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Spittal Farm

Farmstead (Period Unassigned), Hospital (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Spittal Farm

Classification Farmstead (Period Unassigned), Hospital (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 50185

Site Number NT15NE 5

NGR NT 1695 5765

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Midlothian
  • Parish Penicuik (Midlothian)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District Midlothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT15NE 5 1695 5765.

(NT 1695 5765) Hospital (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map (1908)

A hospital or hospice, connected with the religious order at Newhall House (NT15NE 10), traditionally stood between the dwelling house and farm steading of Spittal. No vestige remains now, but there is a stone dated 1641 in the S side of the barn (Name Book 1852). It was reduced about 1750, 'but one of its offices is still covered with an arched stone roof, and has all the marks of great antiquity' (F R Coles 1899). Easson states, 'though the place-name (Spittal) survives, there is no evidence of a hospital; H F Brown (1919) mentions an alleged hospitium for travellers here, but does not attempt to authenticate it'.

'By a clause in the charter of the estate the benighted wanderer is still entitled to receive gratuitiously a night's lodging at this farm for which purpose a wretched shed with a litter is still kept'. This hospital was known as 'Fore Spittal' as opposed to 'Back Spittal' (NT15NE 25).

H Scott 1950; D E Easson 1957; OSA 1794

NT 1695 5763. No further information was found regarding this alleged hospital. The steading appears to be relatively modern, the date 1849 appearing on one of the buildings. The farmer had no knowledge of the stone dated 1641.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 12 February 1970


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