About Us

Strathmartine Hospital Histories project


The former Strathmartine hospital is believed to be Scotland’s first and oldest institution for people with a learning disability.  It was one of many institutions created in the nineteenth century for people with a learning disability and was finally closed in 2003.


The memories of people who lived and worked at Strathmartine Hospital have been captured for posterity.


The project interviewed former residents, their families, staff and people from the local community to build up a picture of the personal stories behind the archive of formal records that already existed.  Pictures and other memorabilia were also collected.

Through sharing and recording these important stories, lessons can be learned to inform good practice in the treatment of people with a learning disability in the future.



This website and a short documentary film, Breaking Down the Walls, were produced as part of the project.  The project has also provided toolkits, both for workers coming into the social care sector and for individuals, allowing you to record your own story, whatever that might be.


Resident’s artwork recovered from Strathmartine has been deposited with Dundee University Archives as well as the recordings and other items of memorabilia and these are available for the public to view.


Strathmartine Hospital Histories was delivered in partnership between Thera Trust, Dundee University Archive and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with support from Advocating Together, the Living Memory Association, and the Scottish Oral History Centre.  The project was funded through £69,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £7,500 from Thera Trust.