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Inside the crumbling buildings of Larundel Mental Asylum: Now completely demolished and redeveloped into a residential community

David Goran

Building work on the Larundel Mental Asylum in Australia began in 1938 but due to the outbreak World War II, it did not open as a psychiatric asylum until 1953. It was part of a larger mental health complex known as Mont Park. At its busiest, the hospital cared for 750 patients and it is famous for housing some of the most severely mentally ill criminals in Australia.

The asylum once housed hundreds of patients. Source

The asylum once housed hundreds of patients. Source

 

Construction of the asylum began in 1938 but was interrupted by WWII. Source

Construction of the asylum began in 1938 but was interrupted by WWII. Source

Construction began in 1938 and by 1940 work was well underway only for the Second World War to change the situation; mental care was no longer a priority and suddenly changes were made and various uses were planned for the buildings.

It served as a hospital for the RAAF and US military, as well as providing a training depot for WAAF operations. During the post-war years of 1946-48, the buildings were used as temporary emergency housing. It formally opened its doors as a psychiatric institution in 1953.

In 1946, Larundel was given to the Department of Housing. They converted the wards into flats. By 1948, 109 families were living there. Source

In 1946, Larundel was given to the Department of Housing. They converted the wards into flats. By 1948, 109 families were living there. Source

 

It was not until 1953 that Larundel was officially opened as a Psychiatric Hospital. Source

It was not until 1953 that Larundel was officially opened as a Psychiatric Hospital. Source

 

Over the next five years the half-finished site would be put to a number of different uses. Source

Over the next five years, the half-finished site would be put to a number of different uses. Source

Larundel was now officially a functioning hospital, catering for 387 patients, a quarter of which were women, in 1955 eight additional wards were erected, allowing for another 360 patients, 270 who were female. The hospital treated patients with a range of issues including schizophrenia, psychosis and those suffering from geriatrics. The hospital was notable for being the first treatment center of Peter Dupas, an Australian serial killer.

Larundel was noted as a forefront of neurophyschiatry as treatment for patients. Source

Larundel was noted as a forefront of neuropsychiatry and offered the latest in treatment for patients. Source

 

By the early 1970s Larundel had a number of wards operating, dealing with acute psychiatric, chronic schizophrenics, chronic psychotics and geriatric patients. Source

By the early 1970s, Larundel had a number of wards operating, dealing with acute psychiatric, chronic schizophrenics, chronic psychotics, and geriatric patients. Source

 

The interiors are intricately decorated with graffiti tags, on almost every surface. Source

The interiors are intricately decorated with graffiti tags, on almost every surface. Source

With the movement of deinstitutionalization across the world Larundel Asylum eventually closed in 1999. Since its closing in 1999, the hospital has become a renowned magnet for paranormal adventurers.

The hospital ran well until it's eventual closure some time in the late 1990's. Source

The hospital ran well until it’s eventual closure sometime in the late 1990’s. Source

 

It is a popular destination for urban explorers and paranormal investigators. Source

It is a popular destination for urban explorers and paranormal investigators. Source

Right now, the site is being developed. There are plans to build 550 new homes on the site itself as part of a housing development. The building site is closed and there is no access to the general public.