Sir Thomas Clouston

1840 - 1915

Medical pioneer. Born at Nisthouse, in the Birsay district of Orkney, Clouston studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. In 1863, Clouston was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Asylum in Carlisle (England).

He was next appointed Superintendent of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum (1873) and Lecturer in Mental Diseases at the University of Edinburgh (1879). By 1883, a book on mental diseases had established his international reputation as a pioneer in the treatment of mental illness. He planned the development of Craighouse, as an extension to the asylum, which opened on Easter Craiglockhart Hill in 1894. The estate was purchased and a grand Neo-Gothic edifice erected, much like a country house, complete with a Great Hall, formal dining and billiard rooms.

Clouston retired in 1908 and was made a Freeman of Kirkwall in the same year. He was knighted in 1911.

Craighouse was renamed the Thomas Clouston Clinic in 1972, but was closed in the 1990s, reflecting the move to treat the mentally-ill in the community. The buildings now form the Craighouse Campus of Napier University.

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