Ararat Insane Asylum

The Ararat Insane Asylum has quite a history first built in 1861 as a prison, then for criminally insane then as a lunatic asylum with ‘J ward’ for the most dangerous mentally ill men in Victoria, the men were placed in here for murder or violent crimes. It was a cold, unwelcoming place and highly institutionalised with no facilities for mental care and was finally shut down in 1991 after being described as barbaric.

I am hoping to include images within a photographic book on my trip around the Victorian Goldfields.

The Ararat Insane Asylum entrance grounds

Walkway to stop inmates wandering

Wash basins for staff

The old bathroom built in the prison days

Table for surgery and autopsies

2 thoughts on “Ararat Insane Asylum

  1. Fascinating location Barbara. It looks such a cold and grim place, I’m surprised it was not closed down earlier. Love this series of images, look forward to seeing them included in your book.


    1. Thanks Simon, it was a grim, unhappy place and I think the lack of money for new facilities kept it open for so long. I did enjoy exploring the goldfields but didn’t manage to trip over a ‘nugget’ even though I was told there is still gold in them there hills.


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