Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 60178 65658
260178, 665658


Large complex of hospital buildings, centred on vast courtyard block designed by James Miller between approximately 1897 and 1901, and built (according to inscription on building), 1905-15, including earlier fabric, such as Gateway on East Chapel Avenue. Built or clad mostly in ashlar, probably Giffnock stone, with concealed or slated roofs. Glazing to ward blocks mostly 3-pane single windows, each comprising sliding sash and case in combination with top-hoppers. Courtyard buildings all steel-framed, with generous fenestration.

ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY BLOCK: CASTLE STREET FRONT: closing courtyard on W. Opened in 1909, long, low near-symmetrical, screen-like with centre pend now enclosed; underground tunnel links to main block beyond. At N end, LISTER LECTURE THEATRE, 1926-7, (Lister's work here recorded on wall plaque).

GATES AND RAILINGS: wrought-iron.

COURTYARD BLOCKS: 3 main blocks 7 or 8-storey including basement and attics, in a broadly symmetrical layout; neo-Baroque with Scottish revival details, balustraded wallheads and concealed roofs. Built in separate stages, almost free-standing, linked originally only by bridges at upper levels, though areas between now glazed-in. Sanitary towers nearby, similarly free-standing and glazed-in by 'bridges'.

N BLOCK: known as Robert and James Dick block, dated 1909, in lighter coloured stone, extending E to N of Cathedral burial ground, turreted angles.

CENTRAL BLOCK: Templeton block, for administration and special diseases, largest of 3, dated 1915, opened 1912. Inner part raised 1 storey, turreted centre entrance tower still higher, ground floor arcade with Scottish 17th century detailing; full-height circular sanitary turrets flanking have top stages of lesser dimensions.

S BLOCK: Jubilee block, opened 1914, S front Beaux Arts, reproducing features from Adam scheme (eg dome), with advanced centre and ends, applies ornament, forecourt area reconstructed as part of Cathedral Square works, 1990-1992.

NURSES' HOMES: 2 of these. To Wishart Street, flat-fronted, tall, classical, square, 4-storey and attic block with open central courtyard, ground floor as raised basement; centre doorway to symmetrical 5-bay S front, full-height projection at N end of each flank wall; blocked eaves, bell-cast roof with dormers, windows 12-pane sash and case. Laundry adjoined to N. Other Home to N and Warnock Street, in 2 linked rectangular-plan parts, S facing, set between laundry and main hospital building to W; 6-storey including basement and attics, W part probably built first; symmetrical S front, shallow advanced centre, top floor later; bays to E with full-height canted end bays on main front.

GATEWAY: 1832, to East Chapel Avenue. Cast-iron gates; (castellated with 4-centred arch. Possibly by David Hamilton. Adjoined to S by St Mungo's College (demolished 2001).

CLOCK TOWER BLOCK 88-92 CASTLE STREET: part of hospital complex. William Landless, 1878-91 built as part of Glasgow Blind Asylum (see Notes); 4-storey corner building with engaged hexagonal tower to SW (open belfry and stone spire). 2 well-detailed elevations, Free Revivalist style, combining Franco-Scots, northern European and Gothic; crowstepped gables and stone bracketed balconies. Tower sculpture Charles B Grassby of Glasgow, including canopied niche, representation of Christ restoring blind child's sights.

Statement of Special Interest

R R Anderson selected a design by H E Clifford for the hospital but the Hopsital Committee awarded the commission to Miller. In execution, it was simplified, though still has applied ornament. In 1915, the new infirmary was in the forefront of hospital design; stress had been laid upon minimising noise and upon cleanliness, while on the technological side there were sophistications such as X-ray (the infirmary had in 1896 the first Roentgen ray laboratory in the world) and an electro-cardiograph system linking each ward to a central monitoring area. As the Old College was nearby, the Royal had from an early time become the city's principal teaching hospital (indeed advancement of medical sciences was a factor in its creation; not until 1874, with the University's move to Gilmorehill, did the Western take on a teaching function). The hospital cost over £60,000 per annum to run, of which about one third was paid by public subscription, the remainder by gifts and bequests. By 1916, it was already being said that 'the economic upheavals caused by a long and devastating war are affecting seriously the very class from whom the Extraordinary Revenue, in the shape of bequests with special donations to these institutions, has hitherto been expected...'; prices continued to rise, while contributions did not (SRA, PA 11/2/II).

The Old Infirmary (built 1792), was one of a series of major public buildings in the city to be designed by Robert Adam. It was a philanthropic enterprise, paid for by subscription. Its site was that now occupied by the present S block. Plans, elevation and photograph of the Adam design are contained in David King, THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ROBERT AND JAMES ADAM (1991). Various extensions and additions were made to it during the 19th century, for example, a W facing fever hospital was added to the rear, 1825-32, and a new surgical hospital, designed by Clarke and Bell, was completed by 1861. Their basic arrangement was followed in the W facing courtyard arrangement of the new hospital. The gateway between the hopstial and the former Glasgow Blind Asylum is the only remaining part of Glasgow's first ornamental cemetery, St Mungo's, established in 1832. This was designed by James Cleland, who was the Superintendant of Public Works at Glasgow Town Council and was laid out in a formal manner. The former Blind Asylum by William Landless joined the hospital complex in 1940.

St Mungo's College was demolished 18/19 June 2001 in the interest of public safety following a roof collapse and a detailed structural examination. It was a single and 2-storey classical block with W flank to Castle Street and sited above N block of courtyard ranges, it was possibly part of Clarke and Bell scheme. Its main part was 3-storey over basement, the S front was Italianate with consoled hoods to top floor windows, deep stone bracketed eaves, off-centre, near symmetrical columned porch.

List description updated 2009.



SRA - much material on Royal Infirmary, including PA 11/2/II/18 (1916 report on new building); also plans (eg Dean of Guild, D-TC 13/497 A-G and TD-972); also references to pre-existing buildings, eg MP26/243; DTC-14/2/34; LP1/91 (History.... 1787-1832). For clock tower, see BUILDER, 1879, p186, and ARCHITECT, June 24 1882. Williamson, Riches and Higgs GLASGOW (1990), pp146-7; Moss, Russel and Jenkinson THE HISTORY OF GLASGOW ROYAL INFIRMARY 1794-1994 (1994).

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.

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