Our Leanchoil Project
Telling the Story of Leanchoil
For over a hundred years, the hospital has served the community of Forres and surrounding rural areas. It was built in 1892 with money raised by public subscription and a substantial donation from Sir Donald Alexander Smith (later Lord Strathcona), who was born in Forres but made his fortune in Canada. A traditional style Victorian cottage hospital, the two-storey building included matron’s and surgeon’s rooms with an operation room, kitchen, scullery and bedrooms on the upper floor for matron, nurses and servants.
But Leanchoil Hospital is much more than bricks and mortar; the hospital played a central part in the lives of many hundreds of people. From its role as a maternity hospital, through to providing palliative care to elderly people, the hospital embodies the endeavour, care and human spirit of people across a century of change. When NHS Grampian closed the hospital in 2018, our community expressed a strong desire to save the building for health and wellbeing-related purposes and to record the memories of those who worked and were patients there.
We have been lucky to receive funding from Berry Burn Community Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund for ‘Our Leanchoil’ project which will explore, preserve, and illuminate the history of Leanchoil Hospital and its special place in our local community. This will be a 9 month project to collect the memories, photographs and personal stories bringing together the human voices that make up the true history of this hospital to be shared in a permanent digital exhibition.
There will be opportunities for you to have your stories recorded for inclusion in the exhibition by the project leader who is trained in oral history recording. If you have any photos or memorabilia that tell a story do let us know. There will also be the opportunity to be involved in research or photography training.
If you would like to be involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org
117 - 121 High Street
Forres Moray IV36 1AB