Birkwood House

Birkwood House started as a Georgian villa built at the end of the 18th Century for the Mackirdy family. The original villa was surrounded on two sides by later larger additions in 1858, and a large front addition by James Thomson in 1890. The house was bought by Lanarkshire Council in 1920 to use as a hospital for children, and it remained a hospital until 2005.

One of the highlights of the house is the two fantastic spiral staircases – this is the first:

Part of the later extension was outwards on the earlier building, leaving internal windows – here used as bookcases.

An absolutely gorgeous boiler by Wilson of Glasgow:

Up the second spiral stair:

To the roof:

And finally what it looks like from outside:

4 Responses

  1. I stumbled across your blog from the link you left in a flickr discussion. And I’m glad I did. You have some awesome images, and I found the “Why” section really good reading. I will be paying regular visits from now on 🙂

  2. Stunning pictures but I am deeply saddened by the damage to this stunning building. The building functioned as a long stay hospital for people with learning disabilities for decades and closed with this function in October 2002 which I project managed for the final year. In the 20’s it became an orphanage before changing function use after the war, the old school sits behind the main house The spiral staircase x2 and adjoining rooms were used as accommodation for the matron and some senior nursing staff years ago. Ward 1A and 1B in the grounds functioned as a Sanitorium in the 1930’s. The land to the right of the house was a crocket lawn. The ornate plasterwork detailed in some images (ward 4) was specifically designed for Tsar Nicholas when he visited Scotland in 1896, unfortunately the visit to the family merchant home and the West did not go ahead as Scotland Yard revealed a plot to kill Queen Victoria and the Tsar. The history of the site and the individuals who lived there was beautifully captured by Robert – Heritage Officer at the time to ensure the people who lived there had some memories to take with them when venturing forward into the community.

    1. I visited the site today with my wife, we were amazed and saddened at what had happened to buildings. Surely something can be done to stop anymore damage being done?

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