Tag Archives: fever hospital


Tiree Memories calendar 2018, produced by Alec Walker, Edinburgh. Photographs include the ‘Mary Stewart’ in Scarinish Harbour ca 1940, Cornaig Mill ca 1935, sheep shearing in Scarinish ca 1935, Balemartine from Cnoc Mor, Christina MacDonald (Curstaidh) at her spinning wheel, the Fever Hospital at Heanish ca 1945, MacDonald’s Store in Scarinish ca 1945, Scarinish from the air ca 1955, Ruaig hay stooks ca 1955, Mona MacDonald outside her shop in Scarinish, the Lodge Hotel ca 1955, Gott pier and ferry ca 1935, Duncan MacLean and his sisters outside The Shepherd’s Cottage in West Hynish ca 1900.


Ceramic bed pan, ca. 1900-1950

Cream-coloured ceramic bed pan with a handle and marked “Boots the Chemist”. Known as an `old man`s slipper`, it was the precursor to the modern-day bottle. Found in a garden at Heanish and possibly from the old Fever Hospital at Heanish. Mairi Campbell`s (Cornaig) sister- in-law remembered seeing on at the Western General Hospital, Glasgow, when she was a trainee nurse in the early 1950s. However, she never had to use one as they were outdated by the time she was a practising nurse. Probable date of manufacture/use 1930s-40s.


Photocopied extracts from the County of Argyll Fifteenth Annual Report by the Medical Officer of Health Dr Roger MacNeill, pp 38-41.

The building of the Isolation Hospital at Heanish and four cases of diptheria; tables of the numbers of cases of infectious diseases between 1892 and 1905.

med_report.jpgTiree in 100 Objects – 16 – Hospital Report

The History of Tiree in 100 Objects


The Fever Hospital at Heanish

Photograph of the Fever Hospital at Heanish.


Courtesy of Mr Alasdair MacArthur

From the middle of the nineteenth century, Sanitary Laws were applied on Tiree to keep the island clean and infected patients were isolated. In 1892 the Sanitary Inspector visited the island and cautioned “several parties in regard to dung heaps in my opinion too near to houses”.

In 1893 three people died from typhoid which affected Balephuil. In 1895 an epidemic of scarlet fever swept through Tiree. The County Medical Officer, Dr. McNeill, had recommended the building of an isolation hospital on the island in 1893 and in 1905 the Fever Hospital was built in Heanish.

Made of corrugated iron lined with wood, it comprised two-bedded wards set at each end of the building with a kitchen, nurse’s room and bathroom in the centre. Outside was a washhouse, mortuary, disinfecting room and coalhouse. It was last used in the 1940s and sold in the 1960s as a private house.

Black and white postcard of Heanish machair and old the Fever Hospital.

Heanish machair and old the Fever Hospital. (Original postcard in Filing Cabinet 8 drawer 2)


Black and white postcard of Heanish hospital.

The fever hospital on Heanish machair. Built in 1905 of corrugated iron over a wooden frame, it contained a two-bedded ward at either end with a kitchen, nurse`s room and bathroom in the centre. It was first used within months of opening when two families went down with diphtheria. By 1927, Dr Hunter reported it was only occasionally used and it was let out to a family on the condition that they vacated it at once if needed for patients. The hospital was last used in the 1940s, then let to Council roadmen and finally sold as a private house in the 1960s.