Castle Hill Lunatic Asylum

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Castle Hill Lunatic Asylum
Opened 1811
Closed 1826
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Parramatta, NSW
Alternate Names


The Castle Hill Lunatic Asylum became the first official institution in Australia that was specifically organised to care for those suffering from mental illnesses. To establish the lunatic asylum, Macquarie arranged for the modification of a large two-story stone granary (previously used as a barrack). It stood on a site that formed part of the government farm known as the Castle Hill Agricultural Settlement.

The farm had been worked by convict laborers until 1810 and was located in a largely uninhabited area approximately seven miles north of Parramatta. The site is identifiable today in a valley NW of the junction of Old Northern Road and Old Castle Hill Road.

There were several buildings on the former farmland and the largest was a two-storey structure made of sandstone, with a shingle roof. The dimensions of the two floors of the main building were approximately 100 feet by 24 feet. It would function as an asylum until 1826 when an alternative site was established at Liverpool. [1]