Gartnavel Royal Hospital

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Gartnavel Royal Hospital
Established 1804
Construction Began 1810
Opened 1814
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Radial Plan/Corridor Plan
Location Glasgow
Alternate Names
  • Glasgow Lunatic Asylum
  • Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum
  • Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital


The Committee of Management of the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum was formed in 1804. Construction of the Asylum commenced in 1810 and was completed in 1814. Originally opened as the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum in 1814 in the Cowcaddens area of Glasgow, it became the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum in 1824. In 1843 the Asylum moved to new premises at Gartnavel which, like the previous buildings, were designed to facilitate segregation both by gender and social class. Substantial extensions were added in 1877, 1937 and 1959. In 1824 a royal charter was obtained, in 1931 the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum was renamed the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital and the present name was adopted in 1963. Construction of the adjacent Gartnavel General Hospital commenced in 1968 and as a result some sports and recreational facilities of the psychiatric hospital were lost.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century the proportion of pauper lunatics at Gartnavel began to decline as parochial asylums came into being. After its transfer to the National Health Service Gartnavel continued to have a substantial proportion of paying patients. Industrial/occupational therapy was formally introduced in 1922 and a psycho–geriatric unit was established in 1972. From 1948 until 1968 Gartnavel had its own Board of Management for Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital.

In 1968 a new Board of Management for Glasgow Western and Gartnavel Hospitals was formed, mainly to facilitate the construction of the Gartnavel General Hospital. In 1974 Gartnavel was placed in the Western District of the GGHB. When the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust was formed, in 1993, the hospital was placed within its jurisdiction. In 1999 the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust became the Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust. The Primary Care Trust became the Primary Care Division of NHS Greater Glasgow in 2004.

Images of the 1814 Glasgow Asylum[edit]

Images of the 1843 Gartnavel Asylum[edit]