Z Ward

“The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum…”

Havelock Ellis

Soon after the settlement of South Australia there was a need for a lunatic asylum. Not all insane serious criminals could be hung. Public sentiment was to lock some of them up, perhaps forever. Treatment, rehablitation and release were not part of the 1800s mental health plan. Secure buildings were. The first site was a leased building on Greenhill Road, just near the water tower. Between 1852 and 1870, the facilities moved to the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum, on the current grounds of the Botanic Gardens. The old asylum mortuary is still there in the eastern corner. By 1870 Parkside Mental Hospital was built, with the Glenside location housing over 700 inpatients when opened. The worse of the bunch were accomodated in rear of the grounds, in the secure building known as Z Ward. The architect for the structure was EJ Woods, also responsible for St Peters Cathedral, The Mortlock Library Wing and Parliament House. The design of Z Ward is interesting, the inmates wandered around relatively freely, it was the staff that were locked away. #madaboutsketching #letsmakelemonade

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