The hospital was opened in 1863 funded largely by 'penny subscriptions'. The children were looked after with kindness and were educated. By 1881 it housed 120 children. It could accommodate 270 by 1887, 500 by 1917, and 700 by the 1930s.Following the Mental Deficiency and Lunacy (Scotland) Act of 1913 children no longer had to leave at age 18. Work was available in 'industrial colonies'.
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