Sunnyside Hospital, Hillmorton, January 1977

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Sunnyside Hospital, Hillmorton, January 1977.


Images from the collection of Kevin Hill.

Sunnyside Hospital, Christchurch’s first mental asylum, was opened in 1863. It was built to house those who were considered insane, until then held at Lyttelton jail. The hospital was closed in 1999 and demolition began on its last building in late April 2007, to make way for a Ngāi Tahu housing development.

Sunnyside’s main buildings were constructed in the 1870s from designs by Benjamin Mountfort, one of New Zealand’s leading Victorian Gothic architects. The John Campbell-designed administration building (pictured), the last to be demolished, was added in 1892. Campbell was a notable government architect whose work also included Wellington’s Government house and the 1922 Parliament building, as well as the Auckland Chief Post Office (now Britomart). The administration building was one of only three of his buildings remaining in Christchurch.

(Source: Christchurchcitylibraries.)


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