The Thistle Foundation, Edinburgh

Ink and pencil on tracing paper, c.1946
RCAHMS

The Thistle Foundation was founded by Sir FrancisTudsbery after the Second World War as a garden village for disabled ex-service men and their families. He had been inspired by the plight of disabled veterans forced into long stay hospital care. The centrepiece of the village is the Arts and Crafts, Robin Chapel, by John Matthew, built during 1950-1953 as a tribute to Robin Tudsbury, only son of Lord and Lady Tudsbury, who had been killed in battle. The intricately carved animal figures on the pew ends reflect his passion for nature and a portrait of him as a boy still hangs in the chapel.

Built during 1946-50, by the architectural firm of Lorimer and Matthew, to the competition-winning design by Stuart Matthew, the Foundation aimed to allow families to live together as comfortably as possible. .All the houses are designed to accommodate wheelchairs and the master bedrooms and bathrooms are on the ground floor. There was also a clinic, swimming pool and administration block, and 24 hour medical care.