Yarra Bend Asylum

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Yarra Bend Asylum
Opened 1848
Closed 1925
Demolished 1926
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Yarra Bend, VIC
Alternate Names
  • Yarra Bend Hospital for the Insane


Yarra Bend was the first permanent institution established in Victoria that was devoted to the treatment of the mentally ill. It opened in 1848 as a ward of the Asylum at Tarban Creek in New South Wales. It was not officially called Yarra Bend Asylum until July 1851 when the Port Phillip District separated from the Colony of New South Wales. Prior to the establishment of Yarra Bend, lunatic patients had been kept in the District's goals. New admissions ceased in 1924 with the Asylum officially closing in 1925. All remaining patients were transferred to the Mont Park facilities.


After it closed, the government was supposed to re-inter remains elsewhere, somewhere around 1,200 remains. The cemetery no longer exists as currently the area of the Yarra Bend Asylum is part of a large park run by Parks Victoria with the old cemetery being located on the river flats near the practice fairway of the golf course there. It is also felt that not all bodies were exhumed, but this needs to be proven. Parks Victoria are looking at this issue.