Friday, 20 April 2012

Visit to Craig House

Yesterday the staff of LHSA was privileged to visit Craig House, the neo-gothic mansion built to house private patients of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, and opened in 1894. It was sold to Napier University in the 1990s and functions as one of their campuses although it has recently been sold to developers. Having worked closely with the plans, photographs, patient and administrative records of the Hospital, it was with great excitement that we headed to the site to be shown around by a member of the Napier University Press Office.

The Grand Hall, c.1900
Despite its change of use in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the building is remarkably similar to how it looked in the photos taken over 100 years ago: it has lost none of its atmosphere or grandeur (especially on a dreich Edinburgh afternoon!). The Grand Hall is immediately recognisable and remains an impressive room with high ceilings, chandeliers, two large fireplaces and polished floor, although the original furniture is long gone! We were led on a fascinating tour back through time into many of the wings, along corridors, up winding staircases into the staff quarters, and past beautifully-tiled walls, stained-glass doorways and intricately-carved door frames. Even some of the original radiators are still in existence! We continued our tour into the grounds to see the other buildings: Queen’s Craig, South Craig and Bevan from where we admired the views back towards the City. It wasn’t hard to imagine the Hospital as a peaceful retreat designed by the third physician superintendent of the Hospital, Thomas Clouston, to resemble a Victorian country house.

 Photographs were taken of Craig House, and the exterior of the other buildings, to capture them as they are today before redevelopment. These will be added to the Archive so that this phase of their story is not lost before the next phase begins. We’ll be adding some of the photos to our Flickr page in due course but for a preview, check our Facebook page at
The Grand Hall, 2012

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