This former mortuary once served the local hospital. Opening in the 1920s, the hospital catered primarily for patients with mental illness and intellectual disabilities. The care and treatment of mental illness and intellectual disability was poor and the two were often grouped together. A 1950s investigation into the hospital revealed that children and adult patients were being housed together, and patients with mental illnesses were being housed with the intellectually disabled. The investigation and subsequent report forced the amendment of classification and housing of patients, separating these into either ‘mental illness’ or ‘mental disability’. The Mental Health Amendment Act 1964 later defined two types of ‘mental deficiency’; these were ‘intellectual retardation’ and ‘mental illness’.
The mortuary catered for the bodies of the hospitals deceased. Featuring a small attached chapel room with vaulted timber ceilings, the mortuary provided a cool place in which to store the deceased until they could be removed from the facility. The mortuary was later used as a maintenance storage facility before becoming surplus to requirements and abandoned.
The building has suffered extensive internal damage from fire and vandalism. Whilst the timber vaulted ceiling of the chapel remains, the lead-light windows are long gone. The building is essentially a fire ravaged shell awaiting its fate.
Exact location – CONFIDENTIAL.