Bangour Village Hospital – Dechmont, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Bangour Village Hospital

Dechmont, Scotland

This abandoned hospital village was once viewed as an innovative way to deal with mental illness.  


Abandoned, creepy, but still very pleasant to wander around, this former mental hospital attracts dog walkers, photographers, and curious explorers.

In 1902, the Edinburgh District Lunacy Board purchased a 960-acre estate to establish a “Continental Colony” which was a new way of treating mentally ill patients. It was thought that a new range of treatments along with the rural setting, farm, and workshops were beneficial to mental illness. It formally opened in 1906, although 200 patients were in residence by the end of 1905. The village also had it’s own railway passenger service up until the end of World War I. 

Patients were not held there for long, and were sent to other asylums across Scotland in 1915 when the hospital was requisitioned for military use. It re-opened again as a hospital in 1922 when the village church was commissioned. 

In 1939, the facility became the Edinburgh War Hospital. After the war, the building became Bangour General Hospital and the older buildings were reverted back to a mental hospital.

With attitudes changing towards mental illness and with advances in medical and social care, patients began to leave the facility.

The site was also featured in the 2005 film, The Jacket. Plans are underway to do something more useful with the area and shuttered facility. 

Update as of April 2020: The hospital can no longer be accessed by the public and is set for demolition.

Know Before You Go

Although you cant drive around the village it has very good roads around it to explore. This is ideal for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and buggies. Going to have a closer look may be a bit more awkward for anyone with mobility issues. 

bangour village hospital can no longer be accessed by the public as they are demolishing the hospital and are doing residential work.

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March 23, 2020

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