William Simpson Asylum
William Simpson Asylum was established in June 1836 in memory of Francis Simpson's son William, after he died at the age of 22. It housed elderly soldiers and sailors over the years, before changing its name to William Simpson Home.
|William Simpson Asylum|
The Plean Estate was once owned by the Earl of Dunmore; he had sold it to the Robert Haldane who was already the owner of the Airthrey Estate in Stirling. It stayed in the Haldane family until it was sold in 1799 to Francis Simpson, a former Captain with the East India Company.
Simpson's wife Jean Sophia Cadell, daughter of William Cadell of Banton, was only twenty-one when she died in 1806, she left behind two children for Simpson to look after; one son, William, and a daughter, Frances. In 1819, Francis built Plean House and the other estate buildings.
William Simpson followed in his father's footsteps and joined the navy; he died of ill health at the age of 22 on a voyage to Malta in 1827. In 1829 Francis gave £500 each to the parishes of St Ninians, Falkirk, Larbert, and Dunipace to commemorate his son, as part of the donation a marble plaque was installed in each of the churches in memory of William. Francis also gifted Plean Estate to Trustees in 1829 and donated nearly £3,000 for the Trustees to open an Asylum for the benefit of old sailors and soldiers. Francis remarried in 1830; however, he died after a fall in 1831 and is buried in Falkirk Parish Church.
Wallace Thorneycroft was the tenant of Plean House in 1901, he then bought the house in 1922 and his family stayed there until 1970. The Estate then belonged to the National Coal Board before being sold to Stirling Council in 1989; they opened the Estate to the public as a Country Park.
William Simpson Asylum
William Simpson Asylum was completed in June 1836, it was a three-floors high and could house 31 patients, the original title for the asylum was 'William Simpson's asylum for indigent men of advanced age'. Francis had stipulated that if a position opened on the board of Trustees that the Reverend of St Ninians and his successors should fill the role.
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