "a valuable and instructive advance in asylum administration". Over £20,000 was spent, in order to increase the capacity of the hospital to 600. In 1900 the Springfield estate was completely purchased, and by 1905 two new hospital wings had been opened, to accommodate the large influx of in-patients seen by the hospital at the time.

The proceeding years following Dr Turnbull's resignation followed as stabley as the era would allow. When, in 1947 the National Health Service was created, the hospital system was completely re-organised. The NHS Act 1947 brought in new measures and organisational structures throughout the country, and Fife was no exception. The Springfield Mental Hospital Group, which was the governing body for the surrounding local mental health hospitals, was changed to the Fife Mental Hospital Board of Management. The NHS Act was implemented fully by 5th July 1948. On the 7th July 1948, just two days later, it was decided that Fife and Kinross District Asylum was to also undergo a name change. Implemented in January 1949, Fife and Kinross District Asylum was changed to what is now known as Stratheden Hospital.
Not much to say here other than that it was a bit of a blast from the past. The days of turd brown NHS signs and dated carpets in English hospitals seem to be well and truly over, so it was a pleasure to see them once more in Scotland and I suspect this is one of the last chances we will get. That said, Cat and I do have our eyes on a couple more potential gems north of the border..

It should be noted that the hospital hasn't entirely closed, and a big part of the fun is dodging stray patients and groundsmen whilst looking for a way in. Either way, it would appear that the best bits are derelict, most notably a simply stunning curved glazed corridor which must be one of the best things I've seen in a long time.

Some pictures:










Whilst the hospital has largely escaped modernisation, there's a few token suspended ceilings scattered about the place. Fortunately for us, most of these are collapsing to reveal much the grander ceilings and cornicing beyond.



Many of the rooms had served multiple purposes over the years - this one as a gym and as a kitchen:



And believe it or not this ward has been used as a badminton court in later years:


The so-called 'museum room' - other than the ECT machines (which are purportedly in safe hands) it is largely intact, if a little dispersed:




Some sort of crazy homemade weighing chair:



The beautiful curved corridor - note that the planks on the ceiling are positioned lengthways as opposed to horizontally which shows real workmanship and effort.




Lino epic:


And finally, it's things like this that I really enjoy stumbling across - a loose tile in a ghastly suspended ceiling reveals original cornicing and ancient wallpaper:


Go here if you're in Scotland and at a loose end, it might be one of the last chances you'll get.​


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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well that"s one impressive building, like your attention to detail that most of us miss nicely done :thumb

Loving that corridor, certainly makes a change :)


Mr Reality Hacker
28DL Full Member
Ditto on all the above. Great report thx for report

the darkside

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Just stumbled across this report, seen this place from years ago, wondering, anyone know what the current situation is with the place & fancy an updated visit? Cheers. Top images btw, love them!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice to see this pop up again, that curved corridor does it for me. Plenty to see otherwise though :thumb