Woolmanhill Hospital

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Woolmanhill Hospital
NHS Grampian
Woolmanhill Hospital from Denburn Court
Location Aberdeen, Grampian, Scotland, United Kingdom
Care system Public NHS
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university University of Aberdeen
Robert Gordon University
Queen Margaret University (Audiology Department only)
Emergency department No Accident & Emergency
Founded 1749
Closed 2017 [1]
Website Woolmanhill Hospital- NHS Grampian
Lists Hospitals in Scotland

Woolmanhill Hospital was a hospital in the city centre of Aberdeen, Scotland. The original Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the complex opened in 1749 and was replaced by new Infirmary at Foresterhill in the 1930s. Woolmanhill remained in use as a hospital until April 2017 when it shut its doors, with the final services moving over a period of years to various locations throughout Aberdeen, including the purpose built Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village, the Foresterhill site, and Woodend Hospital. [2] The complex is centred on a neo-Classical main block with later nineteenth century buildings to the rear. Unusually, it has remained largely complete, with later building having taken place at Foresterhill.


Woolmanhill Hospital was the original Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, before this moved to the Foresterhill site.[3] The original hospital building on the site was begun in 1740. Designed by William Christall, it opened in 1749.[4]

The Royal Infirmary, was rebuilt between 1833 and 1840, in the Grecian style, at the cost of £17,000.[5] The Simpson Pavilion (1833−40), designed by Aberdeen architect, Archibald Simpson is one of the last surviving examples of a pre-Nightingale style of hospital design. Additions were made to the building in 1844 and following a fire in 1849 it was repaired and subsequently extended.[4]

In 1887, new buildings, designed by W. & J. Smith & Kelly were constructed to the north of the site. This Jubilee Extension provided a new surgical block, medical and pathology block and laundry blocks. The 1840 building was converted into an administrative and clinical area and also provided accommodation for nurses. The mid nineteenth century additions to the Simpson Pavilion were removed as part of this extension work.[4]

After the First World War, further expansion was required but the confined nature of the site made this impractical and in 1923 the site at Foresterhill was acquired. Since then, the future of the Woolmanhill site has been uncertain. The building was designated a Category A listed building on 25 May 1977.[4]

Closure and Redevelopment[edit]

In 1999, NHS Grampian was granted permission to close the hospital.[6] A phased closure began and was originally due to be completed by the end of 2013. Departments moved to various locations in Aberdeen, including the new Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Woodend Hospital. In May 2013 the adult diabetic services moved to the David Anderson Building on Foresterhill site.[7]

As of 2000, there were no in-patient beds at Woolmanhill.[3] Until 2012, it housed several out-patient departments including physiotherapy and the genito-urinary medicine clinic. Other clinics were regularly held in the two Medical Out-Patient Departments in Woolmanhill. There was also a research unit for osteoporosis, an X-Ray and ECG on site.[8] Also located at Woolmanhill was the health archives department, which included historic medical records from patients across the NHS Grampian area.[9]

As of March 2015, both the ear, nose and throat (ENT) and audiology Departments remained at Woolmanhill, the final services operating there. [10]

In February 2016, plans were revealed to convert four of the buildings into a hotel and serviced apartments.[11]

The hospital officially closed its doors to the public on 19th April 2017 with Audiology and ENT Clinics moving to the Woodend Hospital site in the west end of Aberdeen. [12]


  1. ^ "Woolmanhill Hospital - Aberdeen". NHS Grampian. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Woolmanhill Hospital - Aberdeen". NHS Grampian. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Woolmanhill hospital: About us". NHS Grampian. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Woolmanhill, Aberdeen". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Aberdeen Hospitals". The Doric Columns. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Guest, Adam (28 March 2016). "How Aberdeen's oldest hospital could look once it's transformed into a hotel". Press and Journal. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Grampian Diabetes Centre: Contact Us". NHS Grampian. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Woolmanhill hospital: Outpatient clinics". NHS Grampian. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Health archives drop-in day". NHS Grampian. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Aberdeen's oldest hospital set for closure after 264 years". STV news. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Walsh, Stephen (5 February 2016). "Aberdeen's oldest hospital could be transformed into hotel and flats". Press and Journal. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Molyneux, Jody (19 April 2017). "ABERDEEN'S 'ORIGINAL ROYAL INFIRMARY' PREPARES TO CLOSE ITS DOORS FOR FINAL TIME NEXT WEEK". Evening Express. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 

Coordinates: 57°08′57″N 2°06′21″W / 57.1493°N 2.1059°W / 57.1493; -2.1059