Raising the Roof

Slate roof tile from the Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse

The Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse was completed in early 1860’s, along with the perimeter wall and gates. Constructed from Glen Osmond stone, with a slate roof. Glen Osmond bluestone was a hard, greenish grey fine-grained sandstone.

Gatehouse Slate Roof Tile from the Adelaide Hospital Ca 1860

As a roof material, slate was ideal material for rooves due to it being long-lasting and durable. Insects do not affect slate, nor can it rot. Slate is also water-resistant, so is less at risk to leaking and frost damage. More importantly, slate is fireproof, able to withstand higher temperatures than many metals can.

The Gatekeeper and Gardener lived in the Gatehouse with their families. The first was James Hansen, who lived with his wife and thirteen children in the three roomed lodge. After James died in 1901, his son John “Jack” took over, so the family still had somewhere to live.

James Hansen (seated far left) with some of his family at a tea party in front of the entrance portico, Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse, Ca 1900

Appointed Assistant Gardener in 1907, William Sandberg then became Head Gardener in 1913. The Sandberg family lived in the Gatehouse until demolished in 1932 to build the new Casualty Building.

Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse, Ca 1930

Written by Margot Way, CALHN Health Museum