A wide variety of religious institutions and individuals cared for the poor and sick in medieval Scotland, with hospitals established from the 12th century onwards. While medieval hospitals were sometimes intended to provide shelter to travellers, most in Perth and Kinross seem to have primarily supported poor, diseased or otherwise vulnerable people. Perth had an especially high concentration of hospitals, although these institutions were also established at Dunkeld (MPK5441), Portmoak (MPK9859), Scone (MPK11829) and Scotlandwell (MPK8536) (D Hall 2006b).
A gazetteer of sites has been created as a result of the research on Scottish medieval hospitals (Hall and Cachart 1997). However, more work remains to be done. None of the sites in Perth and Kinross have been extensively excavated. Indeed, the precise location of several hospitals in the region remains a matter of debate. For example, while Perth’s leper hospital is known to have been at Potterhill in the Bridgend area, the actual site has not yet been identified (MPK9856; Bowler and Perry 2004, 24). As hospitals were often on the fringes of medieval settlements, some of these sites may well become targeted for development – potentially providing valuable opportunities for archaeological investigation. Further interdisciplinary study of the relationship between hospitals and their surrounding communities, including connections with urban authorities and other ecclesiastical institutions, could also be of interest. Because of the role hospitals played in caring for the poor and infirm they have the potential to provide an important window into the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals in medieval Scotland, who are typically under-represented in written sources from the period.
|HER/ Canmore ID||NGR||Hospital||Type||Century of Official Foundation||Archaeological Investigation|
|MPK9856/ 144863||NO 1240 2390||Leper Hospital, Perth||Leper||16th Century||Unexcavated.|
|MPK3449/ 28353||NO 1196 2350||St Anne, Perth||Poorhouse||15th Century||Limited excavations in St Ann’s Lane – hospital not found (Bowler and Perry 2004, 23–4).|
|MPK3406/ 28309||NO 1129 2375||St Catherine’s, Perth||Poorhouse||16th Century||Remains possibly associated with hospital visible in 19th century (Fittis 1885, 292–3).|
|MPK5441/ 27173||NO 0256 4262||St George’s, Dunkeld||Poorhouse||16th Century||Unexcavated.|
|MPK11829/ 169285||NO 1193 2684||St John the Apostle, Scone||Unknown||13th Century||Unexcavated.|
|MPK3521/ 28432||NO 1124 2293||St Leonard, Perth||Unknown||12th Century||Unexcavated. Site assumed largely destroyed by Perth railway station (Bowler 2004, 56).|
|MPK3486/ 28393||NO 1112 2169||St Mary Magdalene, Perth||Poorhouse||14th Century||Unexcavated.|
|MPK8536/ 27874||NO 1866 0154||St Mary, Scotlandwell||Poorhouse||13th Century||Unexcavated.|
|MPK3438/ 28342||NO 1143 2365||St Paul’s, Perth||Poorhouse||15th Century||Well and human remains possibly associated with hospital uncovered in 19th century (Bowler and Perry 2004, 23).|
|MPK9859/ 145493||NO 1825 0015||St Thomas, Portmoak||Poorhouse||12th Century||Unexcavated.|