Birkwood Hospital (Former), Lesmahagow

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Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2024.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Birkwood Hospital (Former)
Other Name(s)
Birkwood House
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 81154 39329
Location Type
HS Reference No


Large castellated gothic mansion with towers, turrets and crenellated parapets, 2/3 storeys over basement, now (1989) a hospital. Several building phases, beginning with a north-facing Georgian villa (built late 18th/early 19th century) originally free-standing, now part of rear wing; additions in at least 2 phases, viz 1858 and 1890, the last by James Thomson of Glasgow.

Formerly owned by the Mackirdy family. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry) Bought for £10,000 by Lanarkshire County Council in 1923 for conversion to an institution for juvenile mentally handicapped patients (Dictionary of Scottish Architects)
Building Dates
late 18th/early 19th century with later additions

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
Development History
15 March 2009: The Lesmahagow Community Council website reports on the investigation into a fire at the property on 9 March 2009.
August 2011: Latterly operated as a hospital site. Developers granted conditional planning permission for restoration and conversion of the site to hotel usage in May 2009. The developer, Eatonfield Developments is reported (Hamilton Advertiser news report July 7) to be owned by Eatonfield Group PLC, which is understood to have entered voluntary liquidation. An empty building adjacent to the main house is reported to have been demolished following a major fire, thought to have been set deliberately. For Investigation.
27 September 2013: External inspection finds all buildings within the former hospital site are disused and derelict. There is widespread dampness evident to the mansion house walls. Downpipes have failed in places, with vegetation growth encroaching. Ground floor windows are mostly boarded over, some internally. Some security fencing has been erected. South Lanarkshire Council's proposed Development Plan, May 2013, noted the former hospital site as one of the area's development priorites. Moved to At Risk.
5 November 2013: BARR is contacted by a member of the public concerned at the deterioration at the site.
23 July 2015: A member of the public advises a partial collapse has occurred at the former hospital. Condition moved to Very Poor.
26 May 2016: Listed Building Consent for stabilisation works is being sought ref: CL/16/0122.
27 March 2018: A member of the public notes scaffolding was erected around the property. The developer Birkwood Estate Limited is advised as having been placed into administration.
14 May 2018: Listed Building Consent for partial demolition of the building is being sought ref: P/18/0573.
5 December 2018: The former hospital site is under marketing for sale, as a development opportunity, through appointed agent DM Hall, 220 St. Vincent Street Glasgow G2 5SG. Partial demolition of Birkwood House have taken place with the remaining structure supported by scaffolding. Any interested parties who wish to discuss the planning status of the site can contact Ailsa Shearer at South Lanarkshire Council (01698 455273) for further information.
12 June 2019: The application for partial demolition (CL/16/0122) has not yet been determined.
6 January 2020: Demolition of the building, retaining the porte-cochere, has been conditionally approved.
2 March 2023: Member of the public has reported that security measures have been reinstated on the site. A planning application related to partial demolition and the erection of dwellinghouses with associated infrastructure has been submitted (P/21/2019)

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01698 454672


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
BARR original text : Residential to Hospital/Medical
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Country Houses, Mansions and Large Villas
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit