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Bangour Village Hospital

Identifier: LHB44

Scope and Contents

Management 1859 - 1929; administration 1903 - 2004; patients (bound volumes) 1904 - 1982.


  • Creation: 1859 - 2004

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and the latest version of the Scottish Government Records Management: Health and Social Care Code of Practice (Scotland). Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation and guidelines mean that records conveying sensitive information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time.

Where health records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced, on the next 1 January. Case records of individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded, on the next 1 January. Further information on legislation and guidelines covering medical records can be found here:

LHSA encourages the use of these records for legitimate clinical, historical and genealogical research purposes, and records that are designated as closed can be consulted by legitimate researchers if certain conditions are met. Please contact the LHSA Archivist for more details regarding procedures on how you can apply for permission to view closed records. Telephone us on: 0131 650 3392 or email us at

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is subject to closure periods and physical condition.

Biographical / Historical

By the beginning of the twentieth century the problem of mental illness in Edinburgh had become acute, and the need for a new psychiatric hospital was pressing. Situated 14 miles from Edinburgh in hilly woodlands, Bangour, near Broxburn, was the ideal place for such a hospital. The hospital was to be modelled on the Alt-Scherbitz asylum near Leipzig in Germany, but the first buildings were constructed hurriedly and were very basic temporary structures. The first patients from the Royal Edinburgh Asylum were transferred to Bangour in 1904, and the hospital was officially opened on 3 October 1906.

In 1915 Bangour Village Hospital was taken over by the War Office as a military hospital. Its patients were transferred to asylums around the country. The numbers of staff and beds were increased substantially to cater for the influx of wounded soldiers who began to arrive in June of that year. By 1918 the hospital had reached a record capacity of 3000 patients, crammed into wards, huts and specially-erected marquees. After the war, in commemoration of the vital role played by the hospital, Bangour Village Church was erected and opened in 1929.

Bangour re-opened as a psychiatric hospital in 1922. However in 1939 the hospital again became the Edinburgh War Hospital, with an additional annexe, which became Bangour General Hospital.

In the 1950s Bangour Village Hospital began to take patients from West Lothian as well as Edinburgh, finally ceasing to take Edinburgh patients in 1974. As a result of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act of 1947 and the creation of South East Regional Hospital Board Scotland, in 1948 Bangour Village Hospital came under the management of West Lothian Hospitals Board of Management. The revised Act of 1972 saw hospital administration simplified and so after 1974 the hospital became part of West Lothian District of Lothian Health Board, but the publication in 1983 of the Griffiths Report forced further change and the district became West Lothian Unit in its own right. Since further reorganisation in 1994 it has been managed by West Lothian NHS Trust and, from 1999, West Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust. The hospital closed in 2004.


17 shelf metres: bound volumes, papers, photographs


Chronological within record class.

Other Finding Aids

Manual item-level descriptive list available.

Custodial History

Records held within the National Health Service prior to transfer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

St John's Hospital, Howden, February, May and October 2002, November 2003, April and July 2004.


No further accessions are expected.

Related Materials

Bangour General Hospital (LHB40).


Hendrie, W.F. and MacLeod, D.A.D. The Bangour story: a history of Bangour Village and General Hospitals Edinburgh: Mercat Press, 1992.
Bangour Village Hospital
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Repository Details

Part of the Lothian Health Services Archive Repository

Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44 (0)131 650 3392