Craig Dunain Hospital (Former), Leachkin Road, Inverness

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Craig Dunain Hospital (Former)
Other Name(s)
Inverness District Asylum (Former); Northern Counties District Lunatic Asylum (Former)
Leachkin Road, Inverness
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NH 63635 43785
Location Type
HS Reference No


Long 2- and 3-storey range on sloping SE facing site, 45 bays with advanced gabled wings both front and rear. Rubble with tooled and polished ashlar Tarradale sandstone dressings. Centre door in SE front in slightly advanced and gabled centre bay under stepped hoodmould enclosing datestone with tall pointed-headed window with cusped tracery above.

Established in 1864 to accommodate 250-300 psychiatric patients. Now much enlarged. Listing includes main block only. Various free standing additions and later buildings not included. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Dated 1864; 1881; 1896-1898

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
September 2000, July 2002, 15/11/2011, 19/6/2013
Development History
1 December 1989: Press reports note that the hospital has been earmarked for closure. October 2000: Listed Building Consent is sought for the mixed use development of the site. The estate offices, workshops, east lodge, nurses' accommodation, 1930s extension, new chapel, sports pavilion, and ward 19 are all proposed for demolition. August 2002: Agents for the property request inclusion on the Buildings at Risk Register. The hospital has now been vacated by Highland Communities NHS Trust following the Care in the Community policy and the site is being marketed as a development opportunity. A development brief has been prepared for residential, hotel, education and commercial uses and the brief advocates the retention of as much of the main listed building as possible. The buildings remain in good condition. February 2003: Local planners report that they are currently in discussions with the owners and developers Robertson Residential. An application for partial demolition, subsequent conversion and enabling development is expected in the near future. June 2003: A masterplan is produced for the site. March 2006: SCT understands that works have now commenced on the site to convert the main complex in to luxury appartments.
September 2007: A member of the public contacts SCT to advise that the property suffered substantial fire damage at the end of 2007.
June 2008: Local planners confirm the building has planning permission and LBC for conversion to 181 flats. The developer was in the process of refurbishing the central core area of the building as the first phase when it went on fire. Parts of the building are still in a precarious state but they are trying to maintain as much of the integrity as possible and are keen to rebuild as near as possible to the original external appearance. They have subsequently moved to refurbishing one of the wings in advance of tackling the central core area which will now become a later phase in the works.
19 August 2008: BBC News website reports two teenagers have been sentenced, with another given community service, in connection with the arson of the former hospital site. The article goes on to note approximately £5 million of damage was caused to the structure and took 45 firefighters 12 hrs to extinguish the fire.
November 2011: External inspection finds that this large site remains largely derelict. Some windows are boarded up but many more are open to the elements. Builders are working on at least part of the complex.
19 June 2013: External inspection finds one section of the former hospital complex has been restored and occupied. Of the remainder no works are currently on site and the structure is not wind and water tight. Moved back to At Risk.
17 October 2013: An application to vary the conditions of the previous planning permissions was lodged with Highland Council in May 2012 ref: 12/01832/S42.
9 November 2015: Listed Building Consent for the conversion of the remaining hospital building to form 56 dwellings is being sought ref: 15/03911/LBC.
5 May 2016: Listed building consent (ref:15/03911/LBC) for renovation works required to accommodate the reuse of the building including alterations and demolition granted subject to conditions
1 December 2017: Amendments to 15/03911/LBC granted.
18 March 2019: Design amendments to 15/03911/LBC granted.
14 December 2020: A member of the public advises works to convert the remaining disused parts of the building into dwellings has re-started. Moved to Restoration in Progress.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Hospital/Medical
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
Robertson Homes
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Gifford (1992), p193; Richardson.
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit