Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Mayday Hills Hospital (Beechworth Lunatic Asylum) was established in 1867. The total cost of the Beechworth Asylum was almost 108,000 pounds. The plan of the Asylum, which was in the form of a giant E, matched that adopted at Ararat and at the new Metropolitan Asylum at Kew. It operated for almost 130 years until its closure in 1995. During this time it grew to incorporate nearly 53 buildings spread across an 11 hectare site, at its peak accommodating over 1,000 patients.
Today, its gardens (planted as a botanical garden of exotic trees and shrubs in the late 19th century) and most of the infrastructure remains, part is now a campus of La Trobe University, accommodation and a restaurant run by the catering course of the uni, a Child Care Centre, and the base for Ghost Tours of the dilapidated sections.
Coincidentally, Mayday Hill was named by the then Lieutenant Governor, Charles Joseph La Trobe, after whom the La Trobe University is named, when he visited the area in 1852.
You can compare this Gatehouse to the derelict one at Ararat in the previous post.
While the design of the two institutions are remarkably similar, one major difference is the frontage, at Beechworth, a fountain was erected in 1887 with a large part of the labour being done by Asylum staff, it has since been removed due to drainage problems, while Aradale still has the remains of the fountain, its pond (currently dry) and balustrade.
Finally this photo taken at Ararat is what I'm calling my Narnia shot. It is so reminiscent of the lamp-post from "The lion, the witch and the wardrobe", and it can snow in Ararat!
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Aradale Mental Hospital (Lunatic Asylum) comprises a large main building and associated structures erected largely between 1864-67. The main buildings are constructed in brick, the structures are cement rendered brick Italianate with slate roofs. An engaged colonnade faces the top storey of the central block, which is linked by double storey bridges to long side wings with towers.
The main approach is from the south via a serpentine drive starting at the Italianate style Gate Lodge, which dates from 1866. The part single, part double storey dwelling was constructed of stuccoed brickwork with slate roofs. Features of the design include the gabled entrance porch, round headed and other window hoods, combination of roof forms, plinth and eaves detailing.
The Ararat Asylum was one of three (the others were Kew and Beechworth) built to replace the controversial Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum in Melbourne. The asylum was built as a town within a town with its own market gardens, piggery and other stock kept on the grounds. It is surrounded by large grounds planted out as formal garden, farm and parkland.
The earliest buildings include the vast main building with its towers, a kitchen and dining room block, a billiard room, a library, school, a large multipurpose hall and 2,100ft of verandahs where patients could enjoy fresh air sheltered from winds and extensive remnants of the encircling ha-ha wall.
Later nineteenth and early twentieth century additions include the farm buildings, convalescent cottages, sun-shades and fever tent. At its height it had over 500 staff. The site has also many later buildings and structures, including smaller houses built for attendants after World War Two.
Today the complex is made up of 63 buildings ranging in age from the original wings built in 1860 to the modern forensic unit which was built in 1991. It was closed as an asylum in 1993.
In 2001 with a State Government grant of $7.4m, it granted places to 50 students and became the Aradale campus of Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) part of the Australian College of Wine, though they are only using a portion of the site and the rest is deteriorating.
It isn’t surprising that people say the building is reputedly haunted, it has all the ingredients – large sprawling 19th century buildings with extensive corridors, 1,000 odd deaths, the institutionalised insane.
For a short history of Aradale and its hauntings see http://www.aghs.com.au/aradaleasylum.html
A post on the Beechworth Asylum next.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
J Ward Main entrance
J Ward in Ararat, started its life as a goldfields prison in 1859. In the mid 1880s the prison buildings were acquired by the Lunacy Department as a temporary housing for the Criminally Insane.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Great Western lock-up
When gold was discovered around the Concongella Creek in 1858, a rush began and the town of Great Western was surveyed in 1859. During the gold rush police were first situated in a Police Camp and later a Police Station was established, these are now gone and only the wooden cell remains.
Harrow is reportedly the oldest inland town in Victoria. The Harrow log jail built in 1859, from local redgum sawn logs. Police had been stationed at Harrow since 1853, and they used the jail until 1869. It is now one of Harrow's tourist attractions and part of their Sound & Light Show.
Warracknabeal has a new Police Station and only the cell remains on the old site. It did at least have mod cons.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Monday July 9
Up at 5:30 this morning, we are going in a steamer (the A.S.N. James Paterson) to Bundaberg so we are busy getting ready. We arrived there about 3 o’clock.
The Diary finishes with the arrival in Australia.
Emily Ann and John Edwin with Ruth Emmeline moved from Bundaberg to Brisbane, then to Melbourne where they settled. Mary Ellen was born on 1st October 1883 nearly 3 months after the family arrived in Australia. In total they had seven children.
Monday, 7 July 2008
Nice morning, we have had mutton chops for breakfast and roast beef and potatoes for dinner, it has been a great treat for us. We have had plenty of people on board today, they have come from Bundaberg in small boats, some have their husbands coming for them. It is a very pleasant sight to see them coming.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
We have cast anchor at 20 minutes to 8 this morning, they signalled for the Pilot but there was some mistake, (the river level was too low at Rocky Reach for boats to cross the bar) he did not come on until 4 o’clock in the afternoon so we have to stop on until Monday about 7 o’clock. The Mayor (Mr Adams) and the inspector came on board and brought some sweets for the children but they call them lollies out here, and they bought us fresh beef and mutton for Sunday.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
Friday, 4 July 2008
Thursday July 5
Fine morning but we are not going much, it is fifteen weeks today since we sailed, it is a long time to be on the water, I did not think we should be so long in coming. A fine wind is getting up, it changed into our favour during the night.
We have got a sight of the great sandy island, it is a pleasant sight after we have been so long at sea, there is a lighthouse (Sandy Cape a pre-fabricated cast-iron tower, the tallest in Queensland) and a beacon light (probably the buoy on Breaksea Spit) on it, we have to go round the most northern point of the island. The log today Lat. 25.48S Long. 153.48E Break Sea Spit distance 91 miles.
Sandy Cape Lighthouse on Fraser Island
Thursday, 3 July 2008
Wednesday July 4
Fine morning, we have been very busy we have had the boxes up today, it has passed the morning over for us. In the afternoon I was cleaning every thing up for landing, when I got my jacket out of the box it was mouldy, I have been sponging it. John Edwin has not been so well, last night I thought he was going to have one of his old attacks. I made him some ginger and tea and got a woollen handkerchief made hot and put it across his back, it gave him ease. I told Emmeline her Daddy was poorly so she said to him, he will have a powder Dadda make better, that is because the Doctor sent her some powder, she can say anything.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Fine morning but we are not going, We have been cleaning all our tins ready for the Doctor to inspect to see if they are clean. I am tired out of being here they told us this morning we might be a fortnight yet, we have only gone 37 miles since 12 o’clock yesterday, it is very slow progress. We could walk as fast as that in twenty-four hours, you will be very uneasy about us. The wind is a head wind that is to say it is blowing dead against us, out of 77 miles run since 1 o’clock yesterday only got seventeen nearer Bundaberg.