Mate I am fascinated with Willow Court, been going there on and off since 2000 ish since its demise last visit was 2 years ago when the local member let us have a few hours in ward C and took many photos etc…. this brings me to my next question I would like to somehow have another look in Ward C would like to stay the night (impossible maybe) or could I join you guys on your investigations as I am totally obsessed wit the place a couple of our last photos turned out with quite a few orbs top floor Ward C so I’m very keen to go back and check it out. It This possible who do I contact. I realize public liability and insurance is a major issue these days but I have to get back there before all the history is lost and was wondering if you could help advise.
cheers mate hope to hear from you soon.
I’m like you obsessed and fasinated by Willow Court.
Oh you just missed out on the last Open Day which was on the 3rd of April, we have Ward C Open to the Public. Access is a big issue and we went thru quite a big and lengthy process thru Council to get approval to Investigate Ward C, so I would imagine you would probably need to do the same. We finsihed our last Investigation in Ward C in late March. Not sure if we will get permission for another night unfortauntly. The Willow Court Side is safe from demolition so its not going to be lost unless someone burns the place down wich is a possibility in its current unsecure state. If you can tell me what Wards inparticular you want to access I could help you out by pointing you in the right direction.
I was wondering if you would have any information on the willow court sports ground (oval on George street). I am doing some research on football in the region and any information on the facilities that were around and when they were built would be great. Heard its being sold so i’m coming up tommorow to take some pics.
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
I will see what I can dig up. I will email you.
Ok thanks for that.
Hi Nick I have some very interesting pics of ward 10.
Please contact me.
HI NICK I HAVE A PHOTO OF ME WHILE I WAS PLACE THEIR BY THE GOVT AGE 14 1961 TAKEN OUT FRONT OF I WARD TAKEN BY MY MUM ON A VISIT NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO TAKE PHOTAS IN THEM DAYS THATS WHY YOU WONT GET MANY PICTURS OF THE MEN WOMEN OR CHILDREN IT WAS A NO NO TO HAVE A CAMARA IN SIDE EVEN THE NURSES THEY WOULD GET THE SACK IF FOUND WITH A CAMARA MAUREEN
HI NICK MICHIELL SAID SHE HAD SOME PICS OF WARD 10 I WAS TAKEN TO WARD 7 AFTER THEY CLOSE DOWN OLD I WARD WONDER IF ANY ONE HAS ANY PICS OF WARD 7 MAUREEN
I would love to see some photos Maureen. I have some photos of Ward 7 over the last few years.
HI IM INTRESTED TO BUY SOME OF THESE BOOK OR DVD OF WILLOW COURT CAN ANYONE LET ME KNOW THANK YOU
The books are really hard to find, and when you do find them on ebay etc they sell pretty quickly. However most are available at the Hobart Library Reference Room. Let me know if you need more help.
At last April’s open day I just happened to be driving past and went and had a look at C Block. What an amazing place and history… I organised through the Working Group to be able to visit privately and took a heap of photos.
Finally I’ve processed just some of them and uploaded to Flickr. Feel free to link to the photos / Flickr.
Am also keen to visit any of the other buildings, anyone else keen?
I was at the last Open Day in April, and I am a member of the Working group. Thanks for the comment and giving me the, link I will upload a few as photo of the week.
There will be some more open days happening this year, in the mean time you could probably have a look thru the now private buildings at Willow Court by contacting the Willow Court Antiques Centre or Motel and ask for Penny or Haydn.
I don’t think I saw you last year – although there was another WG member there for a while with Simon so maybe that was you afterall!
Thanks for the info re other open days and the Antiques Centre, I might get in touch with them shortly.
BTW: I posted a disc to the WG today with all the shots I took, not just the Flickr ones. As a member you’ll probably see that come through too.
Great web site and work from all the WG, much appreciated…
We may have missed each other, we were all over the site that day. No worries regarding the info and thanks for the comments regarding my website. I will look forward to seeing the other shots at next months meeting.
You site is wonderful. I enjoy to finally find some real stories from an asylum for my project about skizophonic.
Maybe if you got some more info on how they were treated on the hospitals.?
Is ok if not. I just very curious.
Thanks mate, any info I come across I will upload on here so keep looking
hey nick hows things mate, come across this blog by the wonders of boredem and waitin for arvo shift haha. i was readin about the ward 5 ghost and it sparked something i remember seeing a long while ago not sure if you remember the mulvanys (stephen and vincent) they used to live in the yellow house in circle street, anywayz their parents both worked at willow court and i can always remember a picture that sat on their mantle piece showing a upper body/head in a white glow looking down a corrider and im sure it was ward 5, was a pretty big thing at the time not sure if the papers got involved my memory isnt that good but it was a freakin freaky picture thats for sure. i think the parents still live their be cool to see if they still have the pic, i dont think they would mind if you went their and told them about what i have written im sure they would remember me as i was good mates with both their boys for many years.
Cheers mate I will look into it.
Hey Nick, great site u have created. Certainly the only one of it’s kind. Please keep up the good work
Thanks very much, glad you like it!!
hello i dont know if anyone is interested but i have a leather bound “staff sign on book “from 1928 and was wondering if there is a museum for willow court/royal derwent at the moment.
Hey Mate, thanks for contacting. Sure we would be interested. At the moment there is no museum however we are always collecting pieces from Willow Court so that one day we can display them in the museum.
Hey mate me and a couple of the fellas are heading out there tonight. Real interested by all this stuff and we were wondering if you would come and meet us? Would love to get the grand tour off you and hear what you have to say. We have made a Ouija board and we are really fascinated to find out what we can discover. I’ve contacted you through facebook and would be really nice to hear a reply. We were planning on going around 11 o clock. Cheers Brad Wood
Hi Nick, My research on the RDH is approaching it’s conclusion.I would like to thank you for your website and positive inspiration in your early emails. I have found valuable historical information and recent news. I have produced a 100 page book including history, anecdotes, photography, poetry and an historical fiction story based on interview. I will have it printed in a couple of weeks. I would love to give you a copy and I’ve also set up a webpage that is almost complete which includes the book content. Thanks Miranda
Thanks that would be awesome!
I was working there in 1961, loved every minute of it. Left and went to W A for a holiday came back and went to work there again.Was living in the old and new nurses quarters.
Hi Nick, I am a year 12 Art Studio Practice student from The Fahan School, and am interested in photographing willow court, both inside and out. Is there any way this is possible?
Just wondering what building are still standing and can anyone get access to them without council permission mate?
Sent you a email.
My great-uncle was a patient at the asylum from 1926 until his death in 1966, apart from a few brief and disastrous periods of release and several escapes! He was suffering from shellshcck. He had been one of the first ashore at Anzac Cove and fought at Lone Pine and later in France.
I agree with the redevelopment at the hospital site as I know there have been lots of problems with vandalism. However, the plan for a bizarre motel in the morgue really upsets me. It is only 12 years since it closed and I also understand Disability Rights Groups concerns that it will adversely affect the public’s understanding of mental illness. I am a writer and have been researching a book about my uncle called A Butterfly On My Shoulder. I was fortunate that the Tasmanian Health Department sent me every document and letter on his file, free of charge.
In a strange co-incidence I had written a piece about the book a couple of days before news of the morgue motel came out. If you are interested, my website address is http://www.paulineconolly.com
Wow what an interesting yet tragic story. It’s real stories like that that give the site such depth and perspective. Thanks for sharing, I will check out your link.
In regards to the morgue I think if its done with respect then I see no issues with it. I understand the concerns, I have had family members in that morgue as it was used by the public as well so I have a vested interest in it.
I think the idea of such a motel brings up a lot of things in people’s minds, I think we need to wait and see and respect everyone’s point of view.
I have recently moved to Tasmania and my father has told me my grandmother (who I have never met) was there for a while, died there and burried in New Norfolk. So, knowing this I thought i’d visit her grave site, however there is no record of her being burried in New Norfolk! I went to all the cemeteries in the area (twice) and checked all tombstones but could not find her. It is possible she is in an unmarked grave as we know little about her past.
I did visit the info centre who then told me to visit the council who advised they had no record of her at all, so i then went to Corumbene who knew little as well.
My father visited her there in either 1967 or 1969. She died in 1969 there! How do I find out more info about her and what she endured while in the place? I have heard mostly bad things there.
I will email you.
Congrats on establishing & maintaining this site Nick. A recurring theme in Tasmanian history is the desire to forget rather than confront our past mistakes and protect what we have left of our shared history – I can’t speak for the Indigenous Tasmanian community, extinct/near extinct wildlife or demolished heritage buildings but it wasn’t so long ago older members of my own family only spoke of convict ancestors in hushed tones. Since 2000 (and before) we’re doing the same thing with the Willow Court/RDH site. Like an earlier message I remember as a child being driven around the RDH site like it was some kind of open air lion park – in my recollection we stopped outside those buildings with deep ponds in front of the exercise yards to stare at the patients who stared back at us, eyes and mouths wide like a trip to the circus or a freak show. Those ponds seemed like moats to keep what we imagined to be psychopaths away from the world so that rest of us could be safe. I was horrified when I later knew a guy who was admitted to the RDH because he had a problem with cannabis, and then later worked with an ex health department manager who told me in her time (1960/70′s) people were still being admitted by families because of teen pregnancies and masturbation. Some friends and I were able to get into some of the derelict wards before they were recently demolished – shame at least one of them wasn’t saved by a state government which can pay for Victorian sports clubs and not afford to establish a suitable museum or memorial on a 170year plus part of our heritage. (Not that the other lot will either after the next election). Clearly a lot o public interest from number of people at the lat open day so keep up the good work, maybe one day we’ll have state ministers with some vision.
I was wondering if tours are still offered at Willow Court / Royal Derwent?
I am interested in getting a group together, especially want to see ward 10 if thats still standing!
No there is no tours at the moment, but we are working towards some night tours in future. There is day tours that operate but only during Open Days and I’m not sure when the nect day is at present. Ward 10 is still standing and has been divided internally into 3 residences/workshops.
Nick, I have tried your e-mail address, email@example.com
my e-mail to you has been returned ( address error ) on receipt pls return so I may correct & send Focus Paper RDH Site ‘ Sale Process ‘
Cheers; Len Butterworth 62611554 0428282735
You missed the “R” in Jarvis. firstname.lastname@example.org
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