Royal Lunatic Asylum

The managing committee of the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary began the funding of a new Royal Lunatic Asylum in 1800. Designs for the asylum began in 1819, by Archibald Simpson and building began in 1822. The budget was set at £13,135, with £10,000 donated by John Forbes of Newe.

Following a dispute between Hospital management and Simpson, John Smith took over the project in 1822. The lunatic asylum was established so that mentally ill patients could be treated separately from other patients.

Approximately 30 years after the Hospital was built, the east and west wings were added to the private airing courtyards. The number of patients steadily increased, and Clerkseat House, housed by the Physician Superintendent Dr Jamieson, was soon needed to house patients. Dr Jamieson was one of the first Doctors to lecture on mental illness, and rather than punishment, advocated for fresh air, exercise, baths and work as treatment. The Elmhill House part of the Hospital was damaged by a bomb during the war and was never replaced.

The Hospital is a Category B Listed Building. Last piece of information found, regards closure, stated that the Hospital was no longer in use, dated 1999.

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