Woodend Hospital


NHS Grampian
Affiliated university University of Aberdeen,Robert Gordon University
Website NHS Grampian- Woodend Hospital

Woodend Hospital is a hospital located in the Woodend area of Aberdeen, Scotland which is owned and operated by NHS Grampian. Woodend Hospital opened in 1927 as a general hospital with a special block being set aside for the treatment of non-pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia and similar cases.[1]It now provides elective orthopaedic surgery, rehabilitation and care of the elderly in conjunction with the other hospitals in the NHS Grampian area, with admissions in excess of 3000 patients a year.[2]

DOME, the Department of Medicine for the Elderly is based here. This is used as a base for University of Aberdeen geriatric medicine students.[2]


Oldmill Military Hospital (now Woodend Hospital) Aberdeen

A Face in the Crowdhospitals102

Postcard of Woodend Hospital dating from the First World War when it had been taken over as a military hospital. The card shows a concert being given in front of the main entrance block.

Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen was constructed as a Poor Law Institution, designed by the local firm of Brown & Watt, it opened on 15 May 1907 and was one of the last poorhouses to be built in Scotland.

During the First World War the institution was taken over as a Military Hospital (from 24th May 1915 to 1st June 1919).

The postcard above shows a concert underway, there is no message written on the back to give a clue as to when exactly the concert took place. It may have been the one described in the Aberdeen Evening Express in September 1915 when the band and pipers of the Scots Guards visited Aberdeen.

The local Aberdeen newspapers published during the First World War carry many mentions of Oldmill, most concern the numbers of wounded arriving by train in the city and thence out to the hospital. There were also appeals for wheeled chairs and books, and numerous accounts of entertainments and concerts laid on for the wounded men.


A detail of the centre of the postcard showing the main entrance to Oldmill Hospital and the band performing in front

Zooming in on the centre of the postcard shows the band arranged in front of the main entrance, with patients and nurses looking on from open windows and the balconies. I don’t know whether the uniforms here are plausible as Scots Guards, they are perhaps too indistinct to be able to tell. The Gordon Highlanders also gave an open air concert, in September 1916.

The Aberdeen Sailors’ Mission Choir gave the very first concert at Oldmill in July 1915, only weeks after the first patients arrived on 25 June. An ambulance train had arrived at Aberdeen Joint Station shortly after 4am with 100 wounded soldiers from the battlefields of France and Flanders, 83 of whom were transferred to Oldmill.


Postcard of Oldmill Military Hospital, Aberdeen produced during the First World War

This is another postcard produced during the war. The institution was still relatively new when war was declared, and it was with reluctance that the parish council relinquished it to the military, but when the need for more hospital accommodation for the wounded became urgent the council yielded. Many of the poorhouse inmates were evacuated to Rosemount and Westfield schools, which had also been commandeered to take the war wounded, others were boarded out.


Detail of the postcard, showing the bridge part way along the long entrance drive

The notice on the right gives the weight limit that the bridge could withstand at just over 3 tons. The map below shows the hospital complex in the 1920s, after it had been returned to the parochial authorities. The bridge pictured above crossed a roadway that provided access to two detached buildings in the grounds. I think these may have been the nurses’ home and the Governor’s house, but more research is needed to establish whether that is so or not. Although I am fairly confident that the left-hand building was the nurses’ home, a later map marks a tennis court next to it.

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Extract from the 2nd edition OS map, revised in 1924. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland


Woodend Hospital 

photographed in 2014.

The hospital continues in use by NHS Grampian though now its main entrance is on the North side from Eday Road. It is a handsome building, certainly a fine example of its type despite the parsimony of the parochial board. When the plans for the poorhouse were reported by the Aberdeen Daily Journal readers were assured that,

‘As the general view of the poorhouse to most people will be from the Skene Road, a few hundred yards away, it is not intended that any expense should be put upon fine masonry details, and the effect of a satisfactory composition will, therefore, be obtained by means of grouping of the various buildings and arranging them in such a fashion as to give a suitable yet dignified appearance to the whole.’ [Aberdeen Daily Journal, 22 Nov 1901, p.5]


geograph-4196402-by-Bill-HarrisonWoodend Hospital (East Wing) 2014

The original buildings on the site form an impressive group which have retained many of their contemporary features. The grey granite is enlivened on the hospital block by the glazing patterns of the upper sashes. The water‑tower on the poorhouse block is elaborately turreted and decorated with a diminutive cupola and the projecting bays are linked at ground level by an arcade at the centre and verandas elsewhere.


Woodend Hospital, view from the east, with the water tower and to the right the former dining hall of the poorhouse, photographed in 2014





Woodend Hospital Gate Lodge, now Thai Buddhist Temple, Queen’s Road, Aberdeen, photographed in 2014 


During the First World War the institution was taken over as a Military Hospital (from 24th May 1915 to 1st June 1919). In 1926 the hospital sections were taken over by Aberdeen Town Council and re‑opened as the Woodend Municipal Hospital in October 1927.

From the beginning there was a separate nurses’ home, which was a mark of the progress in poor law medical provision. This was replaced c.1936 by a new larger nurses’ home in an austere cubic manner. It was designed by A. Gardner, the city architect, to accommodate 130 nurses. [Sources: Grampian Health Board, Common Services Agency, plans. See also workhouses.org]



Summerfield Hospital functioned as an annexe of Woodend Hospital.

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Extract from the 2nd Edition OS Map revised in 1924. Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

It was built for patients of the Aberdeen district of the county and was originally situated well outside the town – just to the north-east of the poorhouse. It opened on 24 August 1900. When the city boundaries were extended in 1934, Aberdeen Corporation took over the hospital and carried out extensive renovations, reopening it in 1937. However, it became a maternity hospital under the National Health Service. It closed in 1991 and has since been demolished, on the site now stands offices of NHS Grampian.

The National Archives

Hospital Records Database


Summerfield Hospital, Aberdeen  AB9 2YQ

Foundation year 1900

Administrative Authorities

Regional Hospital Board (1948-74)

North Eastern

Hospital Management Committee (1948-74)

Aberdeen Special

Regional Health Authority (1974-82)


Regional Health Authority (1982- )


District Health Authority (1974-82)

South Grampian

District Health Authority (1982- )


County (before 1974)


County (1974-1996)


County (after 1996)

Not applicable

Pre 1948                  TYPE – Isolation

Post 1948-NHS       TYPE – Maternity




In-patient antenatal and postnatal care is delivered through the five wards plus the labour ward. The wards are named after areas of Aberdeen which once had maternity homes.

  • Rubislaw ward
  • Westburn ward
  • Ashgrove ward
  • Summerfield ward
  • Hazelhead ward


But if you follow the wiki link it takes you to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. NOT Summerfield Hospital!






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