Lennox Castle Hospital lies in ruins in Lennoxtown, north of Glasgow. The large three-story building was designed by architect David Hamilton in 1837, not as a hospital but as a grand castle. The neo-Norman style building took four years to complete and featured a five storey-high tower. The building remained as a home until the First World War when it was temporarily used as a military hospital. This must have worked well as when Glasgow City Council were looking for locations for a new psychiatric hospital in 1925, Lennox Castle was chosen and they bought the estate two years later for £25,000. Over £1 million was spent converting the site and constructing new ancillary buildings to make it a state of the art hospital. It was officially opened in 1936 with capacity for 1,200 patients.
Forty new homes for staff were constructed along with kitchens, workshops and even a tearoom for visitors – unfortunately the majority of these were demolished and very little remains today. During the Second World War some of the hospital wards were converted for maternity use and singer Lulu was born there in 1948.
Following overcrowding at the hospital, maternity services were transferred from the site in the 1950’s and the site became a dedicated psychiatric hospital again in the 60’s. It was from the 1970’s when strains on the hospital started to show as the site had reached its capacity of 1,700 patients and was struggling with staff numbers and funding. The hospital director in the 1980’s, Alasdair Sim, said that he had never worked in “a worse pit” and that he was “sick to the stomach about the plight of these poor people.” A quarter of the patients at Lennox Castle Hospital were underweight and malnourished and patient punishments ranged from restricting their diet to being hit by baseball bats.
The castle was vacated in 1987 with patients and staff gradually leaving the site and moving to other hospitals. In 2002 the hospital closed its doors for the last time and all of the buildings, aside from the castle, were demolished by 2004. Despite being on the Buildings At Risk Register since 1992, the deterioration of the castle continued and a fire in 2008 saw the interior ravished with very little surviving other than the stone shell of the building.