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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


362 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [lauriston. As a precaution against the germs of disease, the walls are cemented and faced with parian, while the floors are of well-varnished Baltic pine. Galton grates are extensively used, with a view of obtaining the fullest benefit of all the fires. A well-lighted cIass-room enters from the south side of a ground-floor corridor, where 300 students may have the advantage of clinical demonstrations; while a similar room, with accommodation for zoo, holds a corresponding situation on the female side. A short passage from the entrance hall leads southward to the great operating theatre, which is capable of holding about 500 students, and has retiring rooms in it, one specially for the administration of chloroform. A wing of Watson?s Hospital has been allocated as the nurses? kitchen and dininghall, the housekeeper?s rooms, and those of the lady superintendent and her assistant. In the west wing are the dining-room, library, and private apartments of the resident medical staff. In the north-west corner of the grounds, and apart from the general edifice, is a group of buildings, with a frontage to Lauriston of 150 feet, which though detailed in a less florid style, yet harmonise with the general design. This is the department for Pathology, the principal feature of which is an ample-sized theatre for lectures, seated for 220 students, and having microscopic and chemistry rooms, SEC., attached. Near it is the mortuary, the walls of which are lined with white glazed bricks. It is in direct communication with the Surgical and Medical Hospitals, from both of which the bodies of the dead can be conveyed thereto, unseen by the other patients, through an undergound passage. To the washing-house, in another building, the soiled linen is conveyed through a tunnel, and subjected to a washer worked by steam, a mechanical wringer, and a drying chamber of hot air. Beside it is the boiler-house, for working the heating apparatus generally and the hydraulic machinery of the hoists, which latter is effected by a steam-engine of 32 horse-power. A residence for the superintendent, commodious, and harmonising with the general buildings, has been erected near the Meadow Walk, in rear of the Surgical Hospital. In regard to its capabilities for accommodation, we may state that of the eighteen wards in the surgical departments there are fifteen which will accommodate sixteen patients, including private beds. In the medical house are twelve wards, each capable of receiving twenty-three patients. Including the ophthalmic, accident, and D. T. wards, together with the reserved beds, there is a total of 600, or 140 over the daily average of patients treated in the last year of the old infirmary. The amount of space provided for each patient varies from 2,350 feet to 2,380, as compared to the 1,800 cubic feet allowed in St. Thomas?s Hospital, London, and 1,226 cubic feet in Fort Warren, Massachusetts. (Scotsman, I 8 7 9, &c.) The Infirmary was inspected by the Queen on the occasion of her visit to Edinburgh in connection with the Volunteer Review of 1881. The Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital-so called as a tribute to the noble name and memory of the late Sir James Y. Simpson-was erected in 1878, for the accomniodation of this most important charity, at the corner of Lauriston Place and Lauriston Park. Meadow-side House, the hospital specially devoted to sick children, is in Lauriston Lane, and in the most sunny portion of the grounds. It is a humane and useful charity; its directors chiefly consist of medical men, a matron, and a committee of ladies, with a complete medical staff of resident, ordinary, and consulting physicians. Immediately adjoined to where this edifice stands, there was erected in 1816 the Merchant Maiden?s Hospital, the successor of that establishment which was endowed by Mrs. Mary Erskine, incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1702, and which we have described in a preceding chapter, as being in the vicinity of Argyle Square. That old building had long been found inadequate to its objects, and its vicinity having become crowded with houses, the governors, zealous for the comfort of the young ladies under their care, purchased three acres to the west of Lauriston Lane, which is a southern continuation of the ancient Vennel in a spot, which we are told, in 1816, ?united all the advantages of retirement and pure air, without an inconvenient distance from tom.?? (SrOrs Mig., 1816). Erected from designs by Mr. Burn, this edifice is still a very elegant one, 180 feet long by 60 deep, with a bow of 36 feet radius in its north front. Its style is purely Grecian The central portico of four fine Ionic columns faces the West Meadow, and is detailed from a small temple on the Ilyssus, near Athens. The windows on the lower storey are double arched, and the superstructure has an aspect of strength and solidity. The foundation-stone was laid on the 2nd of August, 1816, in presence of the governors and the preses, William Ramsay, a well known banker, and the total expense was about On the principal floor, as it was then laid out, was an elegant chapel and governors? room, 30 feet in .?9,000.
Volume 4 Page 362
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