Glenside - Windback Wednesday

This circa 1970s view of Glenside was taken looking along Fullarton Road, with the Glenside Hospital complex on the left.

The distinctive gothic buildings of Glenside Hospital were designed by architect Robert George Thomas and built with Glen Osmond stone by contractor Charles Farr. The Hospital opened in 1870, and was known at the time as the Parkside Lunatic Asylum.

Many believe that the fencing around the complex was built to keep people in, but there is another version to the story. When the asylum opened, there were no fences, except in sections that housed people who were considered difficult cases. The asylum was self-sustaining; residents tended livestock, tailored clothes and grew olives, vines, mulberries, and almonds. It is thought that, in fact, fences were added to prevent outside people from stealing produce. This was particularly an issue during the 1930s depression, when the cost to protect the plantings began to outweigh the benefits, so the garden was reduced to olives and mulberry trees.

In the 1970s, due to falling patient numbers and improved health services, the Glenside Hospital became superfluous. The property was divided for State Government use for Arts SA, SA Health, and PIRSA.

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