Musgrave House

Shorncliffe

Dating from a time when the Sandgate Shorncliffe peninsula was overrun with boarding houses and convalescent homes (thanks to the prevailing seaside=heath ideas of the day), this convalescent home for children was contrived in 1883 by the wife of the governor Lady Musgrave, as an extension of Brisbane’s Hospital for Sick Children.

It was designed by architect Richard Gailey who responded to the brief for a well ventilated building with this pavilion style timber house with a centrally located hall and deep verandahs where children would sleep so as to maximise their exposure to sea air. At the time governments had no interest in providing for the health of children, whose mortality rate for the under 5’s was 50%. Hence it took patrons like Lady Musgrave and her predecessor and some time Bulimba House dweller Mrs David McConnel (who had been responsible for establishing the Hospital for Sick Children, the second in Australia) to ensure that that children were not just left to charitable outfits for their care.

Each ward initially contained 6 cots or beds and from its opening in 1888 it saw roughly 80 to 100 children pass through per year. It was also used as a training premise for nurses at the Children’s Hospital and as respite for families of ‘sickly’ children.

By the 1920s some 160+ children per year were passing through and jazz fundraisers were held to raise money for an extension. By 1931 however it had closed, with children transferred to another convalescent home owned by Brisbane Hospital. Between vacant periods it variously housed state wards, old men and railway workers before eventually being sold to private concerns in 1999.

Musgrave House 

8 Allpass Pde

Shorncliffe

Map

8 Allpass Pde Shorncliffe

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