The Old Medical School is a Grade A listed building which forms part of a large complex designed by Robert Rowand Anderson in 1874.
This building was originally part of the medical school but has recently been refurbished to house the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.
First and second year medics are still taught within the Old Medical School. Nursing is also taught in this building.
The Old Medical School was completed in 1886.
The project included a three-storey galleried anatomy museum, an associated library and a series of dissecting rooms, laboratories and stores.
The lecture theatre followed the traditional pattern with steeply raked benches rising above the central dissecting table.
The remains of what was once an extensive museum are now located in the top floor area known as the Anatomy Resource Centre.
This contains historical and contemporary material for the study of anatomy.
The 1800s were infamous for the grisly trade in dead bodies, when recently deceased corpses were illegally sold to the science of anatomy.
A secret tunnel between College Wynd and the University’s anatomy theatre was used to deliver dead bodies for dissection.
In the 1820s, William Burke and William Hare committed a famous series of murders in order to sell the bodies to Robert Knox’s School of Anatomy.
The murderous pair was finally caught in 1828. Burke was tried and hanged, but Hare was released and never heard of again.
Burke’s skeleton is kept at the University’s Anatomy Museum.
This article was published on Aug 12, 2011