Week 11: The Parramatta South site
Monday, 26 May 2014
Twenty five years ago this week Parramatta South Campus at Rydalmere was a psychiatric hospital. This site began in 1813 with the establishment of the Female Orphan School, later becoming the Protestant Orphan School. The Protestant Orphan School was the result of a merger of the Male Orphan School which had been at Liverpool with the Female Orphan School at Rydalmere.
When government policy moved to “boarding-out” orphans the institution was closed. In 1888 the site became the Rydalmere Hospital for the Insane (later known as the Rydalmere Mental Hospital and finally as Rydalmere Psychiatric Hospital) and operated until 1989.
The University of Western Sydney now occupies the site and the campus currently has around 27 hectares and has close to 14 000 students.
Most of what is now Rydalmere was occupied by the Darug people prior to European arrival.
From the archives
Image galleryFrom the Archives this week, we have:
- In the above image gallery, a plan showing progressive work on the Parramatta campus, as executed as at 24 April 1997 (MP-256).
- A photograph of the Parramatta Fire Bell (AM-271).
- A photograph of archaeological finds including a spoon, keys and pottery from the Female Orphan School (AM-276).
- A copy of the Golden Key International Honour Society New Member Induction Ceremony program (PDF, 5601.18 KB) (opens in a new window) at the Sir Ian & Nancy Turbott Auditorium on the Parramatta campus, 12 May 2002 (AI-42063).
- Specifications for The Superintendents House at the Parramatta Campus (PDF, 5154.75 KB),(opens in a new window) April 1996 (P01-0076).
Did you know?
Did you know this is the oldest and most historical of all the UWS Campuses and has been utilised by Europeans since 1813 the same year the Blue Mountains were crossed by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth.