A History of the Hospital
“…it is undoubtedly the duty of every civilised community to provide for the human and successful treatment of the sick, and for preventing the spread of available disease and death.”
Provost Loch Stuart, 1880
A 9.5 acre site was chosen on Chapelton Muir, to the south-east of Forres and renowned local architect John Rhind was asked to provide plans. The project was later taken over by Henry Saxon Snell, a London architect who specialising in public and institutional buildings.
“… most picturesque and secluded, the trees in rear of the building sheltering them from East winds and forming an excellent background to a noble pile of buildings.”
Description of the site of Leanchoil Hospital, 1890s
Funds to build the hospital came from public subscription and nearly £3000 was raised from local donors. The largest donation came from philanthropist and railway magnate Sir Donald Alexander Smith, later 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal. Smith was born in Forres but made his fortune in railway construction across Canada. He gifted the land at Chapelton and gave a further £8000 to the construction costs. [Fig 3]. The hospital’s name was chosen by Lord Strathcona after the name of the farm in Strathspey where his mother was raised.
The Hospital opened to the first patients on 24th April 1892 with the arrival of matron Miss Gertrude Seagrave, an experienced nurse who previously served at Ashford Cottage Hospital in Kent.
With thanks to Harriet Richardson Blakeman for use of her research on Historic Hospitals.
Find out more at https://historic-hospitals.com/
LEANCHOIL TRUST CATCHMENT AREA
Officially opened in April of 1892, Leanchoil served the communities of the area for over 125 years.Before hospital was built on the outskirts of Forres, the only available inpatient accommodation was a small building on Burnside.