Tuesday 1 April 2014

Murthly Hospital 150 years old today.

Murthly Hospital (also know as the Perth District Asylum) was opened to patients on this day 150 years ago. The Asylum, which cost £30,000, was built to cater for 'lunatic paupers' and was Scotland's second district asylum. It was built following the 1857 Lunacy (Scotland) Act which ​had created district boards that could establish publicly funded asylums to provide care for people who could not afford the high fees​ charged by private asylums. Out of town locations were common for asylums at the time as it was believed that separation from the possible causes of anxiety, and fresh air, might help patients recover. Murthly, however, was fairly remote (see its position here), but access was made easier by the fact that the Highland Railway ran nearby. In 1894 the hospital built villas within its grounds as part of a pioneering attempt to provide accommodation for patients based on the colony or village system​.

 The hospital closed completely in 1984 and has now been demolished. Archive Services hold its records (THB 30) as part of the NHS Tayside Archive. These include patient records dating back to its opening, records relating to staff and various reports. The records are available for consultation, although all clinical records are subject to a 100 year closure period. For more information contact archives@dundee.ac.uk or visit www.dundee.ac.uk/archives

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