Abandoned Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, Brisbane

Woogaroo-Lunatic-Asylum-brisbane (Image: CybergothiChé, GNU License 1.2)

The Park Centre for Mental Health Treatment, Research and Education in Queensland, Australia, is a recently redeveloped and functioning psychiatric hospital but some of the original asylum’s protected buildings are reportedly still in situ.  Built on the site of a horse stud farm, the hospital first opened as Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum in 1865 and underwent several title changes throughout its lifetime, including Goodna Asylum, Goodna Mental Hospital, Brisbane Mental Hospital, Brisbane Special Hospital and Wolston Park Hospital.

goodna-mental-hospital (Image: Agriculture And Stock Department, public domain)

Some facilities of the asylum, such as the high-security John Oxley Memorial Hospital and the old water tower, have been demolished but several historic buildings have been redeveloped to cater for the latest reincarnation of the ex-asylum.  For instance, the original Power House is now a reception building with a large industrial chimney sitting alongside.

Woogaroo-Lunatic-Asylum-abandoned (Image: Google Maps)

Although the new centre is designed to focus on rehabilitating patients, the hospital grounds still contain several prison-like abandoned structures which bear witness to the confinement of past patients within the institution.  Some graffiti, small fires and criminal damage appears to have been inflicted on the old wooden, sandstone and red brick structures.  In recent history, kangaroo guards, giant tree roots and undergrowth have also provided nature’s own imposition on some of the old insane asylum’s neglected heritage buildings.

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About the author: Alexandra Smith



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