I decided to go visit the old insane asylum in Lilyfield. It’s a pretty interesting place. Full of buildings ranging from ye olde days of 1880’s up to only a few decades old. It’s also the site of Australia’s only “Kirkbride” building.
Warning, lots of images ahead.
When I say Kirkbride, truth be told its more like based on a Kirkbride building.
If you don’t know what a Kirkbride building is. They were a design of building made to be used for insane asylums. They were massive and beautiful. But due to their size, government funding and changes in the way we deal with loonies, most ended up abandoned. They are even cooler now, trust me.
The difference between this one and the ones in the US, is mainly in the setting of the building. As the picture here shows, most Kirkbride buildings are one massive unit.
As you can see here the buildings are more separated and arranged into a compound.
So here’s my walk through. This is the approach to the Kirkbride building. I must admit, if there is a zombie apocalypse, this is where I am going to hold up. It is built like a prison and has the resources needed.
Bloody big walls. I recently visited here while Laneway was on. I saw people trying to climb these walls to sneak in. None made it. Hipsters can’t climb.
Yup, that’s a tree growing out of the chimney.
Ok, time to go full disclaimer. This is a semi-abandoned site. While the hospital did close and the area abandoned, it is starting to be used again. The University of Sydney have moved in and use the site for their art school. I think that’s pretty cool.
But there is a lot of abandoned buildings still boarded up and waiting to be reused. Just like this beauty.
For the art.
As you can see work’s still being done.
Nerd time. This tower is cool bit of centuries old tech. The asylum was built using sandstone sourced from the site. The resulting quarry was then converted into a water reservoir and built over. The ball on the tower is actually a gauge that shows the water level in the reservoir.
Below is where we start getting into the part of the asylum that is being used by the university.
Ya, tis weird tree. Probably where they buried the unwanted babies of the mental patients. Hehe.
This is path also doubles as a roller-coaster for poor people.
This chimney is not straight. But then again, it was used to burn the babies of the unwanted mental patients. Evil warps things. Bwahahahaa 😉 . (Btw,I am joking about the dead babies. Just to be clear for the humourless gorms.)
Below is inside the compound.
Some sections of the building have these concrete inserts. Not sure why, they are pretty ugly.
Biggest fucking asparagus EVER.
Below are the outer buildings of the asylum. The grounds are massive and these buildings are scattered around the place. Their ages range from the same period as the main asylum 1880, to ones built only a few decades ago. There’s no info on their use. Probably used to house/murder/experiment on the unwanted babies of the mental patients. Getting into these buildings is next to impossible as they are all securely boarded up.
Some patients never left.
This shot below pretty much sums up the place. One building is abandoned, next door one that’s still in use and good condition.
It’s not an abandoned building shoot without the peeling paint shot.
Another area of the asylum is the gardens. It’s a jungle. Fertilized with the corpses of unwanted patients of mental asylum babies.
Biggest bamboo trees I have ever seen in Australia. But I don’t get out that much.
A memorial of sorts in the shape of the Harbour Bridge