The Queen Victoria Maternity Home for Women and Babies

The Queen Victoria Maternity home once operated out of 61 Albion Street, Annandale. It opened in 1895 for unmarried mothers for whom no charge was made. Matron Attenborough took charge in 1896 and remained their until 1924. The building was left to the Presbyterian Church in 1926 when George Lewis the founder of the hospital died. The number of inmates varied from eight and six beds the six bed ward being for waiting patients. A report in 1929 stated that 300 children were born at the hospital each year.

Nursing Babies 1929

Western View of Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital c.1929

A ladies auxiliary of the hospital was formed in in 1952 by Mrs Hope Figtree. The auxiliary devoted its time and talents to serving the hospital in many ways including gifts to the board of considerable amounts of money for the reduction of capital debts before the Hospital came under the Hospital Commission.

In 1979 community groups were negotiating to open up Queen Victoria hospital in Annandale for emergency accommodation at the time it was vacant whilst the NSW health commission and the Presbyterian Church were negotiating it’s return to the church. The building contained a cottage, a flat, a flatette, more than 30 bedrooms, nine large rooms and about eight offices.

61 Albion Street Annandale c. 1970

Architectural Information: is thought that the central block (with rear wings) was built c.1845. the building has been greatly added to throughout the century. It was called “Macquarie Lodge” and after the Johnstons sold Annandale it was occupied by Sidney Smith, M.L.A. It is listed with the National Trust of Australia, it’s significance lying in the fact that it is one of the oldest buildings in the whole Municipality and the only Georgian building of the Johnston era still standing in Annandale.

References: Leichhardt Local History Vertical files

Annandale Association Buildings Register

Annandale Building Register

In 1981 The Annandale Association produced a very valuable Building Register of houses in Annandale that were approved by The National Trust of Australia (NSW).

The Trust’s Urban Conservation Committee along with the Annandale Association elected those sites and areas which, in the Trust’s opinion fell under the following definition

“Those places which are components of the natural or the cultural environment of Australia, that have aesthetic, historic, scientific or social significance or other special value

for future generations, as well as the present community”

The Trust does not seek total preservation in a conservation area. It recommends however that any new development should take account of the special qualities that the area possesses.

This valuable building register is available for viewing in the Local History Collection in hard print and is now part of our special online Images Project Which has 3500 images added

to the Leichhardt Library Online catalogue to provide easy access for the public and the local community.

NB The Catalogue shows a thumbnail image – which when clicked on expands to a JPeg – which is printable. For most of the images, we all hold a TIFF for high quality reprints. The TIFFs are available on application and payment at the library. To View the Annandale Building Register just type in “Annandale Association Register of Buildings” under Title or Anywhere.

Library Catalogue