Stratheden Hospital, initially known as Fife and Kinross District Asylum when it was opened on July 1st 1866 was constructed to provide provided mental health care for up to 200 patients.
Sir John Batty Tuke who was the the first chief physician of the clinic decided to break with the traditional methods and pioneered the “open door” policy, which was continued by his successors. This innovative approach turned out to be a success which led to Stratheden being recognized as one of the leading mental health institutions in Scotland for many years.
An expansion programme initiated in 1896 to increase the hospital’s capacity to 600 patients with further two new hospital wings opened in 1905.
Another notable change happened in the 1960’s when a new department called “Child and Family Psychiatry” was created to cater for children, teenagers, and their families, continued by dedicating two more buildings for the in-patient care for families in 1975.
The Fife and Kinross District Asylum was re-organised under new management known until this day as the National Health Service in 1947 under the NHS Act 1947. Among other changes the institution was renamed to Stratheden Hospital shortly after.
Today the Victorian part of Stratheden remains abandoned and sealed off from the public while newer buildings are still operating. There are patients, nurses and visitors on the site which make access quite difficult.
Some artwork made by the patients can still be found in those buildings, as well as dozens of dead birds scattered in the rooms and corridors. They appear to fly in through a broken ceiling in the gym hall and can’t find a way back out, dying of starvation and exhaustion.
Visited in Spring 2018.