--> Royal Victoria Hospital
A History of the Craigleith Hill District

(Edinburgh) Scotland



History of Craigleith Hill

Geology of Craigleith Hill

History of Craigleith House

Royal Victoria Hospital

Photographs - Modern Day



Contact Me

Page last updated: 06/08/2022

Home > Royal Victoria Hospital

Royal Victoria Hospital Edinburgh - Development Timeline

Development Timeline
Year Event
1894 Dr Robert Philip rented Craigleith House a Georgian Mansion owned by Sir.J. Maitland and it was converted to a hospital for consumptives ("The Victorian Hospital for Consumption"). There are plans showing at this time a laundry building and a gate house connected with the house as well as a walled garden
1899 Dr Philip and Trust purchased Craigleith House and grounds from Sir J.Maitland's daughter for £1000 per acre the deal being half down and the rest in annual instalments. This was named Victoria Hospital for Consumption.
Addition of all weather shelters which enabled more patients to be looked after.
1903 On the 15th of July, Three Butterfly Wards opened holding twelve patients each.
1904 Royal patronage given by George VII and it became Royal Victoria Hospital for Consumption.
1907 The last two of the Butterfly wards opened as well as the East Lodge Gateway and Administrative block.
Craigleith House now used only as a nurses home.
1908 Boiler House was built around this time.
1952 A nurses home was built around this time by Raeburn and Stewart.
1959 Butterfly Wards were converted for the care of the elderly.
1960 Craigleith House riddled with dry rot was demolished to make way for the 1st phase of the Royal Victoria Hospital.
1967 Phase 1a - 3 x 30 bed wards opened as well kitchen, stores, boiler house, staff dining room.
1968 Phase 1b - 30 bed Medical day hospital
1971 Phase 2a - Administrative block,x-ray and dental; departments.
1978 Possibly early 70's - Phase 2b - Purpose built 30 bed long stay care ward opened as Craigleith House. Now the Medical Day Hospital.
1981 Butterfly Wards, no longer suitable for the elderly commenced to be demolished.
1986 20th November
Phase 3 - 6 x 30 bed wards opened on the site of the Butterfly Wards.
2008 Go ahead given for a brand new building for medical services for the elderly, currently provided at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh, after obtaining Local Authority planning consent. The proposals are for medical services for patients over 65 years of age in a new state of the art building within the grounds of the Western General Hospital.
2009 Detailed plans for the reprovision of the Royal Victoria> Hospital were finalised and gained approval at the end of 2009. The new complex to be renamed Royal Victoria Building is built on the site of the Paderewski Hospital, located within the grounds of the Western General Hospital (WGH.
2012 The new Royal Victoria Hospital was opened to patients in May and named The Royal Victoria Building (RVB). The first patients started to be transferred from the original Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) during June 2012.

The development of the RVB and the relocation of the RVH to the WGH commenced with building a two tier car park and stand-by generator for use by the RVB. This involved the most Northerly car park next to Davidson Road as seen in the model below and was completed in 2011

Photograph of model by permission of Keppie Design, 6 Bells Brae, Deans Village, Edinburgh EH4 3BJ


Click on the link below to see information about the new Royal Victoria Building, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

Link to location of new Royal Victoria Building


November 2012
The Royal Victoria Hospital in Craigleith Road was temporarily mothballed and re-opened after a major refurbishment of the wards. News from the Media Centre NHS Lothian, dated 5/2/2014, stated:
"Two wards were reopened in the Royal Victoria Hospital in November 2012 to provide additional capacity. Since then a further two wards have been upgraded and another two wards are currently being refurbished. This will provide around 120 beds in total with a mix of single rooms and four bedded bays"

To see the refurbished wards, click the link below.
Link to view refurbished wards



NHS Lothian has engaged planning consultants to determine/investigate the uses for the future of the site taking City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) planning as well as local residents and Community Councils into consultation. There has been a lot of interest from residents in retaining the large amount of mature trees as well as the two B listed buildings namely the Cantilever East Gate and the Admin Block.

Click on the link below to view Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh planning Proposals:
Link to planning proposals"