Lennox Castle Hospital

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Lennox Castle Hospital
Established 1927
Opened 1936 (as a Mental Hospital)
Closed 2002
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Cottage Plan
Architect(s) Wylie, Shanks and Wylie
Location East Dunbartonshire
Architecture Style Norman
Alternate Names
  • Lennox Castle Certified Institution for Mental Defectives
  • Lennox Mental Defectives' Hospital


Lennox Castle was built between 1837 and 1841, in the square style of a Norman castle for John Lennox Kincaid by architect David Hamilton (1768 - 1843). The large, three storey red sandstone mansion has battlemented corner towers, a five story tower, and a large entrance porch to the north. During World War I, the castle was requisitioned for use as a military hospital.

In 1927, the castle was purchased by Glasgow Corporation for £25,000, together with 494 ha (1,222 acres) of the Lennox Kincaid estate, as part of its plans to create a hospital for the mentally-ill. Built to the designs of Wylie, Shanks and Wylie, the new institution provided twenty dormitory blocks, with sixty beds in each, accommodating a total of twelve hundred patients, six hundred males and six hundred females in separate sections. Each section also had its own dining hall, kitchen, and workshop. There was also a new central administration block, medical block, visitors' tea-room, assembly hall with cinema, and forty additional houses which served as married quarters for the staff. During the construction phase, the castle building was used to house the hospital's patients. When the works were completed, the castle then became the nurses home. In 1936, Lennox Castle Certified Institution for Mental Defectives officially opened. During World War II, the castle was again requisitioned for use as a hospital, with patients being transferred to huts erected in the grounds - a temporary arrangement that lasted for some forty years. In 1942, the hospital allocated beds to maternity patients, as part of another temporary arrangement, this one lasting until 1964.

On November 3, 1948, Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie was born at Lennoxtown - now better known as singer Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, OBE. In 1950, plans were drawn up to erect a hospital with two hundred and sixty beds, for five to sixteen year old males at Craigend Farm, but the plan was abandoned. Throughout the fifties and sixties constant juggling of available resources took place to try to accommodate patients. On Friday January 13th, 1956 a fight broke out in a hut housing male residents, and due to windows being broken, the 25 residents were moved to another ward the next day. That afternoon, eight of the residents began breaking windows, wrecking furniture and attacking the nursing staff. The nurses withdrew along with residents not involved in the riot, and the remaining eight residents were locked inside. The institution fire brigade, the local county fire brigade and the county police were called in. When the situation was under control the ward was found to be very badly damaged and closed. Three "ringleaders" were sent to Carstairs State Hospital.

In 1987, the original Lennox Castle building was no longer required by the hospital, and was vacated. A phased closure plan for the hospital began in the 1990s, including a planned resettlement of all the residents. Lennox Castle Hospital closed in April, 2002. By 2004, only the original Lennox Castle building remained on the site, all other hospital buildings having been demolished, and the site cleared. On May 11, 2006, the first ground was broken to mark the beginning of construction of Celtic Football Club's new training facilities on the site, due for completion in the summer of 2007. Builders Mactaggart & Mickel have also been granted consent to regenerate the site of the former Lennox Castle Hospital with a substantial mix of 76 properties in their Campsie View development. Lennox Castle was severely damaged by fire on May 19, 2008. Part of the tower was destroyed, and movement of the stonework may lead to the demolition of the building. The cause of the fire is undetermined. In March, 2012 the owners applied for a further extension to the original planning permission. This specified that work would have to start on the conversion to flats by May 2010, then was later extended to May 2012. The owners now want it extended to May 2014. This new application will be decided at a meeting of East Dunbartonshire Planning Board later this year. The building is now in a very dilapidated state.

Images of Lennox Castle Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Lennox Castle Hospital