GD42 Queensberry House Hospital

Collection Summary


Reference Code: GB239 GD42
Title:Queensberry House Hospital
Dates of Creation of Material: 1850-1996
Level of Description: Fonds
Extent and Medium of the Unit of Description: 2.5 Metres: bound volumes, papers

Name of creator(s): Queensberry House Hospital

Administrative history: In late 1831, a Board of Health was set up in Edinburgh to prevent a predicted cholera epidemic.  In 1832, in order to provide accommodation for vagrants coming in to the city without spreading the disease, the Board established a House of Refuge for the destitute in Morrison’s Close (117 High Street).  In 1834 the House of refuge moved to Queensberry House, the Canongate mansion, built in the 1680s by Lord Hatton.  The house had formerly been home to the Duke of Queensberry, but since 1803 was owned by the Government and had been used as a military barracks and emergency hospital.  In 1834 the Directors of the House of Refuge acquired the lease to the house and some adjoining premises from the Royal Infirmary.  In 1853 the Government decided to sell the property so the Directors bought Queensberry House outright for the sum of £5,000.  With the help of generous donations the purchase price was paid within a few years. 

From the 1860s the work of the House was separated into three main departments: the General Refuge, the Night Refuge and the Soup Kitchen.  During the latter part of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century many improvements and modernising features were made to the house.  Due to a massive reduction in the cases of destitution and with the formation of the NHS in 1948 the role of the house changed.  In 1949 it began to provide medical nursing for the aged sick as Queensberry House Hospital, by agreement with the Regional Health Board.  The hospital closed in 1996 and the house was acquired by the Scottish Parliament in 1997, where it has since become integrated into the Holyrood parliamentary complex.

Archival History: Records held by the legal firm that looked after Queensberry House Trust records prior to transfer

Immediate Source of Acquisition or Transfer: Secretary to the Queensberry House Hospital Trust, November 2006


Scope and Content: Minutes 1968-1996; Annual Reports 1892-1993; News cuttings, pamphlets and books 1927 – 1984; Case Books 1850-1856; Documents relating to the redevelopment and closure of Queensberry House Hospital 1992-1996

Accruals: No further accessions are expected

System of Arrangement: Chronological within record class

Conditions Governing Access: Access is subject to the terms of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Conditions Governing Reproduction: Reproduction is subject to closure periods and physical condition

Language/Scripts of Material: English

Archivists’ Notes: Compiled by Stephen Willis

Rules or Conventions: Description based on ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description International Council on Archives (2nd edition), 2000

Date(s) of Description: November 2007