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Building the Hospital

Why was Stobhill needed?

In 1899 Glasgow Parish Council looked at poor law hospitals in the parish. There were 298 hospital beds at the City Poor House and 400 beds at Barnhill Poor House but 1,200 beds were actually needed. A new hospital was necessary.

What were poor law hospitals?

One hundred years ago, people had to pay for healthcare. Poor law hospitals gave free basic treatment to people who were destitute and unable (through illness, disability or age) to look after themselves. Patients had to legally declare themselves paupers and were often ashamed to go to the poor law hospital. At Stobhill, to save embarrassment, birth and death certificates gave the hospital’s address (133 Balornock Road) rather than its name.

Building Stobhill

In 1899 the Parish Council paid £6,000 for 47 acres of land at Stobhill. They ran a competition to find architects in 1900, but did not use the winning design. Thomson & Sandilands were appointed instead as their design was cheaper to build!

In September 1901 Lord Balfour of Burleigh laid the foundation stone. The marshy site created terrible working conditions and many horses died. A siding joining the hospital to the railway system was built by the Caledonian Railway Co, for the delivery of coal and supplies.

Stobhill officially opened in September 1904.

Laying the foundation stone.

A crowd celebrates the buiding of the new hospital.