War Poets Collection

When Edinburgh Napier University purchased the former Craiglockhart College of Education in 1986, a large Victorian building, we did more than just accommodate our expanding needs, we acquired a piece of history.

The War Poets

It was here at Craiglockhart War Hospital during the First World War, 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 special collection to be on permanent display to the public.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update​

Access to the War Poets Collection remains limited due to social distancing. Contact us if you would like to visit.
In order to protect collection items, you will be required to either wear nitrile gloves or wash your hands, rather than using alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 

We will maintain our online enquiry service and aim to respond within three to five working days. Feel free to email us at: warpoets@napier.ac.uk

The War Poets Collection Exhibition at Craiglockhart

The Collection now comprises more than 800 items, including many unique items that Edinburgh Napier University is proud to own, such as signed first edition books, volumes of poetry by Sassoon and Owen and three original issues of The Hydra, the hospital’s magazine.

Our permanent exhibition within Craiglockhart Campus allows visitors to view the War Poets Collection and gain an insight into the personal and social experiences of war through the words, memories, voices and objects that the officers, medical staff and relatives left behind.

For further information regarding the poets, see:

Wilfred Owen's Edinburgh

Wilfred Owen originally arrived in Edinburgh by train on the 26th of June 1917 after being sent to the city to be treated for shellshock at Craiglockhart War Hospital. His arrival was re-enacted during a commemorative celebration in 2017.

Historic images of Craiglockhart War Hospital, 1917