The Kirkbride

Landmarks and Buildings

The Kirkbride Is a beautiful and imposing sandstone complex, featuring exquisite architectural detailing and fascinating history dating from the 1870s.

The Kirkbride was the first purpose-built psychiatric hospital in NSW. Designed by Government Architect James Barnet, it is named for Thomas Kirkbride, who developed the treatment and concept of ‘moral therapy’ in the 1870s for people living with psychiatric disorders.

The buildings were designed for recovery in an environment of beauty and nature. The moral therapy thinking was that architecture was more important than medical therapies, which meant that many of NSW’s institutions benefited from lovely gardens and new wards and facilities between the 1860s and the 1880s.

The Sydney College of Arts has leased the buildings since the 1990s. While they’re closed to the public, you can view them from many vantage points outside the sandstone walls and from within Callan Park.


Disabled Assistance

Disabled access available

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