Cumberland Hospital Heritage Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Cumberland Hospital Heritage Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Cumberland Hospital Heritage Precinct
Type of item: Complex / Group
Primary address: Hainsworth Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Parish: FIELD OF MARS
County: CUMBERLAND
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
     
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Hainsworth StreetParramattaParramattaFIELD OF MARSCUMBERLANDPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
NSW Department of HealthState Government20 Jul 05

Statement of significance:

The Cumberland Hospital Heritage Precinct is a place of National Significance. It provides abundant physical evidence from the formative years of the Colony of New South Wales, and the initial settlement of Parramatta. It has been in continuous institutional use since 1818. what survives of the variouis buildings, relics and landscapes provides a valuable insight into changing attitutdes to welfare, criminal behaviour and mental health, over a period of 175 years.
They layout of the complex and the existing relationships between buildings and spaces continues to convey the organising principles upon which the different institutional uses were administered and structured. The spaces created have continuing landscape significance and aesthetic appeal.
The whole site enjoys and outstanding parkland setting beside the Parramatta River. this reinforces the physical links and historical associations with neighbouring institutional and recreational facilities. These include Parramatta Goal, Government House, the Normal Parker Centre and Parramatta Park. All of these sites contain buildings listed by the National Trust and the Australian Heritage Commission, making this one of the richest heritage areas in New South Wales.
All buildings on the site have considerable historical interest, particularly those structures dating back to the initial use of the site as the Female Factory, established by governor macquarie. They all provide continuing reminders of the original role and function. Most buildings also have great architectural and aesthetic value.
The collection of buildings, built for the Lunatic Asylum in the 1870's through to 1910, are outstanding examples of public architecture. Despite their functional simplicity they manifest handsome exteriors, framing the adjoining courtyards in a pleasant human scale. Building 1A, with its imposing clock tower, contributes a sense of dignity and formality.
The architecture of the precinct generally reflects Victorian, Georgian and Classidcal Revival notions of grandeur. Each of the buildings from the 1870-1901 period reflects the influence of Colonial and Government Architect's J Barnet and WL Vernon, as well as FN Manning, the then Inspector General for all lunatic asylums in New South Wales.
Internally the buildings were functional and rather austere. The spatial arrangements however, clearly expressed the original uses and continue to evoke images of their historical role.
The site is also considered to be a potentially rich source of archaeological material.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: James Barnet & Walter Liberty Vernon
Physical description: The Locality: The Cumberland Hospital is located on, and divided by, the Parramatta River at North Parramatta. It is part of a larger institutional grouping set in a park-like setting by the river. The main entrance to the Hospital is from Fleet Street. This forms the eastern boundary of the Hospital. Fleet Street in turn is accessed from O'Connell Street.
The Cumberland Hospital currently cares for mentally ill patients. The site is bordered by the Parramatta Goal to the north-east, Parramatta Girls' Training School to the south, and the Westmead Hospital Complex to the west. The Hope Hostel is now located on the eastern side of Fleet Street.
The Site: the Cumberland Hospital Heritage Precinct is located in the south-east of theCumberland Hospital, between the river and Fleet Street. The Hospital's main entrancr from Fleet Street leads to the Heritage Precinct. The study area is approximately 1.9 hectars in area. It is extensively developed with older buildings which currently accommodate the Hospital's administrative and support services. Several buildings are vacant.
Modifications and dates: 1818, 1848, 1872, 1901, 1960
Former use: Mill, Female Factory, LUnatic Asylum, Psychiatric Hospital

History

Historical notes: The Mill Phase c1803-1818: In the early days of the settlement at Parramatta the site was associated with the nearby mill. A mill race, or fleet, was constructed across the land. It carried water from the river, at a point to the north, to the mill, further south.
The Female Factory: The institutional use of the site commenced in 1818 when Governor Macquarie laid the foundation stone for what was called the Female Factory. As the use was established other buildings were constructed, elements of which persist.
Parramatta Lunatic Asylum c1848-1872: In about 1848 the emphasis shifted to the accommodation of lunatics, both male and female. Some improvements were made to earlier buildings and some new building took place. Little physical evidence survives from this period.
Parramatta Lunatic Asylum 1872-c1901: The next phase was associated with the adminstration of Frederick Norton Manning, who became Inspector General for all lunatic asylums in NSW in 1872. This phase saw a major program of new building, changes to layout and replacement of earlier structures. The site was also expanded to take in land further north, outside the study area for this brief.
Psychiatric Hospital c1901-1960: In this phase various alterations and additions were made on the subject site but most of the new development for the hosptial was to the north.
Cumberland Hospital 1960-1992: More recent development on the subject land has been of a relatively minor nature, though the integrity of earlier development has been affected.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Cumberland Hospital Heritage Precinct is a place of national significance. It provides abundant physical evidence from the formative years of the Colony of New South Wales, and the initial settlement of Parramatta. It has been in continuous institutional use since 1818. What survives of the various buildings, relics and landscapes provides a valuable insight into chaning attitudes to welfare, criminal behaviour and mental health, over a period of 175 years.
All buildings on the site have considerable historical interest, particularly those structures dating back to the initial use of the site as the Female Factory, established by Governor Macquarie. They all provide continuing reminders of the original role and function. Most buildings also have great architectural and aesthetic value.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The layout of the complex and the existing relationships between buildings and spaces continues to convey the organising priciples upon which the different institutional uses were administered and structured. The spaces created have continuing landscape significance and aesthetic appeal.
The whole site enjoys an outstanding parkland setting beside the Parramatta River. This reinforces the hysical links and historical associations with neighbouring institutional and recreational facilities. These include Parramatta Goal, Govenrment House, the Norma Parker Centre and Parramatta Park. All of these sites contain buildings listed by the National Trust and the Australian Heritage Commission, making this one of the richest heritage areas in New South Wales.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The collection of buildings, built for the Lunatic Asylum in the 1870's through to 1910, are outstanding examples of public architecture. Despite their functional simplicity they manifest hadsome exteriors, framing the adjoining courtyards in a pleasant human scale. Building 1A, with its imposing clock tower, contributes a sense of dignity and formality.
The architecture of the precinct generally reflects Victorian, Georgian and Classical Revival notions of grandeur. Each of the buildings from the 1870-1901 period reflects the influence of Colonial and Government Architect's J Barnet and WL Vernon, as well as FN Manning, the then Inspector General for all lunatic asylums in New South Wales.
Internally the buildings were funcitonal and rather austere. The spatial arrangements however, clearly expressed the original uses and continue to evoke images of their historical role.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Conservation Plan 1992

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerDep. Of Health s.170 Register    

References, internet links & images

None

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 3540248
File number: S95/00292/2


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