Broughton Hall Psychiatric Clinic

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search
Broughton Hall Psychiatric Clinic
Opened 1915
Closed 2008
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Sydney, NSW
Alternate Names
  • 13th Australian Army Hospital
  • Broughton House
  • Rozelle Hospital
  • Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital


During World War I, many shell shock victims were repatriated. The Langdons placed Broughton Hall and other buildings on the 25-acre (10.1-hectare) site at the disposal of the authorities. Into this haven of peace came 60 soldiers and the staff necessary for their care. Broughton Hall became the Number 13 Australian Army Hospital reserved for shell shock cases. Adjoining Callan Park provided buildings for the Number 28 Australian Army Hospital where those 'diggers' suffering from severe mental disorders were cared for.

By the end of the World War I, 1,045 patients had been treated at Broughton Hall. Of this number 941 had been discharged and the remainder were still under treatment. On 4 June 1918 the Commonwealth government formally resumed the entire property. Repatriation cases ceased to be treated at Broughton Hall by 1920. Those who could afford it were admitted to private nursing homes if they were mentally afflicted but not certifiably insane. This left no places of care for mentally disturbed wage-earners between the general hospitals and the mental asylums.

Broughton Hall filled this need when it became the Broughton Hall Psychiatric Clinic, a 'pioneer enterprise', on 4 April 1921. On that day the first 'voluntary-admitted patients' were transferred from the Darlinghurst Reception House. The clinic was founded by Dr Sydney Evan Jones, who became responsible for the design of the buildings and the planning and planting of the grounds. He planted tropical ferns and laid out lawns in the garden developed earlier by John Keep. The landscaping of the grounds consisted of 'building hills where none had been, valleys, sunken gardens, streams, bridges and stone walls.'

Promoted to Medical Superintendent in 1925, he introduced occupational therapy and utilised the hospital grounds as a means of diverting patients' minds from neuroses to normality. There was a degree of practicality about his efforts. Overflow from the hospital refrigerator became the source of a fish-bearing stream spanned by ornamental bridges. It meandered through a planted forest which was a sanctuary for birds. The planning of the buildings interested Evan Jones and was probably influenced by him. Major buildings were planned close to Glover and Church streets and laid out to look inward to the gardens. The exception was the Administration Block which had an entablatured portico as the hospital's public entrance fronting Church Street.

In the early 1920s the building of dormitory accommodation began. When the clinic was expanded in the early 1930s, old Broughton Hall became Ward 1, and Wards 2 to 4 were built. The new clinic, however, did not receive legal status until the passing of the Lunacy Amendment Act in 1934. The building program accelerated in 1927–34 but the continuing Depression and World War II ended the major building campaign. The next building program took place from 1956 to 1963. A new occupational therapy building was followed by an electrotherapy unit and a new canteen. The day hospital, Evan Jones Theatre complex and new administration offices were opened.

In 1971, a bold, geometric, frankly modern design grew up on a new site opposite the original Administration Block on the corner of Glover and Church streets. Based upon linked hexagonal buildings, the clinic gained a new Evan Jones Theatre, day hospital, outpatients' department and administration offices. [1]

Five years later the clinic, conjoined with Callan Park, became the Rozelle Hospital. Despite not actually being in Rozelle, the hospital still bears that name. Its current location, according to the Geographical Names Board, is Lilyfield. The old Broughton Hall (Broughton House) served as a female ward until its closure in 1972. From then until 1974 it was used as an integrated rehabilitation ward. In 1974 it became a 'home' for patients of the Adolescent Unit. In its new guise as a 'home', the house had returned to its original function. It was renamed Rivendell, from the novels of JRR Tolkien – a place of goodness, peace and strength, devoid of all evils.

In 1976 the psychiatric hospital in the Broughton Hall precinct was formally amalgamated with the Kirkbride and the entire Callan Park complex was renamed Rozelle Hospital. Treatment and care of the mentally ill continued at Broughton Hall until 2008 when all psychiatric operations of Callan Park/Rozelle (BH and the Kirkbride Block) were moved to the newly constructed psychiatric facility at Concord Hospital. Since 2008 the former BH wards have operated as a drug and alcohol admissions clinic run by WHOS. Other vacant wards are now being used by the University of Tasmania - Rozelle Campus. [2]