Gladesville Hospital, originally known as Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum, was designed by the Colonial Architect, Mortimer Lewis. The first patients arrived from Liverpool Asylum and the Female Factory at Parramatta in 1838. The last in-patient services were closed in 1997. The site contains many buildings that are listed on the Register of the National Estate:
- Original Quadrangle Complex, 1838
- Gatekeeper’s Cottage near Punt Road gates
- Punt Road gates
- Doctor’s Residence, south side of Punt Road gates
- Service Buildings between 1838 buildings & Punt Road gates
- Workshop (former Male Ward 9)
- Sandstone walls
- Gardener’s Store
- Escarpment Terraces
- Wards 17 and 18
- Former Medical Superintendent’s Residence
- Cypress Grove, Victoria Road
- Gatekeeper’s Lodge, Victoria Road
- Medical Records Department, Victoria Road
- Pottery Building
- Provision Store.
Health Department records show that 1,228 inmates are buried on the NE corner of the site in unmarked graves. Sydney Morning Herald reported that the names, dates of admission and dates of death of 923 patients are listed in the register but the identities of those in the first 305 graves are lost, if they were ever recorded.
The campus now accommodates a range of health and community services, including Northern Sydney Home Nursing, Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, St John’s Ambulance, Medical Council of NSW, Schizophrenia Fellowship, Health Education and Training Institute, Medical Council, Cornucopia Café, Giant Steps school.
The Medical Board of NSW which recognises the significance of the site that they now occupy, published an article on the history of Gladesville Hospital in its 2015 newsletter to the 32,000 medical practitioners registered in NSW.
Friends of Gladesville Hospital keep a watchful eye over the site which is owned by the people of NSW and is managed by NSW Health. In 2012 NSW Ministry of Health engaged Worley Parsons to prepare a Master Plan for the future use of the site. Many people contributed to community meetings. There has been no further news.
The site has enormous historical, social, cultural and environmental value.
It also has commercial value and may be vulnerable, so we need to WATCH THIS SPACE.
For more information visit SPASM Museum at Building 6, Gladesville Hospital.