Aradale Asylum

Oh WOW is all I can say that place is very beautiful and holds a lot of untold history, Thank you to Mark, John, Caroline G and Caroline (shanghaiwu) (I hope I spelt that right) for coming along.

I loved the whole experience, and can not wait to get more information from Jward and read through it.

For those of you who don’t know Aradale, here is a little run down.

Aradale Asylum was built in 1863 and opened in 1867, Aradale was closed in 1993.

As like most other buildings built in this era the design was European. Aradale was built for and housed the “insane”, being a term loosely used for anyone who suffered any form of malaise, depression, uncertainty of life and also very sadly, the mentally disabled or as was once known “retarded”.

Back in the 1800’s we must remember that there was no diagnosis for depression and also the now known illnesses of bi-polar, schizophrenia, borderline personality and so on. There were also no drugs to treat any type of mental illness and often the doctors and nurses would resort to very strange treatments which are now considered (and rightly so) barbaric.

With a 85% mortality rate Aradale was known as the place to go and die. Common treatments applied were the use of the now out-dated Lobotomy operation and also ECT (electro convulsive therapy). No doubt in the later years insulin induced coma therapy would have also been applied as has been reported in many psychicatric institutions within Victoria. These treatments are well reported to be nothing less than destructive.

Since the closure of Aradale, NMIT has taken over the ownership and currently use the land and a few smaller buildings for a lavendar farm, and the police use the land for training. At one stage they did want to turn this beautiful building into a full resort with golf course and more but it fell through. It is a shame to see such a stunning building go into such a state of disrepair, the history all gone and not one thing left to show us all just how lucky we are today.

Well here are some photos, you can see more in my folio.

1:- Main Entrance b&w

2:- Pipe works

3:- Mark cooking

4:- Mark & John in the freezer

Journal Comments

  • shanghaiwu
  • Melissa Kirkham
  • Mark German
  • Jane Keats