Willow Court - Former Insane Asylum, New Norfolk

photo by Rosalyn Chapman

'Willow Court' is a superb old stone building which was built as a military hospital in 1830-31 by Major Roger Kelsall. Only one room wide, with wide verandahs and gabled two storey sections at the corners and in the centre, Willow Court was originally conceived by Governor Arthur as a location where invalid convicts could be housed.

It was named 'Willow Court' because Lady Franklin planted a willow in the courtyard. Willow Court is part of the former Royal Derwent Hospital and is the oldest mental hospital in Australia on its original site. It is a remarkable and simple building of great elegance and character.

Susan Piddock wrote an article entitled "The New Norfolk Hospital for the Insane" which gives an excellent account of the history of Willow Court.

Here is an excellent page about Willow Court: http://royalderwent.com/

Some of the buildings on the site today

~ Olga ~


The first photo was taken around 1900 and is described as the Boys Cottage Hospital.    The second photo shows Olga as she appears today.   She is currently being refurbished as a 300 hundred seat restaurant as part of the Willow Court restoration.

~ Nurses Home ~


Now neglected and overgrown, this building will soon be completely refurbished and opened as 5 star accommodation.

In better days....

~ Lyprenny ~

I have been told that Lyprenny was built in the 1970s and was revolutionary for its time, in its use of glass to take advantage of the winter sun.   This building will be converted into 1 bedroom holiday units.

~ Lachlan ~

Lachlan has now been converted into luxury retirement units.

~ Alcharinga ~

the building which is now Willow Court Budget Accommodation and the Nosh Pit

~ The Barracks and C Ward ~

to be made into a museum?

Frescatti, Bronte, Allonah, Therapy
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