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Celebrating Elizabeth’s vision

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By Fiona Reid
Celebrating Elizabeth's vision

THIS week 152 years ago Elizabeth Crichton passed away, but she left a longstanding legacy for the region.

For she had used the £100,000 left to her by her husband, Dr James Crichton, to set up 85 acre Crichton estate.

A statue of her stands at the main entrance to The Crichton as a ‘constant reminder’ of her vision and integrity.

After his death, she decided to use Dr James’ bequest for charitable purposes and established a world class psychiatric hospital.

Her other ambition was to create a university in Dumfries and although she did not achieve that during her lifetime, her work ultimately led to that.

The Crichton today is home to two university campuses, as well as the college. It also features a business park with over 80 organisations and an entertainment and wedding venue.

It is run and maintained by The Crichton Trust, who are responsible for protecting the heritage of the site and for ensuring a sustainable future.

Posting on social media this week, the trust said: “The estate has evolved over the years and even this year, amidst a global pandemic, The Crichton has adapted to new circumstances.

“It has been a challenging year, but the grounds and gardens, in particular, have been a haven for people to enjoy in recent times.

“Things may have changed over the years, but education and the wellbeing of people are still at the heart of The Crichton.

“We remember, with grateful thanks, the life and work of Elizabeth Crichton.”

Elizabeth is buried in St Michael’s Graveyard in Dumfries.

Photos courtesy of The Crichton Trust

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