Records of Barnhill Poorhouse, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Laundry book undated
  • Register of admissions & discharges 1942
  • Account book 1960
  • Register of other institution transfer certificates undated
  • Photographs, interior and exterior of the building 1975
  • Artefacts, including small domestic items and memorial plaques C20th

Administrative / Biographical History

The 1845 Poor Law Amendment Act (Scotland) required larger parishes or smaller parishes in groups to build and staff a poorhouse. Barony Parish, which encompassed a large area of the North side of Glasgow opened  Barnhill Poorhouse in  1854 . At its fullest it catered for 2000 residents; the staff numbered 61 at that time. In order for the poorhouse to operate residents were required to work, the men in maintenance and workshops, the women in laundry and domestic tasks. At first children were admitted to Barnhill and there was a school but following the work of the Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod (1812-1872 ), who was Chairman of the Poorhouse's Education Committee, increasing numbers of children were boarded out, a programme of long term fostering to remote parts of the country. The first move to abolish Poorhouses came in 1928 but it was not until legislation of  1948  that they ceased to exist. In common with many others Barnhill moved in to becoming a hospital specialising in the care of the aged. In 1943 it was renamed as Forresthall Hospital and was not finally closed and subsequently demolished until the  1980s . In the 1960s Professor Sir William Fergusson Anderson was Consultant and the hospital housed a prestigious conference for the world Health Organisation.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Gift: Glasgow Discharged Prisoners Aid Society: c1974


In 1943 Barnhill Poorhouse changed its name to Forresthall hospital.

Other Finding Aids

Item level list available via Heatherbank Museum of Social Work Web pages . Printed item level list also available.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Museum Curator, Heatherbank Museum of Social Work.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Held by Glasgow Discharged Prisoners Aid Society until c1974


None expected

Related Material

Finding aids for the Subject-based Ephemera Collection and a Resources Library, which holds supporting material and published literature, may both contain associated information and can be consulted via Heatherbank Museum of Social Work Web pages A subject-based Newspaper Cuttings Collection is also available for consultation.

Location of Originals

This material is original


The Relief of Poverty1989 Strathclyde Regional Council

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by Compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 21 June 2004. Administrative History compiled by Alastair Ramage, Museum Curator, Heatherbank Museum of Social Work.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names