Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital


City of Nedlands

Place Number



6 Selby St Shenton Park

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Admin & Wards Block & Paraplegic Block,
Royal Perth Rehablitation,Shenton Park Annexe

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1937

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage Agreement YES 05 Nov 2020 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument
Heritage Agreement YES 12 Feb 2019
Heritage List Adopted 18 Dec 2017
State Register Registered 12 May 2015 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Classified by the National Trust Classified 08 May 2000
Municipal Inventory Adopted 15 Apr 1999
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Apr 1999 Category C

Statement of Significance

The Royal Perth Rehabilitation Hospital has ae thetic. historic, social and scientific cultural heritage significance. The site is historically linked with the provision of health services since 1893 when the Victoria Hospital first provided isolation care for smallpox patients. I'hough the hospital site appears to be a conglomeration of various architectural styles. this aspect is important as it reflects the growth of facilities and services since it first began as the Infectious Diseases Hospital in 1937. Some individual aspects of the built environment of the hospital therefore have heritage value. Social and scientific significance is embodied in the hospital through its association with innovative rehabilitation therapy for chronically ill or injured people since the early 1960s.

Physical Description

The Royal Perth Rehabilitation Hospital site is pleasantly wooded around the perimeter. bounded on the east by Selby Street and the south by Selby Street. Buildings in the complex can be separated into several discrete groups. Part ofrho site is covered by buildings wlth little heritage significance in architectural terms. Wards and Reception Building - A Block This building is of rcd pressed brick construction, It is two storey with rendered walls above a first floor dado. Interesting brick detailing is evident with soldier courses, terracorta as relief inserts and architectural eloquence and proportions. The bnildings arc in the style of Inter-War Georgian Revival. Thorburn House - B Block The former Nurses' Quarters building is located in the south eastern corner of the site and occupies an area which reaches almost half the length of the Lemnos Street boundary. It consists of a three storey, crossplanned bnilding with long narrow wings to the north, cast and west and an entrance to the south. At (he western end are also two single storey blocks. Tn the north-eastern comer is a swimming pool and a tennis court. Thc building is of salmon coloured brick with a flat roof. The entrance has a rough terrazzo finished feature wall and there me decorative mosaic tile panels above and below the steel framed windows. Tbere is also a feature walt of rough-cut granite and external courtyard walls of decorative breeze blocks. A simple flat-roof steel walkway is located around the entrance. The single level blocks are also salmon brick with flat roofs. Paraplegic Block - Sir George Redbrook Spinal Unit - G Block Block G is located on the northern western edge of the main group of buildings on the site, between the main ward block E and the group of limber framed building making up Block T. This building is single storey with a steel frame and chocolate brown clay brick infill panels. Door and windows frames are steel in full height openings. Externally. the steel framed beams are exposed to form a covered walkway. The roof i$ low-pitched with steel fascia panels that have a simple pattern. From a contemporary perspective, the building is not remarkable. However, at the time its planning principles were innovative. The peripherally Located wards allowed for maximum natural light and view while concentrating the service core centrally both simplified operations and made them more efficient. The building's planning type and architectural style formed the basis of further building development on the site through the 19605 and early 1970s_ However, this remains the most architecturally and aesthetically significant. Ryder Cheshire Buildings - T Block These two single storey buildings built in the mid 1950s are of a domestic style and face the northern side of the main entrance drive, the first (eastern) building houses the Ryder Cheshire Foundation and the second (western) contains offices. The Ryder Cheshire building has a limestone base with face red brick walls and a tiled roof. Windows on the western side are timber but on the eastern side are aluminium or timber framed with louvres. The rear verandah has been Infilled with asbesros cladding and the front verandah has been enclosed with timber framed fly screens. The building has timber stumps and the front verandah floor is concrete. Now called Barbara Seabrook House, the facility was extended in 1998.


The Infectious Diseases Hospital was established in 1893 owing 10 a strain on public utilities caused by the gold boom when WA's population soared. Due to an outbreak of smallpox, the government needed to find a place where patients could be treated in isolation. Government Reserve land which had been put aside for a future hospital in what was then west Subiaco became the obvious choice. Tents, and then a corrugated iron building accommodated the smallpox pationts in the Victoria Hospital until the epidemic diminished. For a short period the hospital was closed until an outbreak of typhoid fever. The Victoria Hospital was used temporarily to treat patients with the fever until each outbreak died down. Other infectious diseases treated in the Victoria Hospital were measles, venereal diseases, diphtheria, scarlet fever and tuberculosis. When the WoorolooTB Sanatorium was opened in 1913-14, all patients from Perth and the Coolgardie Sanatorium were transferred. Some of tho Coolgardie buildings were transported and reerected at the Infectious Diseases Hospital Following World War I the hospital had to deal with an influx of people with •Spanish' influenza, a very debilitating disease causing many deaths in 1919. During the 19205and 305. despite the continual decline of the hospital's facilities. patients. including children, continued to be treated. However. by the early 1930s public outcry about the condition of the hospital led to a conference discussing the concerns. The new hospital was built (after many revisions of the plans) in 1937. Tho Government architect, A E Clare was responsible for the final design of a 90 bed facility. The new Infectious Diseases Hospital opened in September 1938after an expenditure of £52,175. During the 1940s there was a welcome decline in infectious diseases except for poliomyelitis which between 1948 and 1956 kept the hospital busy. The polio outbreak has been recognised as a catalyst for the changes that occurred at the Infectious DiseasesHospital in the 1950s. With many polio victims requiring long term treatment. and rehabilitation owing to severe paralysis, the Infectious Diseases Hospital controlling body began to look at other chronic medical conditions. These included cardiac disease, arthritic conditions and hemiplegia Expansion of tile hospital facilities included Iho School of Physiotherapy and the rehabilitation of paraplegics under the dircction of Dr G M Bcdbrook. The paraplegic unit which was established in ] 954 was the first of its kind in Ausrrnlla. In 1956 the hospital was nnmed the Royal Pcrth Hospital Annexe. Plans for increasing bed space. the hospital grounds and workshop and laundry facilities were announced at the same time. Further expansion (1958) included a rehabilitation unit for patients disabled by strokes (hcmiplegla). the construction of Thorbum House (1962). a new nurses home and a new paraplegic unit (1963) designed by architects. Pcter Parkinson and Ron Bodycoat. Another name change carne in 1966 when the hospital was renamed Royal Perth (Rehabilitation) Hospital. Following this additional ward blocks (1966). an interdenominational chapel (1968) and a new building for the Schools of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (1972) were erected. In 1985 a redevelopment plan for the Hospital was integrated leading Loexpansion. upgrades and development of facilities with the focus on Rehabilitation. In the early 1990s the Ryder Cheshire Foundation set np in T Block now called Barbara Seabrook House. The foundation is M non profit organisation that is British based but operates throughout the world providing relief and support for friends and family of patients or outpatients. This building, which is open to people outside the metropolitan area. is set up in the style of a hostel. It provides accommodation for 19 people since its extension was opened in April 1998.



Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
SP2 LGA Place No

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
3665 Royal Perth Rehabilitation Hospital formerly known as the Victoria Hospital, the Infectious Diseases Hospital and Shenton Park Annexe : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1998
11761 Victoria House - Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital : Lot 38 Montario Quarter, Shenton Park Archival Record 2019

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use HEALTH Hospital
Original Use HEALTH Hospital

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other TIMBER Other Timber
Other STONE Limestone
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities
PEOPLE Innovators
OCCUPATIONS Technology & technological change

Creation Date

18 Feb 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

13 Apr 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.