Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 02/10/2023 11:15