Bangour Village Hospital

Bangour Village Hospital

Bangour Village Hospital was a psychiatric hospital, located west of Dechmont, in West Lothian, Scotland. It was officially opened in October 1906, although the first patients had been admitted in June 1904. The hospital closed in 2004.


The hospital was modelled on the Alt Scherbitz asylum of the 1870s, near Leipzig in Germany, and represents one of the first "colony" plan psychiatric hospitals in Scotland.cite web |url= |title=Bangour Village Hospital Listed Building Report |author=Historic Scotland |accessdate=2008-04-01] The Bangour institution comprised individual villas which would house approximately 30 patients each. The village also incorporated its own railway station, a farm, bakery, workshops, recreation hall, school, shop, library, and latterly, a multi-denominational church.

The hospital was requisitioned by the government War Office during both wars when it became "Edinburgh War Hospital" and "The Scottish Emergency Medical Hospital", reverting back to a psychiatric hospital between and after the wars.

The number of patients rose to over 3000 in 1918 so, as well as temporary marquees, prefabricated huts were erected to cope with the demand for bed space, for both patients and staff. This led to the creation of Bangour General Hospital in the surrounding grounds, which was to become a world leader in many medical fields, in particular its esteemed burns and plastic surgery unit which was established in 1940.fact|date=April 2008

In 1989, St John's Hospital opened in nearby Livingston, and services were transferred from Bangour General Hospital, which closed in the early 1990s. [cite web |url= |title=Bangour General Hospital |accessdate=2008-04-01] The Village Hospital also started to wind down after the opening of St Johns, with the last remaining ward closing in 2004.

The buildings

The hospital site comprises numerous buildings and structures, including 13 category A listed buildings. An architectural competition held in 1898 was won by Hippolyte Blanc. The villas are domestic in character, while the nurse's home is more institutional. The villas were set within landscaped grounds, and are built in a 17th century Scottish Renaissance style, with numerous individual variations. At the centre of the site is an Edwardian Baroque hall, and a Romanesque style church, which was designed by H. O. Tarbolton and built 1924-1930.

Present use

The closed hospital was used as a filming location for the 2005 film "The Jacket", starring Keira Knightley and Adrian Brody. [cite web |url= |title=The Jacket |work=Internet Movie Database |accessdate=2008-04-01]

In 2004, an outline planning application was submitted by Persimmon Homes, who are seeking to convert the site into a residential development. The proposals include retention of the listed buildings, which will be converted to apartments, and new detached homes, for a total of 500 units. As of March 2008, the application is yet to be determined by West Lothian Council. [cite web |url=;jsessionid=72CE23A814EFD750D21E3F3C39AB37B5 |title=Bangour Village Hospital, Dechmont. Case File |accessdate=2008-04-01]


* Lothian Health Services Archive

External links

* [ Loads of pictures of Bangour Village Hospital]
* [ Bangour Village Hospital, by Dazzababes: a photoset on Flickr]
* [ Bangour Village Hospital Villas 3, 4, and 5, by mybabyangel85: a photoset on Flickr]
* [ Bangour Village Hospital - Before and After: A video on YouTube]
* [ Bangour Village Hospital - Urban Exploration Photography]

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