Old Monkland, Lanarkshire
Old Monkland, situated to the east of Glasgow, erected a parish poorhouse in 1861 at the south of what is now School Road. The buidling was designed by Robert Baird. The site location and layout are shown on the 1912 map below.
The 1914 map shows a large and complex collection of buildings. What appears to be an entrance block at the east facing onto Hospital Street no longer exists. The large block to its rear was added in 1874 as indicated by a date stone in one of the gable ends.
At the centre rear of the main block would probably have been the dining-hall and kitchen leading to a range of workshop and utility buildings. Further west was an isolated single-storey block, possibly a school building.
Two further connected single-storey ranges stood at the west of the site.
A fever hospital was erected on an adjoining site to the south-east of the poorhouse.
In 1865, the management of the poorhouse was severely criticised by the Board of Supervision following the death of a five year old boy called Thomas Cumnock. It transpired that Cumnock and four other sick children were locked alone overnight in a probationary ward without a nurse within call. Cumnock became seriously ill in the night and died lying between his two bedfellows aged eight and ten. His condition, acute inflammation of the pleura, had gone undetected both by the pauper nurse who cared for him, and by the poorhouse medical officer who had diagnosed only a case of itch.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the poorhouse operated as the Old Monkland Home Poor Law Institution. A report in 1946 described its location as 'a depressing site in Coatbridge' with a 69-bed hospital and an asylum for 'milder types of lunatic'. Inside 'the main block of this institution is old and done, with dark corridors and crowded dormitories, and the impression is one of general neglect. The dining room is very gloomy.' The report recommended that the premises be abandoned.
The former poorhouse site has now become Coathill Hospital.
- North Lanarkshire Archives, North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre, High Road, Motherwell ML1 3HU. Holdings include: Photograph of Coathill Hospital, Hospital Street, Coatbridge; Photograph c. 1900 of elderly man and woman at Coathill Poorhouse — the woman is spinning wool or cotton on a spinning wheel; Notes entitled "Statement of Persons Leaving or Discharged from the House" and "Sunday Clothes" [ both relating to Old Monkland Poorhouse?] (c.1871-75); Printed booklet: "Old Monkland Parochial Board Reply of the House Committee to the Report by the Sub Committee of Investigation on the Poorhouse Expenditure" (14/5/1876); Letter from the Secretary Of The Board of Supervision to Mr Greig, Governor of Old Monkland Poorhouse, advising him that the Board sanctions the occupation of the new wings of the Poorhouse, thereby increasing its capacity (23/6/1876); Letter from George Campbell (inspector) to William Jardine calling a meeting of the Parochial Board in response to a complaint against the Poorhouse Committee (5/7/1876); Table c.1876 listing the salaries, inmate numbers and various remarks about the poorhouses in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dundee, Dumbarton, Birmingham, Greenock, Old Monkland and New Monkland; Notes relating to events at Old Monkland Poorhouse during a small pox epidemic in 1875; Signed and witnessed written statements by Robert Cooper, porter at Old Monkland Poorhouse re. events at the poorhouse during the recent small pox epidemic (19/3/1877); Return of quantity and cost of water used at Old Monkland Poorhouse 1898-1902; Letter from John Young of Old Monkland Poorhouse to Lawrence Crawford of Gartsherrie [Ironworks] re. the installation of a new gas lighting system and his preference for this system over electric lighting (7/10/1902); Poorhouse sales 1897-1902 and estimate for the year 1903; Salaries of other poorhouse governors who were employed at poorhouses about equal in size to Old Monkland Poorhouse (c.1903).
- Glasgow City Archives, The Mitchell Library, 210 North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN, Scotland. Holdings include: Plans of Old Monklands Poorhouse (1892-1908) and Coathill Hospital, Coatbridge (1900-59).
- Government and Social Conditions in Scotland 1845-1919 by Ian Levitt (1988, Scottish History Society)
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