Geelong Orphan Asylum and Geelong Western Districted Protestant Orphanage

Geelong Orphan Asylum and Geelong Western Districted Protestant Orphanage

150 – 220 McCurdy Road, Herne Hill

Geelong

VIC

Australia

Provider: Unknown

Year Opened: 1855

Year Closed: 1862

 

Following a local campaign to raise funds for the construction of an orphan asylum, the former Protestant Orphan Asylum was built in 1855 as a result of an architectural competition to the designs of Geelong architect Andrew McWilliams on land granted by the government. The north wing was added in 1857. In 1865 the Common School was constructed to a design by architect Joseph Lowe Shaw. Both buildings are constructed of basalt with freestone dressings in the picturesque Gothic style. The complex was bought by Australian Portland Cement Company Limited following the removal of the Orphanage to another site at Belmont in 1933.

The former Orphanage, as one of the first four orphanages set up in Victoria during the 1850s, is of considerable historical and social importance. It illustrates the extent of child destitution in Victoria during the nineteenth century and the attempts by the government and individuals to deal with the problem of destitute and neglected children.

The former Protestant Orphan Asylum is of architectural interest as an extraordinary example of the work of early Geelong architect Andrew McWilliams, and was the winning entry in a competition for the design of the building.

Information courtesy of Heritage Victoria

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