The Parkside Lunatic Asylum was opened by the government in 1870 and 50 male patients were moved from the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum to Parkside. In 1873, 70 men and 50 women resided at the Asylum. By the 1880s men, women and children were being housed there. Some children from the Asylum were moved to the Minda Home for Weak-Minded Children in 1898. In 1902 the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum was closed and all patients were moved to Parkside. In 1913 the Parkside Lunatic Asylum was renamed the Parkside Mental Hospital.
The foundations of the purpose built, Government run, Parkside Lunatic Asylum were laid in 1866 on the same property at Parkside where original Colonial Lunatic Asylum had been located. Although a range of three buildings were planned only one was completed when the new Parkside Lunatic Asylum was opened in 1870. The first 50 patients, all male, were transferred from the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum on North Terrace in May 1870.
The operation and over-site of the Asylum was the responsibility of the Colonial Surgeon. The Parkside Lunatic Asylum initially only took male patients as the facilities were not ready for female patients. However, newspaper reports from 1873 state the numbers of 'inmates' at the Asylum to include 70 men and 50 women. By the 1880s, however, men, women and children were incarcerated at the Asylum. The Parkside Asylum was not only used to incarcerate people suffering from mental illness, but also people with intellectual disabilities and medical conditions like epilepsy.
During 1880-81 new dormitories for women were constructed as well as Cottages to house 'hospital cases', so called harmless patients and children with intellectual disabilities who were then referred to as 'imbecile' children. In 1884 it was reported that 24 children under the age of 14 were incarcerated at the Asylum. While the boys were housed in one of the Cottages and kept separate from other patients the girls were placed in a special ward in the women's section of the Asylum and were allowed to mix with some of the older female patients.
In 1884 a new ward for criminal patients was constructed. A ward for 'violent women' followed in 1888.
In 1898 the Minda Home for Weak-minded Children was opened at Fullarton and some of the children from both the Asylums at North Terrace, Adelaide, and Parkside were transferred to the new government assisted facility.
In 1902 the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum closed and all patients from the North Terrace Asylum were moved to Parkside.
In 1913 the Parkside Lunatic Asylum was renamed the Parkside Mental Hospital.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'THE PARKSIDE LUNATIC ASYLUM', South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail (Adelaide, South Asutralia), 11 January 1873, p. 8, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93772955; 'OUR IMBECILE CHILDREN', South Australian Register (Adelaide, South Australia), 27 February 1894, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article53637218; 'Lunatic Asylum', in History of Disability in South Australia, Disability Information and Resource Centre Inc, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20140213061049/http://history.dircsa.org.au/1800-1899/lunatic-asylum/; Goldney, Bob, Glenside Hospital: an historical perspective including its role in the management of depression, University of Adelaide, 26 February 2009; Piddock, Susan, A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania, Springer, New York; London, 2007; State Records of South Australia, 'Agency Details GA1980 Parkside Lunatic Asylum, later Parkside Mental Hospital, later Glenside Hospital', in State Records of South Australia, ArchivesSearch, http://archives.sa.gov.au.
Prepared by: Gary George
Created: 15 April 2014, Last modified: 6 November 2018