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Other hospitals in the area

Barshaw Hospital, Paisley - Barshaw House, was built in the late eighteenth century to designs by Robert Smith.

The house was acquired by Paisley Town Council in 1911 with the grounds being opened as a public park the following year.

The house then became an infirmary, taking wounded soldiers towards the end of the First World War.

It was subsequently converted into a Maternity and Child Welfare Home. It opened as such on 15 December 1921.

A new maternity ward was built to the rear of the house, probably in the 1930s.

It closed as a maternity hospital in 1959 and was then converted into a geriatric hospital, re-opening in 1961.

It had closed again by the late 1990s; the house was converted into flats in 1998.

Bridge of Weir Hospital for Consumptives - opened on 3 September 1896. It was designed by the Glasgow-based hospital architect Robert Bryden.

The hospital was built in three stages, as funds permitted, with the first sanatorium building begun in 1894.

The foundation stone was laid by Sir William Arrol on 5 September 1894 and the first block was opened by lady Glen Coats two years later.

This was followed by the second sanatorium building. ‘The door of Hope’, (at the centre of the present hospital complex), built in 1898-1900, and the third block opened in 1907 to the west.

By 1899 the Nordrach open-air treatment was adopted, although the buildings were not initially designed on the open air principal. With the decline in the need for tuberculosis accommodation the hospital was converted for geriatric patients and the chronic sick.

The hospital had closed by 2004 when work began to redevelop the site for housing, the original buildings were converted into flats.

Caldwell House, Uplawmoor - was designed by Robert Adam, built 1771-3, was a mansion house in Adam’s restrained castle style.

It was converted into a mental deficiency institution by Govan Board of Control, opening in 1929. A laundry and boiler house was built to designs by James Taylor as part of the conversion to hospital use.

The patients were transferred to Merchiston Hospital when the new complex was opened and Caldwell House was sold.

Dykebar Hospital, Paisley - was built as the Renfrew District Asylum by T. G. Abercrombie.

It sits in a rural setting on the outskirts of Paisley. It opened in 1909 as the District Asylum for Renfrew Lunacy District. Paisley and Johnstone had their asylum at Riccartsbar, and Greenock an asylum at Smithston, This went on to be known as Ravenscraig.

A central administrative wing and two villas for men and two villas for women were built. Further buildings were soon added due to overcrowding. Along with store buildings, a laundry, kitchen, a superintendent's house, workshops, nurses' homes and a mortuary an asylum complex soon grew up like a self-contained village with associated farmland.

Around 300 patients lived here at this time and, as at other asylums, the aim was to create a feeling of community. The earliest patients were employed in putting the grounds in order, and then later residents worked on the neighbouring fields raising cows, pigs and poultry, growing turnips, potatoes, a vegetable garden, glasshouses and potting sheds.

They also built and looked after a bowling green, tennis courts and a birdhouse.

During World War I residents were moved to other institutions when it was used as a war hospital, except for some patients kept on to run the farm. During the Second World War, while other hospitals were used as emergency hospitals, their residents were transferred to Dykebar.

When it came under control of the newly formed NHS in 1948 the asylum took the name of Dykebar Hospital and the facilities were upgraded. A modern unit was added in 1975 to accommodate psycho-geriatric patients and other amenities, and, in that year, with the closure of Riccartsbar, the patients from there were transferred to Dykebar.

In 1975 a major new extension was opened which provided accommodation for psycho geriatric patients, a new recreation hall and patient and staff dining-rooms.

Again, this is a part of healthcare that was previously in the hands of the NHS, but now is largely taking place in nursing homes, with means-testing to see how much you have to pay to get the care that you need.

Elderslie Cottage Hospital - formerly known as the Johnstone and District Cottage Hospital it opened circa 1893. It was a compactly designed hospital very much like a pair of picturesque cottages.

Elderslie Hospital opened in 1893 as the Johnstone Cottage Hospital. It had just 16 beds and dealt with all cases except psychiatric and infectious diseases.

It joined the National Health Service in 1948 under the Paisley & District Hospitals Board of Management. At the reorganisation of 1974 it was transferred to the Renfrew District of Argyll & Clyde Health Board.

From 1958-1970 Elderslie Hospital functioned as a gynaecology unit and after 1970 it became a unit for children with severe learning difficulties.

Fordbank Maternity Home, Milliken Park - functioning in the 1940s, established in Fordbank House, south-west of Milliken Park Station.

Glencoats Auxiliary Hospital, Paisley - the house of Ferguslie Park, was presented to the Royal Alexandra Infirmary in 1934. It was designated as an auxiliary hospital in memory of Sir Thomas and Lady Glen Coats and Major A. Harold Glen Coats.

Hawkhead Hospital, Paisley - opened on 7 July, 1936 to designs by Burnet, Tait and Lorne in the distinctive International Modern, streamlined style, with its flat roofs and rounded angles. The cubicle isolation ward block has particular flare and is the best example of such a block in Scotland.

The site comprised of a gate house, administration building, nurses’ home, staff cottages, boiler house and laundry with six single storey ward pavilions set to the rear on a north south axis, and the cubicle isolation ward block adjacent on a west east axis.

The blocks were constructed in hollow brick work and finished in Brizolit, a fine textured rough cast which was painted white giving the hospital a gleaming clinical appearance. Pale yellow and blue tiles form the chief decorative feature of the buildings, on tiled piers flanking doorways and some windows.

The blocks are now dry dashed in buff brown, this and the removal of many of the other original features greatly lessens the impact of the hospital complex.

The hospital was built as a large new infectious diseases hospital to replace the outdated small hospitals built at the turn of the century.

Johnstone Hospital - begun 1887 this hospital was originally built as the Johnstone Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Most of the older blocks have now been demolished to make way for the new blocks built in the 1980s.

A small pox hospital was built on the adjacent site of corrugated iron and wood, this was sometimes used as an overflow fever hospital.

Merchiston Hospital, Johnstone - the hospital was built 1979 84 for the mentally handicapped.

Previously Merchiston House had been used as a mental deficiency institution.

The house was built in 1880 and was demolished on the completion of the new hospital buildings in 1985.

Peesweep Sanatorium, Paisley -  originally a rest and convalescent home, the curiously named Peesweep Sanatorium was constructed in 1910 on the open air principle with 18 single rooms.

It was subsequently either re-built or substantially extended, probably around the 1920s.

It survives today as Lapwing Lodge, owned by the West Region Scout Council.

Princess Louise Hospital, Erskine -  Erskine House was opened 10 October 1916 as a hospital for soldiers wounded in the First World War.

The house had been built in 1828-45 to designs by Sir Robert Smirke for Major General Robert W Stuart, the 11th Lord Blantyre.

Following the outbreak of the First World War the house was gifted by its then owner, Thomson Aikman, for use as a hospital with the possibility of purchasing the estate if required.

An impressive £100,000 was swiftly raised by the public. 

Garnering royal patronage, it became the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers.

The official opening by Princess Louise took place on June 6, 1917.

Pressure on space and the need for workshops to assemble artificial limbs lead to the erection of huts in the grounds before the end of the war.

Riccartsbar Hospital, Paisley - originally built as the asylum for Paisley and Johnstone burghs, Riccartsbar Hospital opened in June 1876.

It closed in 1975 and patients were transferred to Dykebar.

The buildings were demolished to make way for the new Royal Alexandra Hospital.

The Royal Victoria Eye Infirmary, Paisley - this purpose built specialist hospital was opened on 11 December 1899. The infirmary was founded in 1888, in rented rooms at No.1, Gauze Street.

In 1896 it moved to Forbes Place and in the following year Archibald Mackenzie of Milliken provided funds for the new building.

The new infirmary was designed in a domestic style with bow windows and spectacle glazing in the upper lights.

The original Royal Victoria Eye Infirmary opened in 1888 with 4 beds. A new 17 bed building replaced it in 1897. This was further extended in 1926.

The Royal Victoria Eye Infirmary joined the National Health Service in 1948 and was under the Board of Management for Paisley and District Hospitals until 1974 when it was placed in the Renfrew District of Argyll and Clyde Health Board.

In 1986 the staff and patients were transferred to the new Royal Alexandra Infirmary and the Eye Infirmary was closed.

Thorn Hospital, Johnstone -  sometimes known as the Thornhill Maternity Hospital was a converted house with a maternity ward added to it.

Thousands of people from Paisley and neighbouring towns were born at Thornhill House when it was a maternity hospital between 1934 and 1970.

With the opening of the new Paisley Maternity Hospital it changed its function, taking gynaecology and TB patients, but finally closed in 1987.

Some historica facts: Virtually unknown is the fact that the elegant mansion – once the home of Arthur Francis Stoddard, who in 1862 founded the Elderslie carpet factory.

During the mid-19th century, the house – at the top of Thorn Brae, Johnstone – was owned by wealthy grain merchant Thomas Glen. It was beautified with manicured lawns, a bowling green and tree-canopied avenues fronting the Gleniffer Braes.

His daughter Margaret married Thomas Coats, of the renowned Paisley thread-manufacturing dynasty. The Coats family lived at Ferguslie House, across the road from their majestic Ferguslie Spinning Mills.

Thomas Glen’s other daughter, Jane, married opulent Paisley businessman James Arthur, who lived at Barshaw House which went on to become Barshaw Hospital.



Last Updated: 20 June 2018