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Images in Psychiatry   |    
Crichton Royal Hospital
Am J Psychiatry 2000;157:268-268. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.157.2.268

The F1 opened in 1839. Set in dramatic scenery, it provides psychiatric services to southwest Scotland.

Dr. James Crichton, a trader and physician who made his fortune in India and China, retired to the district. His widow initially wished to found a university, but this was refused. From his legacy, about £85,000 ($150,000 U.S.) was used to found the Crichton Royal Hospital. Of grandiose design, it included a cathedral-like church, a farm of over 900 acres, and an artesian well. A rock garden was built, and plant specimens were obtained from as far away as Darjeeling.

A number of patients were admitted free of charge. For 15 shillings ($1.25) a year, a private "sleeping room," iron bed, and "animal" soup were provided. Those who paid £17.50 ($30.00) a year were given a parlor, bathroom, meals with wine and dessert every day, and grouse in season. Each patient had one "keeper" and the use of a carriage or horse every day. A detailed history-taking schedule was adopted, and a wide range of social and educational activities provided the initial focus for treatment. In 1939 insulin coma therapy was introduced, and in 1940 the first prefrontal leukotomy at the Crichton was undertaken.

The Department of Clinical Research was first active under Professor Mayer-Gross. He had come from the University of Heidelberg and was a follower of Kraepelin but also acquainted with Freud and Jung. His department in Heidelberg had been greatly influenced by the work of Jaspers, creating the science of psychopathology, and he brought this with him to Dumfries, Scotland (1). He, together with Drs. Roth and Slater, wrote the leading British psychiatric text of its time at the Crichton.

An EEG department opened in 1948, Scotland’s first residential children’s unit opened in 1951, and an old-age unit opened in 1958. A social therapist was appointed, and specific learning disability units opened in the 1980s. With improvements at other British psychiatric hospitals, referral of adults from outside the region, previously common, diminished.

Dr. Carey, Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries DG1 4TG, Scotland; stephencarey@rathcar.freeserve. co.uk (e-mail). Painting by Joseph Watson (1849); photograph courtesy of Crichton Royal Hospital. Mrs. Morag Williams contributed to this article.

 
Roth M: The Crichton Royal tradition and contemporary psychiatry. Br J Clin Soc Psychiatry  1990; 7:5–12
 
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References

Roth M: The Crichton Royal tradition and contemporary psychiatry. Br J Clin Soc Psychiatry  1990; 7:5–12
 
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