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King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women


City of Subiaco

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Cnr Barker Rd & Railway Pde Subiaco

Location Details

Address includes: 121 Railway Rd & 374 Bagot Rd, Subiaco. 374 Bagot Road

Other Name(s)

Agnes Walsh Nurses Home
Carson House
Harvey House
Industrial School
Main Entry Block

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1896, Constructed from 1952

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 24 Jul 2014
State Register Registered 20 Dec 2002 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Register of the National Estate Permanent 18 Apr 1989

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 11 May 1981

Heritage Council
Survey of 20th Ctry Architecture Completed 01 Mar 1988

Heritage Council
Other Legal Agreement Completed 02 Oct 2002

Heritage Council
Survey of Women's Employment AHC Recorded 01 Sep 2002

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 24 Sep 2002 Exceptional Significance (Level 1)

Exceptional Significance (Level 1)

Listed on the State Register of Heritage Places or recommended for consideration for entry onto the State Register. Essential to the heritage of the City of Subiaco. High level of cultural heritage significance. Rare or outstanding example.

Statement of Significance

Refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places.

Physical Description

The group of four buildings demonstrates the changing architectural influences on public works from 1896 to 1952. Each building has architectural significance, and is an important element of the townscape.
The former Industrial School (1896) is a good example of the Federation Romanesque revival style, with a large central arched entrance between domed turrets under a stone pediment.
Carson House (1922-28) was originally one storey. It was later extended to become a two storey load bearing brick building of simple form with a terracotta tiled roof. Constructed of simple materials of brick and render walling between full height door and window openings and a tiled roof. The deep double height verandahs on all sides with shingled valance/bressumer with inset timber balustading unify the building. The paired verandah posts make it a late example of Arts and Crafts style. Overall the building reflects the influence of Californian Bungalow style.
Main Entry Block (1939) is an interwar functionalist style, with brown and cream brickwork and cream and green terracotta tiling, in a symmetrical form with rounded corners and horizontal emphasis, characteristic of the style. The central entry features a two storied tiled frame surmounted by a tiled plaque in an art deco style with elaborate brickwork detail.
Agnes Walsh Nurse's Home (1952) is a six storey brick building in a post war international style, constructed of reinforced concrete frame with exposed brick walls, plain smooth walls of contrasting textures, non-rectangular shapes constrasted with rectangular, cubiform shape clad with curtain walls, vertical sliding timber windows, spaced to express the building's residential function, and a flat insulated roof. It reflects the economic climate of the post war recovery and the resulting simplified forms of the international modern architectural movement. Influence of Dutch architect Dudok can be clearly seen in the facade treatment, via the band of dark brickwork across the lower floor. There is a free form single storey recreation wing located to the south of the main block. For more detail refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places. (Ref: HCWA & AHC assessment documentation.)


A group of four buildings which each represent a major stage in the development of the King Edward Memorial Hospital from 1896 to 1952. The former Industrial School (1896) was a reformatory for delinquent and destitute children, designed by Robert Haddon (later prominent in Melbourne) under George Temple Poole, PWD Chief Architect. Additions were carried out in 1898, 1901and 1913. It was converted to become the State's first public maternity hospital, KEMH, in 1916, after much public campaigning. Edith Cowan (1861-1932) was a leading member of the committee to establish the hospital. When the Main Entry Block was built (1939) the fmr Industrial School became the Ante-natal clinic. In 1949 it was renamed Harvey House, in honour of a fmr matron. Since 1988 it has been a Medical Museum. Carson House (1922-28) was designed by W B Hardwick and built by Todd Brothers. It was originally a nurse's quarters, a new labour ward and theatre (ground floor). Additions were carried out in 1926 (ante-natal and post-natal clinics) attached to the original stone building with a covered walkway, and a second storey in 1927/28 (medical officers' quarters) to the stone building. However, the hospital was still in need of more room. The Main Entry Block (1939) was built to a design by PWD Architect A E Clare. It changed the layout of the hospital by changing the main entry from Barker Road to Bagot Road. Agnes Walsh Nurse's Home (formerly 'Nurses Quarters') (1952) was designed by PWD Architect Gordon W Finn under A E Clare. Finn was one of the main exponents of the introduction of the International style of architecture in WA during the 1940s and 1950s, after travels overseas. The building was officially opened on 15 January 1953 by Hon. Dame Florence Cardell-Oliver OBE MLA. The building was the recipient of 1955 Royal Institute of British Architects Bronze Medal. The building was renamed in 1971, in honour of Matron Agnes Walsh OBE, matron of KEMH from 1922 to 1954. The Main Building was extended in 1962. For more detail refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places.
(Ref: HCWA & AHC assessment documentation.)
The area of West Subiaco developed primarily as residential from the early 1900s. Most of the main roads were gazetted by 1883, but were unsealed until the 1900s. Derby Road was named after Lord Derby, Secretary for Colonies. Hensman Road was named after Mr A P Hensman, Judge and Attorney General. The first houses were established in streets closest to the commercial area along Hay Street and Rokeby Road, and the area west of the civic square, including Barker, Bagot, Hensman, Douglas, Lawler, Loretto, Raphael, Denis and Rowland Streets. Another early subdivision was located along Rokeby Road, and included Rawson, Campbell, Coolgardie, Duke, and Union Streets. Most of the West Subiaco precinct was developed by 1915, with the most recent houses to be built by c1925 in the south west corner. Two land releases, called Redfern Estates No. 1 and No. 2, were situated along the railway line opposite the new suburb of Daglish. Early public buildings in the West Subiaco precinct included the Industrial School on Barker Road (1897), later converted into King Edward Memorial Hospital in 1916.
(Sources: Wise's Post Office Directory 1905-1925; Real Estate Maps, Battye Library Collection; Spillman, Ken, Identity Prized: A History of Subiaco, City of Subiaco, UWA Press, 1985; Chate, A, H., History of Subiaco, c1952.)


High degree of integrity.

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5583 Radio communications facilities King Edward Memorial Hospital : application for development approval (final). Report 2002
6379 High hopes. Book 2003
10198 G.W.Finn: architectural photographs and projects Book 1995
11855 King Edward Memorial Hospital A Block - Lifts Archival Record 2021
6082 King Edward Memorial Hospital : heritage impact. C D Rom 2002
8065 A chain of care : a history of the Silver Chain Nursing Association 1905 - 2005. Book 2005

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use EDUCATIONAL Technical School
Present Use HEALTH Housing or Quarters
Original Use HEALTH Hospital
Other Use HEALTH Hospital

Architectural Styles

Post-War International
Inter-War Functionalist
Federation Free Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

12 Sep 2018


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.