Heathcote Mental Hospital

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Heathcote Mental Hospital
Opened 1929
Closed 1994
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Pavilion Plan
Location Applecross, Perth, WA
Alternate Names
  • Point Heathcote Reception Centre
  • Heathcote Hospital


Point Heathcote was the site of the Point Heathcote Reception Centre, later known as Heathcote Hospital, for the treatment of patients with mental illness. The buildings were designed under the supervision of William Hardwick, who at the time was Principal Architect of the Public Works Department in Western Australia. The need for a new facility arose due to over-crowding conditions at Claremont Mental Hospital. Following a report on the inadequacies of facilities at Claremont in 1924 a 23 acres site was purchased from the Catholic Church at Point Heathcote.

The Point Heathcote Reception Centre was constructed as a 'home for the reception of recoverable patients, and not for senile, epileptic, or mentally deficient patients'. It provided accommodation for 76 patients, 38 of each sex in two separate wards with a central administration block connected to the wards by covered walkways. A two-storey accommodation building, housing 36 nurses, was also constructed on the western portion of the site. In 1928 a 75 ft Water Tower/Clock Tower was designed by the then Principal Architect, John Tait. Point Heathcote Reception Home was completed by early 1929 at a final cost of 55,675 pounds. The Lieutenant Governor, Sir Robert McMillan, officially opened the centre on 22 February 1929.

In 1940 a new treatment block, "Swan House" was constructed on the site, accommodating a further 26 patients. It was designed by the Government Architect, Albert Ernest (Paddy) Clare and constructed at a cost of 15,000 pounds. By 1994 the function as a hospital had ceased, and various ideas were put forward for the site. In 2000 the hospital and grounds were redesignated as a heritage precinct. The land, together with the heritage buildings, is also protected by the heritage agreement, which is registered as a memorial on the land title.