After 20 years of resistance, Elizabeth Crichton set up a lunatic asylum. Dr William Browne was the first physician in charge when it opened in 1839. Over the next 150 years, it grew to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in mental health research and care.
In the 1980s it became surplus to requirements, but the local authority was keen to ensure it remained in public ownership and purchased the site from the Health Board in 1995. It did so with the primary objective of ensuring that this important public asset was saved, protected and sensitively developed for the good of the wider community. It was also an opportunity to respond to local ambitions and fulfil Elizabeth Crichton’s dream to develop a much-needed University Campus offering local access to Higher Education.
85 acres of beautiful parkland, including 27 historic buildings, the land continues to be owned by the local authority and leased back to The Crichton Trust, who are now responsible for the development and management of the estate.
The Crichton estate is a proud University Campus, hosting the University of Glasgow, University of the West of Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway College, Open University (Scotland) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), as well as a Business Park with 70+ businesses and over 1,000 employees. It also boasts beautiful landscaped grounds and gardens, a 71-bedroom Holiday Inn, the magnificent Easterbrook Hall and Easterbrook Bistro.