Relict of a large hospital complex, new-built on a site which was acquired in 1913. Designed by J A T Houston in a style based on revived English late 17th/early 18th century fashion, or 'Wrenaissance', with characteristic Classical detailing; all built of red brick and contrasting light-coloured detailing, to represent Portland stone. Construction was delayed by the Great War - it began building 1921 (probably to the original designs) and opened in May 1930. Hospital lay-out a series of free-standing blocks, mostly 1 or 2 storeys, slate roofs - poended/bell cast or with open-based pedimented gables; original small-paned glazing. Brick is raised at angles or on facades, and channelled as pilasters; also flat-arched over square-headed openings; moulded eaves throughout. Deep moulded cornices of white-painted timber. Set in parkland of (now mature) trees, in a lay-out which combines the axes and vistas of the formal with curves associated with the informal. Blocks which are listed (there are seven) are as follows:
(1) NURSES' HOME (NS 5370 5455) probably the largest block in the complex, and with particularly bold detailing - eg deep channelling of brickwork, massive eaves cornice; 3-storeyed and symmetrical, main (south west) front a wide U-plan set behind a timber-railed full-width Doric colonnade, and with three giant windows in shallow advanced centre lighting spacious common room, squat square (presumably water) towers in angles; arched (mostly 1st floor) recessed panels (containing windows) are painted; tall shallow-arched panels in front gables of wings, cutting into gable heads; recessed wings extend on either side, beyond, stair windows at ends. Shallow-pitch bell-cast roofs.
(2) ADMINISTRATION BLOCK (NS 5377 5452) front part 2 storeys, piend-roofed, 5-bay front with art-deco large entrance, 5 round-arched windows at 1st floor. Rear wing 2-storeys, stepped down to single storey, and T-shaped on plan, with pedimented gables, 10 regular bay son north elevation with door squeezed in centre.
(3) FORMER DOMESTIC RESIDENCE (NS 5378 5456) is symmetrical, a long and large U-plan. Lower south-facing ranges link 3 taller and parapetted 5-bay blocks which have clasping pilaster strips; inner block 2 storeys with deep south-facing 1st floor windows, outer blocks each 3 storeys with tall segmental-arched outer panels linking upper floor.
(4) GENERAL STORE (NS5383 5462) which is rectangular-plan with long, symmetrical elevations; 2 storeys. West front 11 bays with large art deco entrance, doorways either side, entrances all at raised level (presumably built thus from the outset for truck deliveries); to rear, centre advanced with paired stair windows.
(5) 2-STOREY HOUSE (NS 5371 5466) piend-roofed, north-facing, elevation spaced 5 bays with centre entrance, three windows above, paired stacks cut through roof flank.
(6) LODGE (NS 5395 5448) on Mearns Road, piend-roofed, 2-storey 2-bay flat front, with tripartite windows, tall entrance bay alongside, at driveway.
(7) SOUTHFIELD HOUSE (NS 5399 5444) former Medical Superintendent's house), set apart from main hospital complex, opposite gate lodge on east side of main road, has symmetrical tripartite facade, 2 storeys shallow advanced centre, steep-gabled porch with bipartite over, close-spaced 3-light windows in outer bays. Garden walls, gatepiers with wrought-iron gates, curved quadrant walls.
Statement of Special Interest
Mearnskirk Hospital was provided by Glasgow Corporation's Public Health Department as part of its scheme for the prevention of TB/Consumption, which was at the time a common and usually fatal or life-shortening illness. It was originally designed as a sanitorium for children, and the site acquired extended to 321 acres. Great emphasis was placed upon fresh air and ventilation, which was found to help sufferers - hence the choice of site, and the placing and planning of the wards, with the butterfly-plan creating something of a suntrap, sheltered, with verandahs onto which beds could be placed. On outbreak of the 2nd World War, the children were evacuated to Millport, and emergency medical scheme (EMS) huts were built at Mearnskirk (all demolished 1991/92), part of its transformation to a naval auxiliary hospital. It also maintained some beds for civilian casualties, and took in casualties from the Clydebank and Greenock blitz. After the War, it catered for adults and children with TB and a Thoracic surgical unit was opened. After its transfer to the NHS, ENT, heart surgery and other specialities were introduced until in 1960, it was re-categorised as a general hospital. Some memorials are placed within grounds, the largest a bronze figure on a stone pedestal which has had (presumably decorative) bronze panels removed; inscription in stone "In memory of Dr John A Wilson OBE first Superintendent of Mearnskirk 1928-45. Erected by A L Ellsworth and his friends".