A wide choice of topics covered from the dawn of history right up to present days . Many of these have a wider relevance than purely within the context of Strathearn . The author's viewpoint often is at variance with the accepted opinions espoused elsewhere eg The Jacobite Uprisings and The Reformation .
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
Ruberslaw House - a relic of Crieff's Georgian past
It’snot quitewhat itwas whenbuilt in the early 19th
century . Ruberslaw House sitting above theNisa car park is a Georgian buildingwith nota little characterabout it . It was built as the Clydesdale Bank
and included the bank agent’shouse .
Thesouthern aspect wouldhavemade ita bright airy building
and there wereextensiveoutbuildingsto the rear including stables and coach house . The garden groundsoriginallyextended south to Pittenzie
Street and thispartwaseventually to become Alexander’sBus Depot and then Penny Lane. Themain entrancewas off what was at
onetime called Pudding Lane . This delightful cognomen
succumbed to the inevitable changeofmediocritybecoming , surprise, surprise Bank Street !
Notmanypeoplerealise that Ruberslawbecame an
auxiliary hospital during theFirst
World War . It was the policyto
establish central hospitals in strategic spots to allow the sick and wounded to
be treated . It transpired , however that these were insufficient to deal with
the growing number of patients and so a demand arose for auxiliary hospitals
throughout the country . Perthshireon
account of its central location hadsome
thirteenof thesehospitals which apart from Ruberslawincluded Ochtertyre and MonzieCastle
. Thenewhospital was run by an organisation called
The Crieff Voluntary Aid Detachment working under the Red Cross . The
househad been emptyat the timeso a transition to a hospital proved comparatively straight forward with
itsrental being coveredby an anonymous donor . Because of it size ,
Ruberslaw hadsome 26 bedsplus asizeableadministrative and
service set up . According to the account in Campbell’s “ Crieff in the Great War ” , furniture and othernecessary itemsto make the placefunctionwere gifted by the citizens of the town . The hospital was under the
supervision of Dr Burnett who was termed“ commandant ” as
medical officer and a Sister MacMillan , the trainednurse of the Detachment who acted as Matron.
Itwas a considerableeffort that the running of the hospital was
undertaken by a team of35local persons . It was on thisbasisthat the Hospital openedforbusiness on the 17th May 1915
andstayedopen for some fouryearsfinally closing in March 1919 . Campbelltells us that in this period some 877patientswere treated for a
variety of ailments andnot a single
death was recorded .
thatin 1915a Battalion of the Seaforths plus about a
hundredmen belonging to the Army
Service Corps were locatedin Crieff undergoing
military training and for that period a section of the Hospital was set asideto cater for any sick belonging to them .In
this pre telly and radio eraentertainment
wasprovided withevening concerts featuring local talent as
well as afair sized billiardroom suitably equipped. In the daysof Spring and
Summer the grounds of Ruberslaw afforded the opportunityfor gamessuch as croquet and clock golf .
When Ruberslaw closed as a Hospital, Dr Burnet was given a suitably inscribed
silver salver . This I believe is still competed for in competition at Crieff
Ruberslawwasflattedand converted and despite the somewhat reducedareaof garden groundis still abuildingof some distinction . Tosee what
itwas likeshortly afterconstructionlook at Woods 1822
Map of Crieff availablein
digitisedformat through the National
Library of Scotland :
I can recall a number of yearsago a youngguy purchasedone of the ground
floor flatsand started on a series of
alterations . One of these included increasing the size of the kitchen and
dining area . Hefound outhetaken on rather more than he had anticipated . It transpired the kitchen
was in factthe old bank safewith a 12 inch thick cast iron coresandwiched between brick outer skins! Not quitesure what the eventual outcome was I can “ safely” say !