Report - - Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Montrose - August 2016 | Asylums and Hospitals | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Montrose - August 2016


( . Y . )
Regular User
Sunnyside Royal Hospital, née the Montrose Lunatic Asylum - Hillside, Scotland

Visited with @Speed back in August.


I wasn't going to post this, as @SpiderMonkey and AndyGay's photos are, as usual, vastly superior to mine. However, my recent St Cadoc's escapade took me way back to 2008 and put me in the mood for some more asylum, so here goes..

Some history:

Sunnyside Royal Hospital was a psychiatric hospital located in Hillside, north of Montrose. The hospital was originally 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 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. In 1911 the lease of Sunnyside Farm finally expired and over 52 acres were purchased for the sum of £4500.

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.

The site was officially closed in late 2011 and most patients were sent to a new £20 million build at nearby Stracathro Hospital - 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.


@dweeb, @Six and I actually scouted this place out back in 2015. Prior to this I'd never really seen any photos of the place that made it look even the slightest bit inspiring, but peering through the windows it certainly looked to have real promise.. checkerboard lino and net curtains are always a good sign in my book. If I'm honest, whilst it was far from a bad explore, it felt a little disappointing at the time. It would appear that the windows we peered through showed the best of the hospital, and that the lions share of the rest was modernised beyond recognition. That said, I'm probably being unfair. Looking back at my photos it would appear that it was better than I remember.. perhaps not as good as Stratheden down the road, but certainly better than most of the dross remaining these days.

Main Hall

The hall here was in many ways very impressive, but for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on it seemed to lack charm and almost felt sterile. I get the feeling it had been modernised shortly before closure. Perhaps if the wood panelling was properly stained it would be a different story.


That said, these backdrops left hanging on the stage were very nice indeed.


The balcony at the rear of the hall was a bit more dated, and gave an impression of what it felt like before the modernisation programme. It also afforded great views of the delicate ceiling paintings:



Behind the hall was a room that probably held more interest than the hall itself, the former studio of Radio Sunnyside




To the other side of the hall was the formal dining room. There was a very interesting little kitchenette behind this (complete with 60s kitchen units), but alas, I've shat better photos than the ones I managed to take in there :(


Like much of the hospital, under the stage was empty but dated


Canteen and Kitchens

The hall was actually on the first floor, leaving room for a large refectory underneath. At first glance it appeared disappointingly modern and wank, but it actually had its own 80s vibe going on which I slowly began to appreciate


Some original features remain too:


The same could not be said for the kitchens, which were almost entirely stripped out. Having said that, they always seem to leave those industrial mixers behind and Sunnyside was no exception:



The wards are where the main building starts to come into its own. Don't expect fully laid out dayrooms and rows of made beds, but bits of the building look like they haven't seen a lick of paint since the 70s.




Can you tell I liked this ward?



A couple more:







These glazed corridors seem to have been a Scottish thing:



Last edited:


( . Y . )
Regular User

We actually got in here before we got into the main building. In many respects there was more to see in here, and it had certainly been closed for significantly longer. We also got into the neighbouring hospital annexe which was actually reasonably substantial, although pretty stripped and suffering from a serious case of dry rot. No pictures from there, although perhaps Speedio will share some in future.



The blacksmiths forge was probably the highlight of the explore for me, not something we've ever seen in an asylum before:




Original bellows:


Certainly worth a look if you ever find yourself north of Edinburgh, though probably not worth driving up from Lands End for. Enjoyed it though!​
Last edited:

Andy the Spicy Egg

Behind Closed Doors
Staff member
No one has ever called me that before! :p

I quite liked this place, the wards were really nice. A few bits here we didn't see - the engineering shed is cool, right up your street too!
Good report with cracking pics, glad you decided to post.


( . Y . )
Regular User
Very nice, the engineering areas are cool. I wish we had a look at some of the other buildings too.
Thanks hun. I can tell you now you didn't miss out on too much in the hospital annexe, it was quite large but the only interesting bits were pitch black. Carnegie House could be quite nice though.

Should anyone be here in the near future, be advised that according to the redevelopment plans the mortuary is on the ground floor of the chapel building, next to the hospital annexe. Could be interesting.