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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Kris Gourlay

Abandoned East Lothian psychiatric hospital captured in haunting images

One thing Edinburgh and the Lothians has in abundance across the region are historic hospitals which were used during the First and Second World Wars.

Some have been demolished and turned into homes but others remain abandoned and frozen in time. East Lothian is one of the local areas which is home to several historic hospitals which are yet to be utilised in another way.

With the former Edenhall Hospital yet to find another use, the creepy East Fortune psychiatric has also been consumed by its surroundings after closing over two decades ago.

READ MORE: Incredible drone footage shows East Lothian's abandoned village trapped in time

Another former psychiatric facility, Herdmanflat Hospital on Aberlady Road, Haddington, adds to the list of buildings which were once pivotal to the National Health Service but now find themselves in a state of neglect.

Built in 1866, the site was once known as Herdmanflat Farm. The building was designed by Peddie and Kinnear before it became the East Lothian District Asylum. A dining hall was added several years later along with several villas which remain to this day.

Most of the building's windows have been boarded up. (YouTube/DAZER)

In 1948, the hospital was passed over to the NHS where it was upgraded at a cost of £250,000. Mental health services transferred from the aforementioned Edenhall Hospital in Musselburgh and created a mental health service for the whole of East Lothian.

Onto 2014, and NHS Lothian proposed creating a community hospital on the site of the old Roodlands General Hospital and after all services moved to the new East Lothian Community Hospital, the Herdmanflat facility closed in 2020.

Several different buildings such as a dining hall were added to the original structure. (YouTube/DAZER)

Footage uploaded to YouTube by vlogger DAZER shows the eerie abandoned hospital and several out-buildings which still stand. Many of the windows have been boarded up but part of the site remains frozen in time.

All of the hospital's direction signs for different departments are still present, as well as huge storage tanks. Huge metal sheets have been bolted on to doors around the site to keep members of the public from entering.

The hospital's original signs remain. (YouTube/DAZER)

On January 2023, East Lothian Council announced a three-month public consultation is to take place on the future development of the Herdmanflat Hospital site after they acquired it from NHS Lothian shortly after it closed.

The council’s Head of Housing, Wendy McGuire, said: “We want to hear the views of local people on the initial proposals that we have developed for the former hospital site.

Huge metal sheets have been put up to stop members of the public gaining access. (YouTube/DAZER)

“As many people will be aware, the council purchased the site from NHS Lothian in April 2020 with support from the Scottish Government, when the hospital’s services moved to the new East Lothian Community Hospital.

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"We have always been aware that future development needs to be done in a sensitive manner, taking into account the unique nature of the site including its size, location, listed buildings and existing green space and mature trees, which we know is important to the local community.

They added that security measures have also been taken, to maintain safe public access. The demolition of non-listed buildings and asbestos removal have taken place, as well as the installation of new security measures to prevent antisocial behaviour.


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