Records of Kirklands Hospital, Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minutes and agendas, 1878-1938;
  • Reports and returns, 1881-1962;
  • Registers and indexes, 1881-1973;
  • Financial records, 1880-1900;
  • Miscellaneous, 1889-1974;
  • Photographs, c1911, c1980s;
  • Maps and plans, 1930-1987.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1878 Glasgow District Board of Lunacy came into existence under the provisions of the 61st clause of the Prisons (Scotland) Act, 1877, with responsibility for lunatics in Lanarkshire and Glasgow. It was decided that an asylum was needed for the County of Lanark since accommodation was fully occupied at the Glasgow Parochial Asylum (Woodilee) and at the Glasgow Royal Asylum at Gartnavel.

In 1879 the Board bought Kirklands Asylum, which was owned by Dr Wm. Dean Fairless, for £16,000. It had been run as a private establishment and consisted of a villa, 2 dormitories with accommodation for approximately 88 patients, and the usual offices and outbuildings. The Board decided to enlarge and refurbish the existing buildings to make them suitable for use as a public asylum. Mr Bromhead, Architect, designed the extensions in the Scottish Gothic Style and the building was ready for use in April 1881. The asylum then had accommodation for 200 patients and was intended to house juveniles and imbeciles.

The Medical Superintendent, Dr Campbell Clark, initiated regular training schemes for medical attendants and nurses, since no such system existed nationally for Mental Health. In 1890 the Medico-Psychological Society recognised the need for such training, introduced examinations, and issued certificates to successful candidates.

In 1886 converted farm buildings at Hartwood were utilised as an annex to the asylum. Patients of a ‘quieter and more retiring nature’ were sent there to do garden and farm work. The annex at Liquo was only recognised as part of the asylum in November 1889 by H.M Commissioners in Lunacy.

On 25th October 1888 the Glasgow District Lunacy Board was dissolved and the management of the asylum was transferred to a Joint-Committee of the District Lunacy Boards of the City of Glasgow, Govan and Lanark Lunacy Districts. In 1900 the Glasgow Lunacy District relinquished its share in the asylum and thereafter it was managed solely by Lanark and Govan Boards.

In 1895 the new Lanark District Asylum at Hartwood was opened. Liquo, which lay within the grounds, was incorporated with Hartwood. Dr Campbell Clark was appointed Medical Superintendent. He died in 1901 and is buried in the cemetery at Hartwood.

In 1901 a new laundry and wash house were built at Kirklands and by 1904 a nurse’s home, caretaker’s house and attendant’s cottages were built. In 1911 the Board leased part of Longdales Farm for hospital use and after repairs had been carried out the house provided accommodation for working patients and the out-buildings accommodation for livestock. Part of Longdales had been an asylum in the 19th century, but had been abandoned as such in the 1870s.

In 1930 the Lanark and Govan Lunacy Committee was dissolved and the administrative functions passed to the Lanarkshire Mental Hospitals Joint Committee, which also managed Hartwood and Birkwood hospitals. In 1948 the Committee became the Board of Management for Lanarkshire Mental Hospitals. In 1964 the name changed to Central Lanarkshire Hospitals. Lanarkshire Health Board took over control of the hospital in 1974.

Today, the hospital has 22 beds and offers care to adults with learning disabilities.


Arranged within series.

Access Information

There is a 75 year closure period on medical records of adults, and a 100 year closure period on medical records of minors.

If you seek patient records within these periods, or information regarding your own treatment, you should contact the Archivist.

Appraisal Information

Appraised according to standard GB 0812 procedure.


Further accruals expected.

Related Material

GB 812 HB 28: Records of Western Regional Hospital Board, Glasgow

Geographical Names