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Edinburgh, Craighouse Road, East Craig House

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

Site Name Edinburgh, Craighouse Road, East Craig House

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

Alternative Name(s) Napier University; Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Canmore ID 128038

Site Number NT27SW 1007

NGR NT 23431 70626

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 1007 23431 70626

NT27SW 12 23459 70660 Old Craig House

NT27SW 195 73353 70686 New Craig House

NT27SW 697 23434 70500 South Craig House

NT27SW 1006 23429 70558 Bevan House

NT27SW 1008 23249 70658 Queen's Craig House

NT27SW 1009 23621 70611 East Lodge

Site Management (6 June 2012)

Cottage hospital type, E part single-storey and mansard attic, E front 2-window and centre door with pedimented stone dormers centred on the windows below; W wing low without attic; sun-lounge on S front somewhat altered.

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 new 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 23431 70626 An enhanced building survey was undertaken, 1 June – 11 September 2015, of the category A listed East Craig building. East Craig is part of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum Complex built at Craighouse by the

architect Sydney Mitchell in 1894. It was constructed as a small clinical hospital building for women.

The building, which is in average condition, retains some of its original features. There is clear evidence of 20th- and 21st-century alterations in its general layout. The building has undergone several treatments for wet rot and general dampness, but further measures may be necessary.

While the building is less decorative, and more functionally oriented in its design, the overall architectural value is still of significance, not only as part of the Craighouse complex, but also as a distinctive hospital building of the late 19th century. In comparison with the other buildings of Craighouse, East Craig is the most affected by successive past refurbishments. These changes have had a negative impact on the aesthetic and historic value of the building.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: Clearbell Capital LLP

Ariane Buschmann and Frank Giecco – Wardell Armstrong Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 17)


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