Maryfield Hospital

Maryfield Hospital was a hospital in Stobswell, Dundee, Scotland. Originally a poorhouse hospital it became Dundee's second main hospital after Dundee Royal Infirmary. It closed in the 1970s following the opening of Ninewells Hospital.[1]

Maryfield Hospital
NHS Tayside
Eastern Hospital, Dundee.jpg
Maryfield Hospital
Maryfield Hospital is located in Dundee
Maryfield Hospital
Shown in Dundee
LocationDundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Coordinates56°28′33″N 2°57′37″W / 56.47583°N 2.96028°W / 56.47583; -2.96028Coordinates: 56°28′33″N 2°57′37″W / 56.47583°N 2.96028°W / 56.47583; -2.96028
Care systemPublic NHS
ListsHospitals in Scotland


Maryfield Hospital's origins can be traced to a poor hospital built in 1893 at the East Poorhouse, Dundee. The East Poorhouse had been built by the Parochial Board of Dundee in 1856 to the south of Clepington Road.[1][2]

The hospital was run by Parochial Board (later known as Dundee Parish Council) as the Eastern Hospital.[3] Following the abolition of parish councils in Scotland in 1929 control passed to Dundee Town Council, under whose stewardship the hospital began to focus on the fields of maternity and childcare as Maryfield Hospital.[3] From 1948 it came under the control of the National Health Service and along with other local hospitals was run by Dundee General Hospitals Board of Management.[1][4] It eventually expanded to cover all of the site formerly occupied by the East Poorhouse. As a result, it became Dundee's second main hospital.[1] From the late 1940s a number of senior doctors were transferred from Dundee Royal Infirmary to Maryfield to develop the hospital, including Jean Herring, a protégée of Margaret Fairlie, who became consultant in charge of the Gynaecology Department in 1949.[5][6] A new geriatric unit was opened at the hospital by Princess Margaret in 1957.[7] Maryfield was also the site of a pioneering general hospital psychiatric unit, under the medical direction of Sir Ivor Batchelor.[8] In 1959 the psychiatric wards were amalgamated with Dundee District Asylum and Dundee Royal Asylum at Liff to form the combined Dundee Royal Mental Hospital at Liff.[1]

In the 1960s a world record was set at the hospital when a patient named Angus Barbieri spent 382 days between June 1965 and July 1966 without taking solid food. Barbieri survived by taking tea, coffee and soda water as well as vitamins.[9][10] During that period, his weight declined from 214 to 80.74 kilograms (33 st 9.8 lb to 12 st 10.0 lb; 471.8 to 178.0 lb).[11]

Maryfield was used by the Medical School at University College Dundee, initially part of the University of St Andrews and later the University of Dundee. Professors Sir Ian Hill and Sir Donald Douglas secured building space at the hospital and Dundee Royal Infirmary for their famed research and clinical investigation into circulatory diseases and cardiology.[12]

Maryfield closed in stages between 1974 and 1976 following the opening of the larger and more modern Ninewells Hospital.[1] This came after some debate. There was an urgent need for better facilities for the teaching of medicine at Queen's College, Dundee and this required improvements be made to either Maryfield or Dundee Royal Infirmary (DRI) along with the building of a new hospital.[13] In 1960 a plan was approved to spend up to £800,000 redeveloping Maryfield by 1970, which assumed that it would be DRI that would close when Ninewells opened.[14] However, after much debate this plan was scrapped and it was decided to retain DRI and close Maryfield.[13] After the removal of the last patients, some of the buildings were retained by Tayside Health Board for use as administrative accommodation.[1]


The archives of the hospital are held as part of the NHS Tayside archives at Archive Services, University of Dundee.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "THB 14 Maryfield Hospital". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  2. ^ "History of Health Care in Tayside". Unlocking the Medicine Chest. ARMMS, University of Dundee. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Maryfield Hospital, Dundee". National Archives. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  4. ^ "THB 9 Dundee General Hospitals Board of Management". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  5. ^ Blair, J. G. S. (1990). Ten Tayside Doctors. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. pp. 97–99. ISBN 0-7073-0600-0.
  6. ^ "Dr Agnes Herring". The Herald. 6 December 1997. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  7. ^ "THB 14/8/3 Correspondence and newspaper cuttings relating to the opening of the new Geriatric Unit by Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Dundee's Hospitals Through the Ages" (PDF). Scottish Universities Medical Journal. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Guinness records snub for Blaine". 4 September 2003. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  10. ^ "What Can You Believe". St Petersburg Times. 15 February 1969. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  11. ^ Guinness World Records 2013, p. 162, Internet Archive
  12. ^ Shafe, Michael (1982). University Education in Dundee 1881-1981: A Pictorial History. Dundee: University of Dundee. p. 138.
  13. ^ a b Shafe, Michael (1982). University Education in Dundee 1881-1981 A Pictorial History. Dundee: University of Dundee. p. 132.
  14. ^ "Dundee Hospital Extensions". The Glasgow Herald. 14 July 1960. Retrieved 24 February 2012.

External linksEdit