Collection THB 7 - Royal Dundee Liff Hospital

Female Case Book No.41 Dundee Mental Hospital, Westgreen

Identity area

Reference code



Royal Dundee Liff Hospital


  • 1805-1998 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

20.24 linear metres.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Dundee Lunatic Asylum was established as part of the Dundee Infirmary and supported by voluntary contributions from c.1810. The foundation stone of the new asylum was laid on 3rd September 1812. The Asylum was officially opened in April 1820, when three patients were admitted. It was erected to the design of William Clark and was later extended by the Architect, William Burns. In 1819 the Dundee Lunatic Asylum was erected into a Body Corporate and Politic by an Act of George III as part of the Dundee Royal Infirmary and Asylum and in 1820 it was formally established as a separate entity - the Dundee Lunatic Asylum - in premises in Albert Street, Dundee. In 1875 it received a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria and became the Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum. In 1874 the Directors purchased land at Westgreen Farm, a pleasant and healthy site, near the parish of Liff and Benvie, for the purpose of building a new asylum. The foundation stone for the new asylum was laid on 17th September 1879 and patients were transferred there by October 1882. The building of Gowrie House began in January 1899 to the south of the main building of Westgreen, for the accomodation of around 60 private patients. In 1903 Westgreen Asylum was sold to Dundee District Lunacy Board and was thereafter called the Dundee District Asylum, but Gowrie House continued to be operated by the trustees as the Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum. Operations of the Royal Asylum were transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 and administered by the Dundee Mental Hospitals Board of Management, under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Regional Hospital Board. In 1959 the District Asylum (Westgreen) and the Royal Asylum (Gowrie House) were amalgamated, along with the psychiatric wards at Maryfield Hospital to form the Dundee Royal Mental Hospital. In 1963 the Dundee Mental Hospitals Board of Management became known as the Dundee Northern Hospitals Board of Management and the Dundee Mental Hospital was to be henceforth known as the Royal Dundee Liff Hospital. On 1st April 1974 the new Tayside Health Board assumed the functions of all other Hospital Management Boards in Tayside. In 1992 Royal Dundee Liff Hospital became part of the Dundee Health Care (NHS) Trust. In 1999 the three non acute Trusts in Tayside (Dundee, Angus and Perth) amalgamated to form the Tayside Primary Care Trust. A new psychiatric unit was opened in 2001 in the grounds of Ninewells Hospital to allow for the closure of the main building at Liff (formerly Westgreen, then Centre Division and finally Greystanes House), which closed in December 2001. The hospital fully closed in c 2013

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Charters, Regulations and Bye-laws 1825-1928; Chartularies 1811-1937; Property Records, 1829-1967; Reports 1830-1990; Minutes 1820-1948; Administration Records 1882-1960; Financial Records, 1805-1986; Patients' Records, 1820-1974; Staff Records 1886-1991; Visitors Books, 1826-1917; Newspaper Cuttings, Magazines & Posters 1870-1998; Records relating to Lunacy Acts and Laws 1850-1984; Records relating to the History of Dundee Lunatic Asylum/Liff, 1879-1948; Records relating to Other Institutions, 1846-1903; Publications, 1933-1991; Photographs, c 1960-1990; Plans, 1906-1987, Cinematic Films, 1971-1972.


Not expected

System of arrangement

Records are generally arranged chronologically within series, unless otherwise stated.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Clinical information is closed for 100 years.
Other records open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

The records are on paper. Also includes Cinematic Films.

Finding aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

THB 1 Dundee Royal Infirmary THB 8 Strathmartine Hospital THB 10 Dundee District Board of Lunacy THB 11 Dundee Mental Hospitals (Board of Management) THB 14 Maryfield Hospital THB 24 Ninewells Hospital

Related descriptions

Notes area


Gibson, Henry J.C. Dundee Royal Infirmary 1798 to 1948 (1948);

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Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997



Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



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