Sunnyside Hospital aka Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum

History of Sunnyside Hospital aka Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum

Originally built in 1781 the now derelict Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum is located in the town of Montrose, Scotland. The original building was later replaced in 1858 by the much larger buildings that was later repurposed as the hospital outgrew its size limitations.

The initial construction of the first of the buildings which remain on-site today originally named Carnegie house for private patients opened in 1899. followed shortly after by two further detached villas, Howden Villa and Northesk Villa in 1901 and 1904 respectively.

During the First World War, the Hospital was one of the few which avoided any form of requisitioning by the military, however, the number of staff was severely affected by volunteers who opted to join those fighting abroad. In addition due to other hospitals being repurposed Sunnyside saw an influx of additional patients adding further strain to the already limited staff.

Between the war years, the Hospital saw further expansion and additional buildings being built on-site. During World War II the hospital was struck by 5 explosive shells and whilst the main building narrowly avoided damage being missed by mere meters, some of the other buildings were struck by the bombs.

Following the introduction of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act in 1948 the Hospital was renamed Royal Mental Hospital of Montrose and was under the control of the NHS.

The site was officially closed in late 2011 at which point the majority of the patients were moved to a large facility in Angus and the remaining patients were placed in the community. Sunnyside was open for 230 years before its closure, and was the oldest psychiatric hospital in Scotland.

Our Visit

Visited with Lowri, Katie, David, Stussy and Baron we kipped over the night before somewhere not too far away and made for an early start… After finding a way in we managed to photograph the majority of the building or at least the interesting parts. The highlights, of course, being the epic main hall which was like no of the others I’ve had the pleasure of seeing with its detailed dark woodwork which remains original to this day. Upon returning to the nice ward corrdior we soon realised we werent alone and noticed high viz jackets outside patrolling with dogs… A few doors banging later and us being completely silent we took the oportunity to make our exit unseen. A great little Asylum with tons of history and some really nice features top photograpenjoy the pictures:


If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more 🙂

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