A History of the Craigleith Hill District

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Page last updated: 28/11/2010

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Western General Hospital

Western General Hospital


St Cuthberts Poorhouse (with its typical clock tower) was opened on the 21st December 1868. This map shows the location of the Poorhouse as it was in a diagram dated 1868.
This shows the extensive buildings (Craigleith Sandstone is reported to have been used in the construction) that were described as St Cuthberts Poorhouse surrounded in those days with wide open spaces.
The ground was acquired from the Fettes Trustees and consisted of ten acres of farmland at Porterfield, Craigleith. The roadway up to the present Outpatients is still called Porterfied Road.

Notice the curved row of houses, Moredun Crescent, between the Poorhouse and the West side entrance to Fettes. The row of houses was believed to have been built to stop the "Fettes Boys" from "seeing into" the Poorhouse.

The name Moredun is a bit confusing as Moredun district is better known on the South side of Edinburgh. On the 1st February 1968. it was renamed Carrington Crescent after Lord Carrington Governor of New Zealand 1885-1890 who was connected to Fettes College.

       1885-1895 St Cuthbert's.


This photo to the left is of the WGH site in the 1960s

Can you find the original boiler house and chimney and then the second boiler house and chimney?

The third boiler house and concrete chimney is to be built in the space top right of photo above just below Telford Road.


What the WGH site looked like in the 1980s


Built in the last few years

2003 on

The Hospital has doubled if not trebled the space it originally was built on. It has reportedly something like 3,500 staff working on site which includes Hospital as well as Research Laboratories. Car parking is at a premium in the grounds and is difficult to find a space. The surrounding districts residential areas were once used for car parking but unfortunately this was done indiscriminately and lead to the introduction of single yellow lines and then a Controlled Parking Zone. The present fee for parking in this controlled area is 1 per hour for a maximum of four hours only.

Detailed information is available on the present day facilities at the Western General Hospital at the following web site: http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk

A book entitled A History of the Western General Hospital by Martin Eastwood and Anne Jenkinson 1995 gives a detailed description of the Western General Hospitals' involvement in medicine since 1868. Anne Jenkinson is a long time resident of Craigleith and the above book can be borrowed from public libraries

2010

The WGH still has problems with car parking. Building of a two tier car park is now complete but the increase in car spaces  only compensated for the loss of car parking now that the replacement for the Royal Victoria Hospital has started to be built on the site of the Paderowski Hospital and its car park.