Auldjo Jamieson and Arnott, 1930-1932. Ironwork by Thomas Hadden. Pair of 2-storey, 2-bay diagonally set neo-Georgian gatelodges, linked by curving walls with late 17th century style gatepiers and railings. Cream squared and snecked rubble sandstone with ashlar dressings. Base course, eaves course; rusticated quoins and architraves to doors. Plain architraves to windows.
12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Pyramidal grey-pantiled roofs with swept overhanging eaves, central corniced stacks with chamfered angles.
Good largely intact late 19th century interiors (seen 2014) with timber panelled doors and timber chimneypieces.
Gatepiers: square rusticated gatepiers with moulded cope and garlanded urn finials. Railing with thistle, acorn and lily motifs; ornamental iron gates (no longer in situ).
Statement of Special Interest
This pair of lodges designed by the practice Auldjo Jamieson and Arnott in 1930-32 at the west entrance to the hospital are unusual examples of paired gate lodges built during the inter-war period. The lodges are positioned at an angle to one another at the edge of a turning circle off the roadway and make a very bold statement at what is the main entrance to the hospital site and have a significant streetscape presence in Canaan Lane. The gateway is one component of the Astley Ainslie Hospital which is an unusual hospital site for its suburban garden character that has largely been preserved with a number of buildings that have been little or moderately altered.
Although pairs of lodges are rare in the 1920s and 1930s, precedents for these lodges had been set by Lorimer at Formakin built 1907-1911 and by the near contemporary of Auldjo Jamieson and Arnott, Reginald Fairlie, at his lodges at Floors Castle constructed 1928-29. The ultimate source for pairs of lodges is much earlier. Paired lodges were fairly commonly used at the entrance to country house estates in the late 17th century and early 18th century throughout the United Kingdom and reflect the interest in symmetry during this period. There are also 19th century precedents for using the neo-Georgian style for a pair of lodges - for example at Uffingham Hall in Lincolnshire or at Tredegar in Monmouthshire. The style of the North and South lodges at the Astley Ainslie as well as that of the railings is all consistently neo-Georgian, a style that was particularly favoured in interwar institutional architecture.
The Astley Ainslie Institution was constituted in 1921 when the Board of Governors purchased about 31 acres of ground of the Canaan estate through an endowment by David Ainslie, who had acquired considerable wealth as a farmer and sheep breeder. The hospital was to be for convalescents from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. As pressure on beds steadily grew during the 19th century, convalescent hospitals were a way of moving recovering patients out and freeing up beds for more acute cases. Typically these were situated on the outskirts of cities and towns where patients could benefit from fresh, clean air. This emphasis on light and clean air was inspired by the example of Continental sanatoria.
In the area initially purchased through the Ainslie bequest there were three villas with their large gardens: Canaan House, Canaan Park and Millbank. The first hospital unit, opened in 1923 as an experimental unit for female patients was Canaan Park, a mid-19th century villa which had been adapted and extended for hospital use as the facility expanded. New pavilions were added to the site from 1929 as were other related buildings such as the 'Scientific Department' for specialised treatment, the nurses' home and the school as well as accommodation for the superintendent and other staff.
During the Second World War the Astley Ainslie was closed to convalescent patients and became a military hospital. A series of wooden huts were constructed on the site in 1940. The military hospital status continued until 1 October 1945 when the hospital returned to its former function. That same year another villa, St Roque with its large grounds, was added to the site and Morelands to the east of the site was added two years later. New units added since then include a children's unit (1965), a disabled centre (1979) and two day hospitals (1971 and 1983).
In the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century hospitals which specialised in particular conditions grew in number. The Astley Ainslie was unusual in that it was not a subscription or voluntary hospital but simply ran on its initial endowment. In Scotland in 1870, there were just seven convalescent homes, mainly in the West, with an annual admission rate of 4000 patients. By the 1930s this had risen to over sixty convalescent homes that cared for more than 34,000 people annually. In 1948 the hospital and its grounds were vested in the Secretary of State for Scotland of the new National Health Service. Its endowment funds were handed over to a Board of Management.
Most major towns had convalescent hospitals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of the handful that were purpose-built as general convalescent homes in Edinburgh, (the Astley Ainslie, Corstorphine and one in Gilmerton), only the Astley Ainslie continues to provide rehabilitation for patients as well as providing care for older people. Corstorphine has been diverted to other use and Gilmerton is no longer a hospital building. The site is unusual in that the original layout and area of the site has been largely retained and new buildings have been inserted discretely into the landscaped grounds.
Auldjo Jamieson and Arnott were traditionalists and frequently employed a neo-Georgian style, a style which was favoured for hospital buildings in the inter-war period. Good examples can be found at Mearnskirk Hospital, Renfrewshire designed by the architect J A T Houston and at the Convalescent Home in Gullane designed by Auldjo Jamieson before his partnership with James Alexander Arnott. The style could be adapted well to relatively sophisticated designs or to simpler buildings using less expensive materials. By this date the practice had experience in bold eye catching entrance gateways having designed one at Busby Glen Park and the outstanding entrance group at Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline.
The practice Auldjo Jamieson and Arnott designed various buildings on the Astley Ainslie site from the mid-1920s onwards, taking on the role of architects to the Institution after one phase of alteration work to Canaan Park in 1922 by the architect John Jerdan. E A O Auldjo Jamieson (1880-1937) was Sydney Mitchell's assistant and inherited his practice on Mitchell's retirement in 1910 (and with it a number of hospital clients). In that same year he formed a partnership with J A Arnott (1871-1950) which mainly undertook restoration work and additions to existing buildings along with a small number of commissions for new buildings. The Astley Ainslie complex of buildings is one of Auldjo Jamieson and Arnott's largest and longest running commissions. They worked for the hospital from the mid-1920s until the Second World War, the practice by then run by Arnott and Jamieson's son.
Listed building record and statutory address updated in 2014, category changed from A to B. 17th century style gates by Thomas Hadden no longer in situ (2014). Previously listed as 143 Grange Road, Astley Ainslie Hospital, North and South Lodges, Gatepiers and Gates.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland:
CANMORE ID -286292, 254335
Edinburgh City Archives, Dean of Guild plans, 5 June 1931 and 24 June 1932.
RCAHMS Thomas Hadden Collection SC1344188, 1226811
RCAHMS Plans and elevations, Signed and inscribed: 'Auldjo Jamieson & Arnott. 13, Young Street, Edinburgh. October 1930', EDD 429/3-6
McWilliam, C., Walker, D. M. and Gifford, J. (1984) Edinburgh. Buildings of Scotland. London: Penguin.
Smith, C. (1988) Between the Streamlet and the Sea: a Brief History of the Astley Ainslie Hospital. Edinburgh: Astley Ainslie Hospital.
Dictionary of Scottish Architects, Auldjo Jamieson & Arnott http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=100121 [accessed 27/06/2014]
We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shep-dec2011.pdf, Annex 2, pp74-76.
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