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Report - - Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Montrose - April 2018 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Montrose - April 2018


tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
All aboard the bus! Having spent the last 2 years engaged with a ton of heritage work in south and west wales for CA it was about time I took in some different asylums north of the border. Almost 12 months ago since my last visit another trip with @Disco Kitten and a member of the CCH heritage team we headed up for a weekend of hitting the last remaining dregs of the asylum era. Hard. Most of Saturday and Sunday attempting to cover every last inch of whats left at SRH. It's really sad to see how bad things have gone downhill in 12 months. By the time we left on the Sunday at least 3 different sets of families were taking in the Sunnyside Royal Theme Park. A self combustion fire in the future won't surprise me one bit.





Back on track, some history innit:
Sunnyside Royal Hospital was a psychiatric hospital located in Hillside, north of Montrose, Scotland. The hospital was founded in 1781 by Susan Carnegie as the Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary & Dispensary and obtained a Royal Charter in 1810. The original building was situated on the Montrose Links on a site bounded by Barrack Road, Ferry Road and Garrison Road.

In 1834, the Governors of the asylum, carrying out the wishes of Mrs Carnegie (who had strongly advocated the appointment of a medical specialist in insanity) appointed the phrenologist William A.F. Browne as medical superintendent. Browne was to prove an inspired choice and an energetic and resourceful leader. He regarded public education as part of his duties, and gave a series of lectures which became enormously popular and influential. In 1837, five lectures were published together under the title What Asylums Were, Are and Ought To Be; this book came to the attention of the Dumfries philanthropist Elizabeth Crichton. She travelled to Montrose, interviewed Browne and offered him the equivalent post at the Crichton Royal in Dumfries. Crichton offered Browne a raise from £150 to £350 per annum. Browne was succeeded at Montrose by Richard Poole, an early psychiatric historian, and, later, by Dr James Howden, who identified cases of pellagra in the asylum.

In 1858, a new improved asylum was completed to the north of Montrose in the village of Hillside on lands of the farm of Sunnyside and the old site was vacated. This site was further developed with the construction of a new facility for private patients called Carnegie House in 1899. Despite this addition, overcrowding was a problem, as the asylum’s patient numbers had grown to 670 by 1900. This situation required additional building work to be undertaken. Consequently, two new buildings – Howden Villa (1901) and Northesk Villa (1904)- were added to the facility. Additional staff were required to care for the additional patients and the Westmount Cottages were built in 1905 to house them. In 1911 the lease of Sunnyside Farm finally expired and over 52 acres were purchased for the sum of £4500. A further development was the addition of Angus House, which was built in 1939 to accommodate elderly patients suffering from dementia.

In 1948, the National Health Service 1946 (Scotland) Act brought the hospital under control of the Eastern Regional Hospital Board. Its name was changed from the Royal Asylum of Montrose to the Royal Mental Hospital of Montrose. In 1962 it became Sunnyside Royal Hospital and came under the jurisdiction of new management. During the 1950s and 1960s, the introduction of new drugs lessened the need for prolonged admission of patients. In addition, the Mental Health (Scotland) Act of 1960 also significantly altered legislation in respect of mental illness and reduced the grounds on which someone could be detained in a mental hospital.

The site was officially closed in late 2011 and most patients were sent to a new £20 million build at Stracathro Hospital, (also in Angus)- the Susan Carnegie Centre. Others were placed in the community. Sunnyside was open for 230 years before its closure, and was the oldest psychiatric hospital in Scotland.


First up on the Saturday was Carnegie Villa/House. Originally a private patient villa it was painfully obvious how much better facilities they got. The carpets in this ward were about 2 inch thick.











Once again Northski villa would thwate us but the occupational theory & engineering workshops were surprisingly pleasing.













The mortuary/chapel was annoyingly sealed and we gave the other old block opposite a miss as much as to walk through and pretty much not take a single picture. Onwards to the main block. By this time boards were no longer hanging off windows but rather just ripped off and thrown away. I missed the basement of the main block last time and it was perhaps the most disturbing part of the visit. I've seen an awful lot of bad conditions over the years but nothing as bad as rows of cells in a low ceiling basement pretty much as original as the day the place was built.

















Some more from previous visit: http://www.whateversleft.co.uk/asylums/sunnyside-royal/sunnyside-royal-hospital-montrose and this one: http://www.whateversleft.co.uk/asylums/sunnyside-royal-hospital-montrose-2
 
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Idle Hands

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Lovely report there mate. Nice to see inside Carnegie House as well - I'd heard about that painted ceiling. Shame it was all well secured when I was there. Sad to hear the rest is getting more obviously trashed too... maybe that development will get underway soon :thumb
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
Very nice report, and good to see the places I missed :thumb

It was fairly quiet when I was there, think a fair few of the boards had been replaced since your visit, but it wouldn't surprise me either if it unfortunately spontaneously combusted either!
 

ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
Good to see a post from you :P

I know these places are few and far between now in that condition, not really my cup 'o tea as you know, but still good to see documented.

It appears every man and his dog has been flocking here the past few weeks, it won't be long until it's proper wrecked so at least you lot got in for some decent pics before it ends up a burnt out shell/reduced to rubble :thumb
 

tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Good to see a post from you :P

I know these places are few and far between now in that condition, not really my cup 'o tea as you know, but still good to see documented.

It appears every man and his dog has been flocking here the past few weeks, it won't be long until it's proper wrecked so at least you lot got in for some decent pics before it ends up a burnt out shell/reduced to rubble :thumb
Oi this is my third report this year I’ll have you know ;) I’ve probably got a few others to sort out as well! I’d much rather people put in effort to see here, Stratheden, Craighouse, Whitty or CC rather than pointless fettid pits of doom like Denbigh!

The developers are keen to get started ASAP just waiting for the planning hurdles.
 

tumbles

Trip Hopping
Regular User
Very nice report, and good to see the places I missed :thumb

It was fairly quiet when I was there, think a fair few of the boards had been replaced since your visit, but it wouldn't surprise me either if it unfortunately spontaneously combusted either!
Yep saw a few signs of attempted fires in kitchens. I can’t express how silly it got on the Sunday - should have stood by the access point and sold tickets £5 a pop!
 

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