New project looks into the history of Lennox Castle

Lennox Castle
Lennox Castle

A HISTORIC hospital is at the centre of a major new scheme which aims to shine a light on its past . . . a decade after the final patients left.

The hospital, on the outskirts of Lennoxtown, was opened in 1936 as the ‘Lennox Castle Certified Institution for Mental Defectives’.

Lennox Castle originally housed 1,200 patients with mental health issues, and capacity grew to 1,620 in the 1970s before a slow decline led to its eventual closure in 2002.

Many residents were resettled in the community - mostly in and around Glasgow.

Now two learning disability organisations, C-Change and Project Ability, have landed £28,600 of Lottery funding to research the history of the hospital.

‘Remembering Lennox Castle Hospital’, which launches on Friday, February 24, will invite former residents, staff and family members to tell their story in their own words.

The organisers are also looking for objects and images relating to the hospital to be donated to be used in a ‘memory bank’.

The results will be collected on a dedicated internet site later this year to mark the 10th anniversary - preserving memories of the hospital for future generations.

Elisabeth Gibson, executive director of Project Ability who provide art opportunities to those with disabilities and mental health issues, said: “Many of our artists lived in Lennox Castle Hospital or in similar kinds of institutions and still have vivid memories.

“Today it is inconceivable that we would exclude people with learning disabilities from our communities.

“This project will give people the opportunity to reflect on their experience and the tools to share their stories.”

To get involved in the scheme, and to book a place for the launch on February 24, call Project Ability on 0141 552 2822 or go to www.project-ability.co.uk

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