Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse

The Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse was completed in early 1860’s, along with the perimeter wall and gates.

Adelaide Observer, 22 October 1859
Adelaide Hospital Gatehouse Ca 1860. Photo courtesy of State Library of South Australia

Constructed from Glen Osmond stone, the Gatehouse had a slate roof. Glen Osmond bluestone was a hard, greenish grey fine-grained sandstone and extracted from a quarry located near the entrance to the south Eastern Freeway at Glen Osmond, Adelaide.

The outside wall of the Gatehouse formed part of the perimeter wall of the hospital. Entrance to the Gatehouse was inside the main carriage gates. There was a small walled back garden, with the back wall again part of the perimeter wall fronting the corner of North Terrace and Frome Road.

1894 – Elevated photograph taken from the south-west corner of Frome Road and North Terrace intersection. The Outpatients Building and Gatekeeper’s Cottage are on the left and middle foreground. This photograph was used on Adelaide Hospital Nurses’ Certificates up to the late 1930s.

The original fence had large brick and render pillars placed on either side of a main carriage gate. Similarly there was a later addition of pedestrian gates on either side. The brick wall was extended with smaller pillars interspaced along the fence with hooped iron supports added between the brick pillars. These supported the wrought iron rod and spear inserts.

Original front fence wrought iron rod and spear inserts, Ca 1880

Gatekeeper and Head Gardener

The Gatekeeper and Head 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, in order for the family to have somewhere to live, his son John “Jack” took over the role.

James Hansen, his wife Bridget and some of his thirteen children outside the Gatehouse, Ca 1895

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

Nurses Home, Outpatient Building and Gatekeepers Lodge, Ca 1911

Gatekeeper and Gardener Duties:

Duties connected with the Office of Gatekeeper and Gardener, Adelaide Hospital (1 August 1877):

  • Keep the garden, roads and footpaths in good order;
  • Receive the passes of Patients, Wardsmen, Nurses, and Servants, and note the time of their return thereon.  To return the passes issued to patients to the Consulting Room every morning at 9am, and return those issued to Wardsmen, Nurses and Servants to the officers by whom they were issued every Monday morning;
  • Have charge of the keys of the Gates near the Lodge, to lock the large gate at 8pm and the side gate at 10pm. To unlock and open both gates at 6am every morning, excepting Sundays, on which day they need not be opened (excepting for the admission of outpatients and cases of emergency) until the hour appointed for the admission of visitors;
  • Open the gates at any hour of the day or night, for the admission of cases of emergency;
  • Light one of the Gas Lamps at the Lodge Gate every evening at dusk and turn off the same at daylight every morning;
  • Keep loiterers away from the gates and grounds;
  • Have charge of the Horse and keep the dray and harness in good repair; and
  • Obey the orders and be under the immediate control of the Secretary and not on any account absent yourself from your duties without his permission.
Gatehouse, view from North Terrace 1932. Photo courtesy of State Library of South Australia

Early Gatekeepers and Gardeners

1875James Hensen, Gatekeeper and Head Gardener (01/05/1875 – 22/12/1901)
1892Charles Meischner, Assistant Gardener (01/07/1892-20/11/1900) Transferred to Messenger.
1900Albert John Thompson, Assistant Gardener (28/12/1900 – 30/04/1907)
1902John “Jack” Hansen, Head Gardener and Gatekeeper (16/06/1902 – 10/03/1913)
1907William Montgomery Sandberg, Assistant Gardener, promoted to Gatekeeper and Head Gardener 10/03/1913. (01/05/1907–1938)
1913Hermann Carter, Assistant Gardener (10/03/1913 – ?)

Written by Margot Way, CALHN Health Museum

(Information sourced from Trove, History Trust, Ancestry, State Library of South Australia and SA Health Museum collection.  Copies of all newspaper articles and other relevant documents are available on request).