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Edinburgh, Craighouse Road, South Craig House

Psychiatric Hospital (19th Century), University (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Craighouse Road, South Craig House

Classification Psychiatric Hospital (19th Century), University (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Napier University; Royal Edinburgh Hospital; South Craig Villa

Canmore ID 120087

Site Number NT27SW 697

NGR NT 23434 70500

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Architecture Notes

NT27SW 697 23434 70500

NT27SW 12 23459 70660 Old Craig House

NT27SW 195 73353 70686 New Craig House

NT27SW 1006 23429 70558 Bevan House

NT27SW 1007 23431 70626 East Craig House

NT27SW 1008 23249 70658 Queen's Craig House

NT27SW 1009 23621 70611 East Lodge

Site Management (6 June 2012)

2-3 storey in fall of ground effectively sited on high ground with balustraded terrace on high retaining wall along greater part of E flank. Entrance in pedimented doorpiece approached by stair with wrot-iron work, semi-circular stair turret projects from centre of flank immediately to N; SW projection ends in 2-octagonal-corner bays, N gable recessed at NE corner and filled out by lower flat roofed section, tall canted bay to W; canted bay S end of W flank.

Sydney Mitchell based on sketch designs by Dr Clouston the physician superintendent, designed 1887, begun 1889, E half of main building; hospital and 3 villas built by 1894, all in a Free Renaissance style of mixed Francois Premier to Henri Quatre inspiration showing also the influence of the Nesfield-Champneys and Anderson & Browne manners. The

buildings are of red coursers with biscuit coloured dressings and small-paned windows and are roofed in green slates throughout.

Landmarks; main building, 3 small chateaux and old house remodelled (item 333) set in superb landscaped hilltop site, still completely unspoiled either by later accretions or more modern buildings. The site was bought in 1878 for paying patients and developed with funds raised by the sale of Robert Reid's original asylum at Morningside. The buildings were designed to give the appearance inside and out of a lavish hydropathic hotel establishment rather than a hospital with a great hall, lavish drawing and billiard rooms, numerous dining rooms and parlours, bowling alley etc. (Historic Scotland)

The estate of Craig House was purchased by the Board of Managers of the Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum, under the influence of the then Physican Superintendent, Dr Thomas Clouston in 1878. The site was renamed the Thomas Clouston Clinic in 1972. (Lothian Health Services Archive)

Purchased from Lothian Health Services around 1994 by Napier University for use as their campus.


Desk Based Assessment (5 May 2013 - 31 October 2013)

Landmark buildings - 3 small chateaux buildings set within a landscaped hilltop site. The old Craig House estate was bought in 1878 by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital it was used as a hospital for paying patients and was built to give the appearance of a spa hotel rather than a hospital.

Information from Linn Glancy (Headland Archaeology) 2014.

OASIS ID: headland1-302007. no.HB27736

Standing Building Recording (1 June 2015 - 11 September 2015)

NT 23434 70500 An enhanced building survey was carried out, 1 June – 11 September 2015, of the category A listed South Craig building, which was part of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum complex built at Craighouse by Sydney Mitchell in the late 19th century.

The building retains some of its original features and there was also clear evidence of alterations in its structure that had taken place in the 20th century. The original layout of South Craig has been slightly modified over the last century, with areas on all floors affected. The building is in an average condition, with some areas affected by mould infestation, which affect the historical fabric of the building. The aesthetic and historic value varies between individual rooms. The upper ground floor contains elements of a higher aesthetic significance, such as the entrance hall and the original staircase. Other areas, however, are negatively influenced by

modern alterations.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: Clearbell Capital Ltd

Ariane Buschmann and Frank Giecco – Wardell Armstrong Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 17)


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