Institution Information - Edinburgh Idiot Asylum

Parish/Town/County: South Leith, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Alternative Names: Institute for Imbecile Children, Dundee; Baldovan Orphanage and Asylum; Baldovan Institution; Strathmartine Hospital

Location Map: Click here to see a historic map showing the area where the institution was located.

Other institutions: Click here to see a list of Scottish mental health institutions.

Indexes: Click here to search the records we have indexed so far.

Locating Records for this institution

For people admitted to Scottish Mental Health institutions from 1 January 1858 a record usually survives in the ‘Notices of Admissions by the Superintendent of the Mental Institutions’ which are held by the National Records of Scotland. We are creating an index to these records and can assist you in searching the unindexed period. Search our index here or read more about the project here.

Records kept by the institution do not apppear to have survived. The institution transferred to Stlirlingshire in 1863, when it became the Scottish National Institution for the Education of Imbecile Children. For more information click here, or if you learn of anything concerning the survival or whereabouts of these records, please contact us.

Text from 1857 Royal Commission Report

EDINBURGH IDIOT ASYLUM; Visited 21st March 1856.

This asylum was opened in the autumn of 1855, and, when visited, contained 5 children under warrant, and 3 invalid children not under warrant. The establishment occupies a good-sized and airy house in Gayfield Square, with a garden behind. It is conducted by Dr. Brodie. All the children, as yet received, belong to the middle class of society; they appear comfortable and well taken care of. Dr. Brodie is of opinion that the prosperity of such institutions would be materially increased, by doing away with licenses for the admission of pupils, as many parents are deterred from sending their children by the official formalities.

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