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Images of Canberra (Err Goulburn, but close) – The old Goulburn orphanage

By Danman - 6 October 2008 58

[First filed: October 04, 2008 @ 23:27]


A friend and I headed to Goulburn on Friday night to check out some old buildings he had been told about.

He was looking for a set for an up and coming short film he is making and asked me to take some stills to show prospective sponsors.

Let me tell you… man this place would be awesome for any silent hill/resident evil/the ring style movie.

(Slideshow and more below)

These buildings are an old orphanage, and by my own mothers accounts as an attendee when she was a child, the place is of great sadness.

She was admitted there when my Grandmother was down the road at Kenmore Mental Asylum, and my Grandfather could not look after all 9 children.

Basic story she told me (I did not want to pry) was that when she was accepted, they took all her clothes she had taken there and was issued with one set of clothes and underwear.

These clothes and 1 set of underwear were worn for a week between washes and if you soiled them, you were beaten.

Beating of children (Not disciplinary beatings, but old school mentally scarring beatings) were common… and thats where I changed the subject..

This place is scary, if not haunted… There was not a breath of wind when we accessed the site, but by pure coincidence the wind started blowing fiercely when we got a few meters from the property.

There was scarcely any windows not broken and this caused the upper windows to catch the stronger winds and blow it out the lower windows, a perfectly explainable phenomenon, but scary as hell none the less, standing near a window to a gaping maw of pure black darkness with a fierce gale blowing out the window into your face..

What’s Your opinion?

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58 Responses to
Images of Canberra (Err Goulburn, but close) – The old Goulburn orphanage
Danman 10:39 pm 05 Oct 08

smee, not sure – didnt really push her for details as you can understand… If I get access during the day ill see if I can +1

I-filed 10:07 pm 05 Oct 08

Old Canberra have you ever tried to contact him? He might be in need of a friend and is likely to still live locally!

smee 9:20 pm 05 Oct 08

Actually Danman, I was intending to either ask you for the owner details or, if you were willing, tag along on your visit.

BTW, when was your Mother there?

Danman 7:28 pm 05 Oct 08

Permission was not granted, however the gate was open, we were in full view of the streets with LOTS of BRIGHT portable lighting and about 1500 dollars worth of camera gear – so if someone accosted us they could se we were in no way there to skulk, trash. graffiti, squat or otherwise ruin the place.

I would suggest if you intend accessing the building internally to have permission granted.

I intend contacting the owner and accessing the place internally during the day in order to do a photo/journalism piece for my own prosperity

smee 7:15 pm 05 Oct 08

Hey Danman… Mind telling us if you get permission. I wouldn’t mind going back for a look.

Danman 6:25 pm 05 Oct 08

Yeah… ill be back there for sure – wanna contact the owners of this place and get a daylight tour

Gungahlin Al 5:47 pm 05 Oct 08

There are some simply stunning old buildings all over Goulburn – some very well cared for, others not so. And in the surrounding areas too.

smee 4:54 pm 05 Oct 08

This is St John’s Boy’s Orphanage. It can be found on wikimapia here.

It was run, I think from hazy memory, by the Sisters of Mercy.

I spent 15 months and both my 11th and 12th birthdays there in 1976/77.

The orphanage itself could house 50+ boys and a similar number of girls in two segregated dormitories (complete with their own bathroom facilities) on the 1st floor. When I was there it only housed about 10 boys, all but one of primary school age and, just before I left 3 or 4 girls arrived. The ground floor housed the kitchen, dining room, laundry and an area restricted to the Nuns.

The Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers (who ran St Patrick’s Primary School and College) also ran a number of foster houses clustered around the orphanage where the majority of children in long term fosterage went.

Granny 2:21 pm 05 Oct 08

Oh, Danman. This makes me feel so sad. Those poor little kids.

Thumper 1:42 pm 05 Oct 08

You don’t want to know……


Seriously creepy place, and truly excellent shots Danman.

Aurelius 1:18 pm 05 Oct 08

Can I ask where in Goulburn this is?

Loquaciousness 12:19 pm 05 Oct 08

They are some of the creepiest photos I have ever seen. And your Grandmother’s story – horrifying. Thanks for sharing, Danman … I think 😉


Thumper 7:39 am 05 Oct 08

Awesome, what a spooky place….

old canberran 3:16 am 05 Oct 08

When I was around 10 back in the 40’s, my parents hosted a boy from the orphanage with a view to adopting him as a brother for me as I was an only child having lost my real brother when I was one. He was a great kid, neat and tidy with everything but quite submissive and polite. The discipline at the orphanage had made its mark. He stayed with us for nearly a year but unfortunately it didn’t work as I had been a loner for too long so my parents reluctantly returned him to Goulburn. I often wonder what happened to him. It was a very spartan existence there as money was not plentiful, a bit like a prison I suppose.

p1 12:27 am 05 Oct 08


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