War Poets Collection

The War Poets Collection comprises more than 600 unique items relating to our historic Craiglockhart Campus, formerly a military war hospital for the treatment of shell-shocked Officers during the First World War. 

It was here that some of Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) and Siegfried Sassoon’s (1886-1967) greatest war poetry was inspired and written, and there is no better place for this collection to be on permanent display to the public.

With the purchase of Craiglockhart campus in 1986, Edinburgh Napier acquired a piece of history, and the University, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, developed the War Poets Collection exhibition area which is now housed within the original entrance to the building.

This permanent exhibition allows visitors to gain an insight into the personal and social experiences of war through the words, poetry, memories and voices that the medical staff, patients and relatives left behind.

The collection comprises many items that Edinburgh Napier is proud to own, including first edition books and volumes of poetry by Sassoon and Owen and original issues of The Hydra, the hospital’s magazine that was edited by Owen. 

The War Poets Collection is on permanent display and open to all members of the public for self-guided visits at Craiglockhart Campus.

To arrange group visits or a guided visits please email.

Edinburgh 101

Siegfried Sassoon's The Old Huntsman and John Napier's Bones recently featured in the popular Edinburgh's 101 Objects - a list of the city's most treasured objects brought together to celebrate Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Historic images of Craiglockhart War Hospital, 1917