Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 70780 61736
370780, 761736


W L Moffat, dated 1857, with extension, dated 1877 to rear (W). 3-storey and basement, 27-bay, symmetrical, largely E-plan Jacobean former main hospital building, with regular advanced bays, situated on sloping site. Stugged, coursed rubble with ashlar margins and quoins. Band courses, cornice, blocking course. Raised margins and quoins. Pinnacled shaped gables with small slit openings. Window openings with chamfered stone mullions and transoms. Small, segmental-pointed-arched window openings to basement.

EAST (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: advanced central 5-bay section with gabled single-bay E and W returns. Central 3 bays further advanced with slightly recessed central bay. Central, wide, segmental-arched doorway with panelled timber entrance door and round-arched glass and timber side-lights; 3-light window above. Carved square date-plaque (1857) to gablehead above. Floating cornices to upper storey openings. Flanking 11-bay sections with single advanced gabled off-centre and end bays.

WEST (REAR) ELEVATION: irregular plan-form. Central, symmetrical, 3-storey, 7-bay extension with pedimented dormerheads and Dutch-gable end bays. Base course, band course. Segmental-arched doorways to central and end bays, with panelled timber entrance doors and part-glazed fan and side-lights. Bipartite window openings with stone mullions and transoms; some rectangular window openings to upper storey. Square, carved date-plaque to central gablehead. End bays with tall, coped, gablehead stacks.

COURTYARDS: pair of largely symmetrical, square-plan internal courtyards. Each with part-glazed linking corridors to single-storey, hexagonal, pyramidal roofed buildings. Some elevations with single-storey lean-to part-glazed corridors. Pointed-arch window openings to recreation hall with hoodmoulding and decorative stone rose motifs.

Predominantly fixed timber glazing pattern to windows with opening top hoppers. Grey slates. Stepped, coped ridge and gable stacks with distinctive tall barley-sugar-twist cans.

INTERIOR: (seen, 2012). Original layout largely intact with some alteration to ward interiors. Full-height timber panelled recreation hall with trussed, 3-sectioned barrel vaulted timber roof and timber stage. 3 pointed arched windows with small pane glazing to N and S walls; panelled timber gallery to E. Other timber panelled rooms, one with timber and glass fronted full-height bookcases. Some moulded timber fire surrounds. One ward with small rooms off narrow corridor. Some simple cornicing detailing to ceilings. Marble tablet from 1816 commemorating first Montrose asylum contained in corridor.

Statement of Special Interest

B-Group includes Sunnyside Main Building, Hospital Building, North Esk Villa, Garage and Former Fire Station, Booth House Former Nurses' Home, Carnegie House, Water Tank and Former Workshops, Summerhouse, Away Team Cricket Pavilion and Home Team Cricket Pavilion.

This prominent and impressive, well-detailed former main asylum building forms the central core of the former Sunnyside Hospital. Built in 1857 and extended in 1877, this building was the original structure for the hospital and its position at the centre of the complex confirms its importance in the site. The building is an impressive Jacobean composition and is little altered externally with some fine decorative detailing. The interior is notable for the survival of the timber lined recreation hall and other panelled rooms.

Sunnyside consists of a related group of buildings, informally set in a semi-parkland setting on a hillside overlooking Montrose. The site is significant in remaining largely intact and retaining the integrity of a self-contained psychiatric hospital.

This building opened in 1857 and was constructed to replace the former Montrose Lunatic Asylum, established in Montrose in 1781. This was the first hospital in Scotland to care for the mentally ill and was founded by Susan Carnegie, who hoped that if the patients were given good treatment and medical aid, they may be able to return to society. The marble tablet from the opening of this original building is situated in the current asylum. In 1855, the Scottish Lunacy Commission was appointed and condemned the Montrose building as being unsuitable. It was agreed to build a new asylum and a site to the north of Montrose, at Sunnyside Farm was chosen. The architect William Lambie Moffat, who was working in Doncaster, designed this new building. Originally the building formed a double courtyard plan, but as the numbers of patients increased, the building was extended to the rear in 1877 with the addition of a new recreation hall, dining room and kitchen.

Sunnyside Hospital continued to develop during the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th century, as patients continued to increase in numbers. A hospital building was added in 1888 (see separate listing) to care for patients who had both medical and psychiatric conditions. Carnegie House (see separate listing) was constructed in 1896 to provide accommodation for private patients. This was set slightly apart from the main building to the north and the patients had their own garden for recreational use. Other buildings were gradually added to the site, including three villas, workshops and a chapel. The gradual development of the site is important in demonstrating the change in ideas over the century in the care of the mentally ill. When the lease of Sunnyside farm expired in 1911 another 52 further acres were purchased for the use of the community. Over the course of the 20th century, the patients and staff became involved in a number of activities within the complex including gardening and farming. A separate nurses' home was built in the 1930s (see separate listing).

The site ceased to be used as a hospital in 2012.

William Lambie Moffat (1807-1882) was born in Scotland, but started his architectural career in Doncaster. He carried out a number of projects in Yorkshire, and was winning competitions for poorhouses and hospitals in Scotland. As a result of this Montrose commission, he moved back to Edinburgh in 1858 and during the rest of his career, he continued to design a number of churches, poorhouses and institutions throughout Scotland,

List description updated following a review of the former Sunnyside Hospital site, (2012-13).



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, (1857-62). Information from RCAHMS at (accessed 26-04-12). H Richardson, Building Up Our Health, Historic Scotland, 2012, p37. John Gifford, Buildings of Scotland:, Dundee and Angus, (2012), p522. Other information courtesy of NHS Tayside staff. Other information from (accessed 2012).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 19/04/2019 21:49